US Donates 22 Million $ to an LGBT Association

Independent Turkish, according to the news, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, the United States claimed that US $ 22 million in an LGBT association in Ankara.

Here is the news in Independetn Turkish ..

Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu, who attended the meeting organized by the Özçelik-İş Union of the Hak-İş Confederation, claimed that the United States helped US $ 22 million to LGBT associations in Ankara.

Soylu said the following in his speech:

“Amerika One of the most important states in the world, America, was helping the PYD on the one hand. But can I tell you another place where he helps you? Helping LGBT. The United States is providing $ 22 million to an LGBT association in Ankara. Do I need to talk here? What we’re dealing with and what current we’re dealing with. In fact, do I need to express in words in order to express that the main goal is faith, identity and presence in this geography? ”

Interview With Transgender Woman Oyku

We had a very special interview with transgender woman Oyku.

That interview…

When and how did you know that you were a transgender individual?

In fact, as soon as we enter puberty, we begin to understand the differences in us. But it takes time to put a description of it. In the past, homosexuality and transsexuality were not much talked about. We are the people of a period that started to explore homosexuality with Zeki Müren and transsexuality with Bülent Ersoy. Now thanks to technology LGBTI it doesn’t take much time for individuals to discover themselves. Of course, this is the door for them to be able to do the transformation at an early age. We were forced to notice ourselves, but I was still lucky for many of my friends. I started to discover myself during the secondary school period, I could say that I am a trans woman in the university period.

Did your family have any support?

-Turkey get the family support in not easy conditions. At first, I had a hard time expressing myself to my family. But I was lucky that I had a family trying to understand me. And they’ve always been there for me. I’m one of the lucky trans people in the family. I still have strong ties with my family.

When, why and how did you start LGBTI activism?

– My injustices were so painful! And the injustices experienced by my trans friends around me were so great! The urge to resist, the urge to stop injustice triggers you, and it blossoms from somewhere. We first got a magazine called Spartacus in Bursa. But as a result of the prints did not last long. Of course, during these periods, I participated in LGBTI organizations in Istanbul and Ankara. In this period, the violence of the police and the violence of the people in the streets were extremely rare. Our friends were beaten and subjected to violence. And now it was so intolerable that something had to be done. In this process, we have done our first collective action by leading my friends, in front of the Police and with the first press release. Then the first Transgender activism by building on 20th March, 2006 in Turkey and addressing the Bursa Rainbow Association Transgender LGBT rights on legal step I took.

In Bursa, you established the first LGBTI association in Bursa and what kind of activities did you conduct in this association? Which projects did you implement?

-BURSA LGBT Rainbow Association is seen as completely minorities when setting up our goal, we have established with the aim to fight for the rights of Turkey completely legal according to the laws of our association floors. Of course we establish our association in Bursa, and then we find a place with a constant sense of right action always with continuous sitting on Turkey’s agenda as a result of close dialogue. For example, we applied to İŞKUR against the statement of the state administrators who said that they should not make sex work for trans women like every human being. We gathered money among ourselves and opened a cafe where LGBTT individuals work under the name of GÜLLÜM KAHVE. I found that injustice was made by us, I filed a criminal complaint about these officials and they were sentenced, but our workplace was not opened.

We also provided language training, literacy course, handicraft course and most importantly psychological and legal support to the illiterate. In this process, Bursa Nilufer Municipality agreed to give us a place from the marketplace, but we could sell our own products but the governor and a minister prevented it.

Turkey’s first official permission 1. Turkish homosexuals have organized a march on 6 August 2006, is a date. But unfortunately, this march was provoked by the fans of Bursaspor and great events happened. After these events, international institutions have reached to the associations that are still present to support us. But we knew about it later. They also benefited from financial support for us. We did not receive any financial support from any institution and organization during the process of the association. In all of our work, I met most of the items myself and some of them were provided with membership dues and voluntary donations.

Can you tell us about the process that led you to go to Thailand?

