Babalublog deprives Human Rights of LGBT and I

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Update:

I wrote a personal e-mail to Valentin Prieto requesting that he retract his threat of legal action. In that e-mail, I pointed out to Mr. Prieto that George Moneo, in his “Memo to Bryan Johnson”, wrote in the comment section: “I’m more than a little surprised that no one has caught my other deliberate double-entendre”, which was Moneo admitting that he meant the “Memo” to be homophobic in nature. Today, I checked the same “Memo”, and Mr. Moneo’s comment is no longer visible. It appears that Babalublog just self-censored themselves out of fear of looking bad.

Yesterday, I wrote an entry that was critical of Babalublog. Succinctly, I argued that the homophobic-laced entries on Babalublog and their stance–which is affirmatively admitted by one of its authors, George Moneo–against Gay Marriage contributes to the deprivation of Human Rights of LGBT individuals in the United States. I concluded that Babalublog’s contribution to the deprivation of Human Rights in the U.S. may undermine the cause of the Cuban-based bloggers’ opposition to the Castro regime.

Val Prieto, the founder and chief editor of Babalublog responded to my entry. What Mr. Prieto wrote further substantiates that himself and the writers of Babalublog cannot truly be for Human Rights, and, moreover, that they may do more harm than good for the cause of Cuban Freedom. Here’s why:

Mr. Prieto wrote to me, in part:

“Your commentary here is seriously bordering on slander and unless you provide absolute proof of your accusations, I demand a full retraction and a public apology.”

What I wrote is not close to slander, which is evident from this part from Mr. Prieto, as well as established principles of Human Rights.

“It is blatantly disingenuous to equate a person’s opinion on gay marriage as a violation of human rights.”

It is not disingenuous; it is a reasonable opinion based on publicly known principles of Human Rights. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

“Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality, or religion have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to Marriage and at its dissolution.”

Amnesty International agrees with me that marriage discrimination on account of sexual orientation is a violation of article 16 of the Declaration of Human Rights:

“For more than a decade, this non-discrimination principle has been interpreted by UN treaty bodies and numerous inter-governmental human rights bodies as prohibiting discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation…Civil marriage between individuals of the same-sex is an issue in which fundamental human rights are at stake.”

Instead of simply disagreeing with my entry, Mr. Prieto had this to say:

“If you continue to slander me, any of my contributors or readers, I will seek legal means to remedy it.”

As there is no legal means to remedy an opinion that is not slander, it is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Prieto disliked what I wrote so much that he issued a threat designed to silence me for making any further criticism of Babalublog. To put it bluntly, Babalublog just engaged in eerily similar behavior as the Castro regime has been engaging in for all its time on earth: he tried to deprive a human’s right to Freedom of Expression.

Of course, we are not in Cuba; we are in the United States and thus I write here in spite of Mr. Prieto’s offensive and anti-freedom behavior.

George Moneo: Digging a Deeper Hole For Babalu

In the original entry from yesterday, I recommended to George Moneo that he read the live coverage of the Proposition 8 trial. Mr. Moneo’s response was  similar to what one would expert from an angry high school(or even junior high) student who has just been dissed by someone.

Mr. Moneo’s post was titled “Memo to Bryan Johnson” and contained one sentence: “Just read your ‘advice’ and here’s what you can do with it: shove it up your ass.”

The above response, specifically the “shove it up your ass” part, could be construed as suggesting that I am a Homosexual, which is not true.  But what is certain is that at least some of the readership of Babalublog have no qualms about engaging in homophobic dialogue. Here are some of the comments on Moneo’s entry:

FreedomForCuba: “Priceless! Vintage Pitbull. I think Bryan may like that ‘shoving’ feeling…LOL

drillanwr: “George, is that ‘procedure’ covered under Obamacare?”

FreedomForCuba: “Back in 2008 I predicted that if Obama would be elected sales for Vaseline products was going to skyrocket”(emphasis added)

FreedomForCuba: “…Ever since took office, him and the democrats have been ‘shoving-it’ to the American people…BIG TIME!”

The above comments are  thinly veiled, if veiled at all, homophobic comments. FreedomforCuba’s comment suggested that I like being on the receiving end of anal sex is, ironically, much closer to Libel(Val asserted the wrong legal grounds: Slander is for spoken words, Libel is for written ones) than anything that I have said about Babalu;  it makes a factually incorrect claim that could, as this is indeed a homophobic society, be potentially damaging to my reputation. But I, unlike Mr. Prieto, do not selectively pick and choose which Human Rights I am a proponent for.(see Mr. Prieto’s attempt to silence my freedom of expression and how Babalu’s anti-gay and/or anti-gay marriage contributes to the deprivation of Human Rights of LGBT individuals in the U.S.)

