Wednesday, May 16, 2007

'We are Palestinian, we are women, we are gay'

I am not in the gay-right parade, but I am in the human rights movement. They have the right to be wrong! They will pay in the after life. The part that really cracks me up is that the Muslim world is called "deeply patriarchal" instead of violently religious! The lengths some will go to for spin ...

'We are Palestinian, we are women, we are gay': "Battling against a deeply patriarchal society, Arab Israeli and Palestinian lesbians are uniting to break the taboo of homosexuality and politicise the right to be female and gay.

'We are Palestinian, we are women and we are gay,' is the slogan coined by Aswat, the association campaigning for lesbian Arabs to be accepted in Israeli and Palestinian society, and whose name in English means 'voices'.

'A lot of lesbians and Arab homosexuals have double lives, marry and lead a secret existence. People say it is forbidden by religion,' says Rauda Morcos, Aswat coordinator, at its headquarters in Israel's northern city of Haifa.

'Society is hyprocritical. But we are against this issue remaining secret. We want it dealt with as a political and social issue,' she said.

In late 2002, Rauda decided to put her money where her mouth was and take action with fellow lesbian Samira, her former roomate.

The two women set up an Internet forum for Arab lesbians in Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. A year later they founded Aswat.

Today the association, funded by European and US groups, organises monthly and totally anonymous support meetings, raises gay awareness and disseminates information about homosexuality."

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