Activists and associations in Turkey is not so much, although it is unfortunately almost the only one who can express themselves and also that the struggle for rights. For this reason, I was often in the press with our various activities. At the same time in 2007, the first independent lawmaker from Turkey’s candidacy was vetoed by the YSK .Fakat I announced my candidacy from Bursa me why I raised with criminal fines. Then CHP Bursa deputy A. Candidacy was in the year 2011, and then in 2013 in the local elections. After 2011, I was elected as the Bursa Province and Osmangazi district delegate, and in 2013 I entered the district council with the highest votes among women.

Of course, in this process, local, national and international news appeared in the press. And the forces that are disturbed by the existence of LGBTI individuals have taken action. We have been sued for how to silence this woman and destroy it with the claim of 4,770 years. I was imprisoned for 28 months. Later on the search conditions in Turkey no longer deserves the first Brazilian to be possible, I believe, from there I moved to Thailand.

What do you do in Thailand, how do you live?

Of course it is not easy for a trans woman to start a new life in a new country. The money you have is running out after a certain time. early in this process, I have lived my life by giving guidance to people coming from Turkey. I also had rent income. In this process, I trained myself and started to work in a private hospital. I’m the head of department at the hospital where I work. And I was promoted to serve as general manager in our newly opened hospital.

How is life for LGBTI individuals in Thailand? Is it a country that can be called free enough for LGBTI individuals?

-Thailand has a distinct tolerance with the influence of Buddhism culture. Of course, this tolerance is not the same in all Buddhist countries. Like Islam, Buddhism is different in countries. In Thailand, being homosexual or being transgender is not socially strange. A peer or trans can do any profession. Doctor, stewardess, police … can do anything. Nobody would even look back.

I think it’s one of the most tolerant countries in the world. But of course there are some shortcomings. For example, even if a transgender woman changes gender, her official name and identity do not change. They do not have legal special laws, but they also have many rights. But I think there are laws to be enacted.

Do you think the return to Turkey?

I think -Türkiye to arrive, of course, but not now. Justice should come to my country, freedom of thought should come to my country, people in my country should be equal so that I can return to my country. Unfortunately, my country is getting worse every day. People are flocking to Turkey abandoned asylum in other countries. Perhaps never in history did not migrate this far Turkey. We’re going back on human rights. In the past Turkey’s interests as a special guest on all national channels I live broadcast. Now there is little or no LGBTI news or issues. They look at us like the plague. I don’t think we have security.

As a matter of fact, the statements of the Interior Minister on this issue and the statements of some religious groups trigger LGBTI hostility. However, the rulers of my country should support all sectors. LGBTI individuals were not citizens of the Republic of Turkey from space. But unfortunately my country LGBTI individuals have no value until Syrian refugees who migrated to Turkey, unfortunately. Here are all of these reasons I were in Turkey, even now I come or even think that my opportunity to make my struggle for human rights.

I think that justice and democratic rights have been suspended. I do not think that this process will end soon. But I will certainly return to my country, oppressed, despised, not put in place of human being, most importantly, I will continue to return to my LGBTI friends who do not have the right to live humanly. These days will surely pass. The republic founded by Atatürk is a secular and democratic country founded on solid foundations. As in the past, not the reaction will gain light.

Going about sharing your critical LGBT associations in Turkey .. what you want from the association?

-TURKEY associations in Europe and the US as the country and millions of dollars they received from the consulates of these countries that I criticized the AKP’s interior minister confirmed Süleyman Soylu, said 20 million dollars. I don’t make it up, but I’m the only one who makes strong criticisms of this issue, which has sounded strongly for years.

If you pay attention, the people who work in these associations and the salary earners are always the same people. It hasn’t changed in years.

And they do a few seminars apart from a few fake events and distribute condoms. Many of our trans friends are killed, sick, arrested. In spite of these millions of dollars, I support more people through the facebook group called Trans Solidarity Emergency Aid.

A lot of help, such as writing a free petition, providing a free lawyer, raising money for friends in distress, treating someone with a drug problem. But these associations do not act this way. They are not incapable of giving legal support to a trans and are not in a difficult situation.

So why are these associations getting these million dollars ???

Is this money only given to a few association managers to live in luxury?

At the same time, LGBTI associations are not only established for Kurdish LGBTI people.

