Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

"Fred Baker (fred)" <> Thu, 26 May 2016 17:15 UTC

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From: "Fred Baker (fred)" <>
To: Barry Raveendran Greene <>
Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
Thread-Topic: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 17:15:48 +0000
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Apologies. I hit the "send" button a little early.

On May 26, 2016, at 9:15 AM, Barry Raveendran Greene <> wrote:
> If this is being used as the justification, then South Korea must also be changed. Same problem.

It's not just South Korea, where we met in 2004 and plan to meet in November. indicates that 12 states have anti-sodomy laws on the books, including Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

We have met three times in Texas, three times in Florida, and once in Utah. We have had no incident that I became aware of. states that homosexuality is illegal in 78 countries. On the included map, one that gives me concern is India, where we have quite a few folks that would like us to have a meeting. South Korea isn't on the map, so I'll guess that the listing isn't exhaustive.

What turning down Singapore on this basis does is say that we will not have meetings in those places until the laws are repealed.

In Illinois, a state law requires that a man's unmarried female companion shall call him "master" while out on a date, or so says In Youngstown Ohio, you may not run out of gas.

Now, I'm very much in favor of getting dumb or outdated laws, laws that aren't being enforced, off the books. In fact, I would favor some kind of project that identified laws on the books throughout my nation that have not been enforced in some useful period (the past ten years?) and summarily dismiss them. That's unlikely to happen, and I don't think 78 countries and 12 states (whose laws have already been gutted by a Supreme Court ruling but remain on the books) are likely to repeal those laws soon. If it is going to happen, the IETF is not the organization that will drive that, or an appropriate place to have that discussion.

I am of the perspective that if a country is not enforcing a law, whether it be a sodomy law or that a man's date must call him "master", it's not a law I, or the IETF, needs to worry about. The data we have says that the last time Singapore used its homosexuality law was 1999, and that homosexuals living in Singapore, although they actively want the laws off the books, experience no issue.

Which doesn't say that Ted is wrong, but it says that his information is dated.

There are a number of places we don't go because of what we consider basic human rights violations that are very real.

We have periodic suggestions that we meet in Kuala Lumpur, because APNIC meets there. I have been to KL, in 1996 for INET; it's a great city. Malaysia not only doesn't allow gay, it won't allow anyone carrying an Israeli passport. Take a good look at Stanislav Shalunov or Glen Zorn; a Malaysian border officer is authorized to refuse entry to any person he or she deems "scruffy". Define "scruffy"?

We are being frequently asked to hold a meeting in Africa. Look at the red part of Africa in, or the list of countries in which it gets the death penalty in Where would we actually hold that meeting?

If we can't go to Singapore, I don't see how we go back to Texas, Utah, Florida, important parts of Africa, or the Arab world. And, oh yes, much of Eastern Asia. To me, that's the crux of the issue. I respect Ted, Melinda, and the many others that are LGBT and working in the IETF. However, the issue has, in my opinion, become far more political/emotional than fact-based. I'd like us to make sure we have the right guidelines in venue selection that focus on having successful meetings, and remote participation capabilities that will enable someone that chooses to attend that way to do so productively.