So why didn’t these associations claim the cases of people who suffered injustice like Eylül Cansın? They didn’t claim it because it wasn’t Kurdish?

However, these associations have been supporting Pınar Selek, who is a non-LGBTI bazaar defendant, for months and still. A Ahmet Yildiz does not value as much for this association of trans women.

Since the AKP came, these associations have hardly even heard voices, but they are taking money. More importantly, they do their best to keep the money they receive from LGBTI individuals. They don’t release their financial reports. Unfortunately, LGBTI individuals in our country are unconscious about these issues. They do not seek the right of the Turkish people.

However, these millions of dollars received by these associations are not given so that only a few associations can receive salaries as much as the executive president. All Turkish for LGBT given. I am against this injustice or I am not against associations.

LGBT associations in Turkey at the moment there is almost a monopolization of the so-called civil society organizations and institutions, which in this case was the rant door. The assets of those working in these associations and their relatives of 1,2,3 degrees should be investigated for 20 years.

Why did the members of these associations fleeing abroad defected? These should be seriously investigated. And associations have been set up for LGBTI rights, not to be the backyard of any political formation or for separatism.

The oldest association has existed for 20 years and the executives are always the same people. What these associations as they obtained the rights for LGBTI individuals in Turkey? What are these acquisitions? These associations want a world without a pimp without a boss. Why don’t they fight for rights in labor laws?

I think what I’m trying to say is clear enough. Any person who already runs the logic can notice them. Nobody needs to say anything.

When work began to be done in Turkey activism for LGBT activism OUT OF MONEY then in Turkey. Activism is for the struggle for voluntary rights, not for money. Activism should not be done as civil servant or private sector labor.

I hope that one day that it FUND MONEY institutions giving off that tap the interests of young LGBT individuals volunteer to do real activism in Turkey.

Like fossilized politicians in political parties, fossilized exploitist activist decay disappears from the exploiters.

Despite everything, I also will change the history of youth from umutluyum.türki trans activists.

We thank you.

Britain Breaks Record in Number of LGBT+ Deputies

Following the British general election, the number of MPs who declared to be LGBTI + increased to over 50. Among them is the first gay Muslim MP from the Conservative Party, Imrad Ahmad Khan.

According to the news in Yeşilgazete, the number of LGBTI + MPs in the House of Commons has exceeded 50 after the general elections held in Britain last week. Thus, Britain became the country with the most open LGBTI + MPs in its parliament.

The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who won the election with 368 seats, entered the parliament by declaring that he is currently at least 24 gay or bisexual . The ranking is followed by the Labor Party with 18 deputies. At least 9 MPs from the Scottish National Party declared LGBTI +.

The world’s first open gay Muslim MP

The election of Imrad Ahmad Khan from the Conservative Party to the parliament was welcomed by Muslim gay communities with great joy. Thus, for the first time in the world open gay Muslim MP was elected.

Elliot: We’re not scared, we won’t hide.

On the other hand, the increase in the number of LGBTI + in the parliament can still cause criticism in the society. Conservative Party’s 27-year-old Elliot Colburn, who entered parliament, celebrated the outcome of the election by kissing her boyfriend gathered reaction on social media.

Commenting on the reactions, Colburn said, “I wanted to show that we wouldn’t hide because people were feeling uncomfortable. It helps people to understand that we are like other couples. Kul

The rate of female MPs is 34 percent

The election results were also pleasing in terms of women’s representation. The proportion of women in Westminster has risen by 2 percent to 34 percent compared to last year’s parliament. For the first time, the number of women deputies in the Labor Party has exceeded 50 percent.

Homosexuality Is Not Disease

The German government is preparing to ban “homosexual transformation therapies.. Health Minister Spahn says homosexuality is not a disease, it cannot be cured

Homophobic practice dönüşüm Homosexual transformation therapies ’will be banned in Germany. Sağlık Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore, the use of the word ‘therapy baş is misleading in itself.”

In line with the federal government’s decision Wednesday, the implementation of “transformation therapies yönelik for homosexuals known as“ homosexual treatments ”will be banned. Those who do not comply with the ban will be fined and sentenced to one year in prison.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that these therapies aimed at “treating eş homosexuality will be completely banned for minors and partially for minors in the future.

There will also be penalties if minors are forced to participate in practices described as “treatment,, threatened, deceived, or misled by terap harms terap of therapy. Advertising, presentation and transmission of such therapies will also be prohibited.

Bakanı Homosexuality is not an illness, Sağlık said Jens Spahn, Health Minister. Therefore, the use of the word ‘therapy başına is misleading in itself.” Ahn These so-called therapies do not cure, on the contrary, they make patients sick, Sp Spahn said. He also noted that such a ban would be a social message.

The Ministry of Health announced that the implementation is expected to take effect in mid-2020.

dpa, epd / B, TY

© Deutsche Welle in Turkish

Marriage equality moves forward in Germany

BERLIN — Today, the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s parliament, voted to make marriage equality the law of the land. Once the legislation is approved by Bundesrat, the upper house, – which is expected to be a formality – and signed into law by the president, Germany will become the 22nd country to secure full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The vote came days after Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled that she was open to changing Germany’s marriage laws to include same-sex couples, prompting a hurried push from opposition lawmakers to pass the so-called marriage-for-all legislation, reported the Huffington Post.

According to the report Merkel’s shift came after she visited a lesbian couple raising eight foster children. She called her dinner with the family “a life-changing experience” and said she realized her party’s arguments against same-sex marriage were no longer valid.

“We welcome the German people into the growing family of nations that ensure loving and committed same-sex couples have the right to marry,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “With the very serious challenges the LGBTQ community continues to face around the world, this is welcome news and an important victory in working to ensure LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society. We congratulate the German advocates who made this historic day possible through their tireless advocacy.”

Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, the conservative Christian Democrats, has been historically opposed to marriage equality, many individual legislators within the party do support it. Merkel indicated a possible shift in her viewpoint by opening a path forward for the vote. Her decision to allow the vote followed a move by her coalition partner, the Social Democrats, who announced their continued support for Merkel’s government would be contingent on her backing marriage equality.

Recent polling shows that 66 percent of Germans support full marriage equality. Germany has had same-sex civil unions since 2001, although those unions lacked the full dignity, legal protections and rights that come with marriage, including on adoption rights.

In Malta, another European Union nation, members of parliament are also expected to vote soon in favor of marriage equality. This progress in Europe comes on the heels of a recent victory in Asia, where Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in May.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=80779

Russian LGBT Network evacuating ‘at risk’ people from Chechnya

1 April, Novaya Gazeta reported that more than 100 men have been arbitrarily detained and at least three have been murdered by Chechen authorities for their alleged “non traditional” sexual orientation. Independent sources have confirmed the mass detention, described acts of torture, and suggested that the number of men killed may be as many as 20. The scale and scope of the crisis means that LGBTIQ people in Chechnya are in extreme danger, and the international community must act urgently.

In response to the crisis, the Russian LGBT Network is currently evacuating people from Chechnya who may be at risk for kidnapping, arrest or otherwise in harm’s way. The Network is calling on international institutions and governments to pressure Russian authorities to intervene to immediately stop the abuse. It has also underscored that even those LGBTIQ people not at risk of direct state violence may now be at heightened risk of family violence.

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, commented, “The perpetrators of this malicious campaign must be held accountable for the systematic detention, torture, and killings of innocent men in Chechnya. No government should get away with such wanton human rights violations.”

OutRight has requested swift and urgent action from a dozen governments, including that they engage their Russian counterparts to: condemn these reports, urge that the perpetrators be held accountable, demand the men’s immediate release, and insist that all survivors and victims’ families be given reparations. OutRight is also calling for statements of condemnation from United Nations officials.

A spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, denied the allegations. He said, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.” The spokesman also indirectly highlighted the violence and homophobia faced by gay men, saying, “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

International reaction to these reports has been shock and horror. However, people have also used the crisis to engage in islamophobic, racist, and anti-Russia rhetoric.

Stern said, “Using a violent attack on men accused of being gay to legitimize islamophobia is dangerous and misleading. It negates the experiences of queer muslims and essentializes all muslims as homophobic. We cannot permit this tragedy to be co-opted by ethno-nationalists to perpetuate anti-Muslim or anti-Russian sentiment. The people and their government are never the same.”

Stern concluded, “We remember the victims of this heinous crime. They are in our hearts as we call on the international community to urgently support the safety of all LGBTIQ Chechens.”

Those who may be in distress or in need of help within Chechnya are encouraged to reach out to the Russian LGBT Network at 8 800 555 73 74 (the call is free within Russia). Additionally, anyone with information on the current situation in Chechnya can confidentially contact ILGA-Europe at +32 2 609 54 10 or info@ilga-europe.org.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=78800

Indonesia bans gay emojis

The Indonesian government is in the process of banning gay-themed emojis on social media platforms.

Indonesia’s popular messaging app LINE has already eliminated same-sex couple emojis a tthe behest of the government and other social media may soon follow suit.

The Japanese-Korean company who developed the LINE app have even posted an apology to Facebook for the ‘offending emoticons’.

“LINE regrets the incidents of some stickers which are considered sensitive by many people,” the statement read. “We ask for your understanding because at the moment we are working on this issue to remove the stickers.”

Ismail Cawidu, spokesman for the Communication and Information Ministry told AFP that LINE was not the only social media platform to be targeted.

The Indonesian government contacted companies with similar emojis, including Twitter and Facebook, asking them to remove them or face a blanket ban

“Such contents are not allowed in Indonesia based on our cultural law and the religious norms and the operators must respect that,” Cawidu told AFP.

Transgender Discrimination: Know Your Rights

Transgender people experience higher levels of discrimination but there legal avenues for recourse. Ron Hughes reports.

When Janice [not her real name] went to her insurance company and requested they change her details from a male name to a female name, staff at the insurance company started asking her inappropriate questions about her gender identity, whether she had had “a sex change operation” and other things in front of other customers which made her feel very uncomfortable. When she suggested to the staff they change their procedures to ensure other trans people didn’t go through the same thing, they shrugged it off saying they didn’t get that many requests of this type.

Janice made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission and the insurance company came along to a compulsory conciliation conference where the matter was resolved. The company committed to undertaking a national training program for staff on gender diversity and discrimination, they committed to reviewing their procedure and policies, they formed a partnership with a not-for-profit specialising in trans issues and they made a donation to an NGO nominated by the complainant. They also invited Janice to present to the management team about her experience. It was not a monetary resolution, Janice didn’t get paid compensation, but she did ensure other trans people wouldn’t go through the same indignities.

That was a positive outcome on balance, but for trans people facing discrimination, it’s often very difficult to get a good resolution. Even simple things like getting a driver’s licence to reflect your identified gender is difficult as well as daily things such as being allowed to use the right rest-room.
Sascha Peldova-McClelland of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers explains the difficulties.

“All of those secondary documents such as driver’s licences and Medicare are reliant on either a birth certificate or a passport, so if you can get them using your passport that’s easier, because getting your passport changed into your identified gender is much easier than getting your birth certificate changed,” Peldova-McClelland says.

Under guidelines introduced in 2011, people can choose what gender they want to be listed as on new Australian passports, even if they have not undergone a sex change (as was required in the past). Now all that is needed is a letter of support from a medical practitioner.

“You can get your birth certificate changed but you have to meet some conditions that are quite restrictive: you have to be over 18 or have your parent or guardian agree and you have to have had a sex-reassignment or gender affirmation surgery. And you can’t be married. That’s how it works in NSW,” Peldova-McClelland explains.

“If you have a birth certificate that reflects your identified gender then you have to be treated as a member of your identified sex and if you’re not that is discrimination. For example, you need to be provided with access to rest rooms of your identified gender. But if you aren’t a “recognised transgender person” under the law, even though you are still protected under some of the anti-discrimination laws, none of those things are a guarantee.

“So you can try to insist that you be allowed, for example, to use bathrooms that accord with your identified gender, but there’s no law that requires employers or anyone else providing facilities to provide that to you. So it’s a bit more of a grey area.”

Discrimination in employment is another frustrating area for trans people.

“The Australian Human Rights Commission publishes reports which consistently show how difficult it is for trans people in employment. From not being recognised in their identified gender to being forced to explain themselves if their identity documents don’t match their identified gender; they’re often denied employment opportunities, denied promotion, or people often find their employment is terminated after it’s revealed that they were born a different sex, or if they announce they are going to transition to a different gender,” Peldova-McClelland says.

What legal resources do trans people have to overcome this discrimination?

“Trans people have recourse to anti-discrimination laws which exist both at a state and a federal level,” Peldova-McClelland explains. “Commonwealth legislation only began to cover gender identity in 2013. That covers things like employment, education, provision of goods and services, accommodation and so on.”

“There’s direct discrimination, for example where somebody might be sacked or bullied or harassed on the basis they are trans, which is unlawful. There’s also indirect discrimination, which is where there’s a requirement or condition which is on its face neutral, but it has the effect of disadvantaging people who are trans. An example: if a company has an HR policy which doesn’t permit changes to an employee’s records, that policy may require a trans person to be constantly disclosing information about their gender identity in order to explain why there’s discrepancies in their personal details,” Peldova-McClelland says.

“You can action that under Commonwealth laws. You can go to the Australian Human Rights Commission and lodge a complaint. The Commission will investigate the complaint and may decide to hold a compulsory conciliation conference where the complainant and for example their employer will attend and try to come to a resolution and if that’s not possible then the complainant has the option to take the matter to the federal court.”

“In case law there’s hardly anything on gender identity discrimination and I think that’s because most of these matters get resolved at the conciliation stage, because it’s so difficult to prosecute them beyond that stage. It’s very expensive, it takes years and discrimination is quite difficult to prove as a technical matter,” Peldova-McClelland says. “A lot of the published decisions you’ll see say ‘No, there was no discrimination’. So it’s quite hard.”

Another murky aspect of the law is that quite often there’s no real legal definition of sex. “You get definitions like, ‘A woman is a person of the female sex’ – totally opaque,” Peldova-McClelland says. “There’s this assumption that sex is this sort of natural, easily discoverable thing that structures society and when you look at it it’s really, really complex. It brings into question a lot of structures in our society. It’s a huge question.”

Getting help

“If you have a complaint under Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws you go to the Human Rights Commission, if you have a complaint under state law you go the anti-discrimination board or tribunal or equal opportunity commission in your state,” Peldova-McClelland says.

Given the laws vary from state to state people can find themselves with different levels of protection and protection for different things in different states. Given there’s not that much case law and laws vary from state to state Peldova-McClelland advises anyone wanting to pursue a complaint to consult with a lawyer experienced in anti-discrimination work as an initial step.

“I know that often involves money which makes it impossible for some people,” she says, “But if there are community legal centres that can help, such as Sydney’s Inner City Legal Centre, which specialises in LGBTI legal issues I’d definitely recommend that. The choice of which jurisdiction to go for is a complex one and it’s not something you’ll be able to get your head around just by reading websites. Have a word with a lawyer first. Anyone practicing in discrimination law should be able to help.”

Sascha Peldova-McClelland is a lawyer specialising in Employment and Industrial Law with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Sascha has a particular interest in ending sex and LGBTI discrimination in the workplace. Go to mauriceblackburn.com.au

Gay News Network AU

Flight MH17 might also harm LGBT Ukrainians

The devastating loss of noted Dutch AIDS researcher, Joep Lange, who died in the recent downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in the skies over Ukraine may turn out to be just one of multiple tragedies surrounding the air disaster that have special relevance to LGBT people and our allies.

The horrifying downing of a passenger airliner, whether by negligence, malice or both, is steadily galvanizing European and American support for Ukraine in its efforts to extricate itself from Russian domination. As a result, there may be less need for Ukraine’s leaders in Kiev to respond to western pressure to make life safer and more equal for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people in the country.

As cynical as it may sound, more outrage and sympathy on a macro level could mean less leverage on a “micro” level; not that there’s anything small about the need to secure human rights for LGBT Ukrainians nor about the mission to differentiate the “new Ukraine” from Russia with its draconian anti-gay law.

I and one of my editors were struck by a particular quote in a story I filed recently. The story was about the cancellation of an LGBT Pride march that had been scheduled to occur earlier this month in Kiev. The Pride march had to be canceled because government officials said they could not protect participants and that, as Kiev’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko put it, “this is not the right time for a celebration.”

No one would say that times of armed conflict are good times to “celebrate” LGBT Pride or any other cause. However, grown-up democratic nations should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Put less cavalierly, democracies should be able to allow minorities to safely demonstrate for better treatment by majorities even while difficult national circumstances are at hand.

But the quote we found so striking was not that of Mayor Vitali Klitschko. Rather, it was a quote within a formal statement issued by Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights First in reaction to the cancellation of Kiev Pride 2014. While profoundly germane to the “lost Pride” story in Kiev and the tough situation LGBT Ukrainians face moreover, the quote had an overarching relevance to the very nature of democracy.

“For all of its talk about sharing European values the new Ukrainian government has failed a major human rights test today,” said Human Rights First’s (HRF) Brian Dooly. “The U.S. government should make clear publicly to the Ukrainian authorities that peaceful freedom of assembly should be respected for all.”

Dooly is director of HRF’s Human Rights Defenders program. His quote about Ukraine’s failure to ensure that the Kiev Pride march could be safely conducted even while a de facto war with Russian separatists to the east continued (and still continues) to escalate was an answer to an unasked, yet perennial question: Can fixtures of the democratic ideal such as freedom of expression and the right to protest be rightfully suspended or otherwise dispensed with in times of crisis by nations that claim to be democracies?

Because there is no aim of democracy more fundamental than that of protecting basic human rights, and because there are no tools more requisite to ensuring basic human rights than freedom of expression and the right to peaceably assemble, the answer must be a full-throated “no.” The right to peaceably assemble cannot be compromised if democracy is to flourish – much less take hold.

Some might point to periods during the American Civil War or even the years immediately following the 911 attacks when, respectively, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush tampered with and hampered fundamental freedoms and rights, including as habeas corpus and the right to peaceably assemble as evidence that extraordinary measures can be taken in times of war without a democracy’s long-term survival being threatened.

But is that really so? Was democracy not imperiled when Lincoln suspended habeas corpus? Essentially the right to face one’s accuser in court, habeas corpus (guaranteed by Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution), is one of the most fundamental distinctions that separate truly free nations from those with some of the window dressings of democracy but none of the fixtures and furnishings.

Was democracy not threatened when intelligence officials targeted the weekly meeting of a central California group that was described by Dahlia Lithwick in a 2004 New York Times op-ed as “cookie-wielding pacifists?”

Although it appears to have pretty much survived for now, of course democracy in America was threatened by those breeches of basic democratic rights and freedoms.

What is striking about Dooly’s statement is how instantly and completely it obliterates doubt. Dooly eliminates both the benefit of the doubt one might subconsciously want to afford the government in Kiev as it writhes under the boot of its behemoth neighbor to the north, as well as any doubt that denying people the right to peaceably assemble is by definition a cancellation of basic liberty.

If an erstwhile democratic nation cannot endure peaceable assembly, in this case taking the form of an LGBT Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine, then that nation is in fact not worthy of claiming democracy as its form of government. Democracies have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Democracies have to be able to fight wars and protect free speech at the same time.

As the guilty party in the surface-to-air missile downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 appears to be the Russian-supported separatist rebels to the east versus the supposedly western values-aspiring government in Kiev, the U.S. and the European Union will likely ramp up support for the government of new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko without exerting much if any new pressure to protect sexual and gender minorities in the country.

Even toothier support from Washington and Brussels in favor of Kiev is likely to emerge if it turns out the missile that downed the Boeing 777 was launched from inside Russia itself. The onus to keep the pressure on Ukraine to respect and protect the rights of LGBT Ukrainians now falls upon LGBT-rights activists as well as equality-minded politicians, business leaders, diplomats and even journalists.

If we don’t show up, stand up and speak out loudly in defense of our LGBT brothers and sisters in Ukraine, leaders in Kiev have proven they will do as little as possible – or worse – to protect and respect their rights.

As Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the original drafters of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights said on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the declaration in her remarks about places where small assemblages of oppressed people gather, “… Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”