The Moneo response is also further evidence  that Babalublog contributes to the deprivation of human rights of LGBT individuals, as well as contributing to persecution of LGBT individuals. As I’ve stated before, on this blog and theirs, homophobia is one of the principal causes of persecution of individuals on account of sexual orientation.

The final piece of evidence showing that Babalublog suppresses the Human Right of Freedom of Expression: I submitted a comment responding to Mr. Moneo’s “Memo to Bryan Johnson” a couple of hours ago. Thus far, my comment has not appeared. As my past comments on Babalublog have always appeared immediately, I believe that Babalublog has blocked my ability to comment on its site.

Of course, blogs are private property and any author has the exclusive right to delete any comments, regardless of the  comment’s merit. But given the fact that Babalublog purports to be a strong supporter Human Rights in Cuba, amongst which is Freedom of Expression, it is ironic that after one critical blog entry,  they have silenced me on their blog. This suggests that Babalublog does not welcome at least one alternative opinion. And since in my humble opinion George Moneo’s response was an attack upon me, it is also a bit cowardly to not allow me to defend myself.

An Ill Harbinger

Yoani Sanchez, who has inspired me in my work(hopefully future work, as well)and millions of others in ensuring the existence of Human Rights for all, wrote a piercingly prognostic entry that hits directly at how Babalublog responded to my criticism:

“Tough times are coming. In the long term, I’m optimistic, but a sense of apprehension overwhelms me thinking of the years ahead. The accumulated frustration is too much. They have systematically sown among us the rejection of different opinions and this will not be erased overnight….Learning to debate without offending, to live together with plurality and respect for differences, will have to become a compulsory subject in our schools. It is going to be a long process to make everyone understand that diversity is a cure, not a disease.”(emphasis added)

Mr. Prieto, Mr. Moneo, and the Babalublog family:

I suggest you heed the advice of Yoani Sanchez and do the following: unblock me from Babalublog; retract your threat of legal action; write an entry condemning all homophobic comments and entries published on Babalublog; and write an entry supporting all fundamental human rights for LGBT individuals in the United States. If you do not, well, the evidence speaks for itself.

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28 Responses to “Babalublog deprives Human Rights of LGBT and I”

  1. janet cantor Says:

    Dear Sir,
    Perhaps I read that declaration differently from you but I don’t think I am incorrect.” Men and women of full age without discrimination to race, nationality or religion” to me means one woman and one man may marry, etc. I see nothing in that declaration that talks about one man and one man or one woman and one woman.
    Now as to calling Val Prieto or George Moneo homophobes, that is ridiculous. I’ve read this blog now for a couple of years quite regularly. They deplore Cuba’s regular punishments of homosexuals. I know these two gentlemen to be full of love for all people and fighting for freedom here and in Cuba and all over the world, fighting against discrimination and for people who yearn to be free.

    I am no homophobe. Some of my best friends and all that jazz… How could I love the arts and not love the artists, so many of whom are gay? Yet I personally do not look forward to the day when man and man or woman and woman marriage is declared the same as one man and one woman. I think you do me wrong to call me a homophobe just because I believe there are already too many threats to marriage and that does not do society much good.
    I have no objections to partnering and civil rights, hospital visitations and such. But I think it will not be helpful to change the order of marriage laws. What right does the government, for instance, have to demand that a company pay coverage and benefits to a same sex partner. If a company wants to do that, fine. But to be ordered is another story.
    This is a complicated issue and we must agree to disagree. But, please, stop assuming that because people disagree with you on this, that you have the right to label us with your pejoratives.
    Like Val always says, this is his house and he can decide who visits and what can be said. People don’t like being called names, especially when they are not true.
    Loving people can have opinions that don’t match yours.

    As for the other comments that so enraged you, they’re Cubans. they like using puns.

    Why would I wish to visit a website so I can call the main contributors bad names? And if I do, why should I expect any love from them? If I disagree, which I often do on babalu, I tell them why. But I always try to be polite and try not to use ad hominem.
    That’s my two cents.

  2. Jorge Says:

    Dear Janet,

    Well I do disagree with you. What I have seen in Babaluu blog are insults, such as SOB´s, come mierda, F… ect when not in agreement with their views. Val sometimes comes out as a extreme right facist ready to tourch any democrat he finds on his way, but its free country, and he can kick who ever he wants out of his blog. However, his blog is like the Assamblea Popular in CUba, like a chorus all cheer in the same direction. He should take the example of the resent exchange between Carlos Alberto Montaner and Silvio Rodriguez. Carlos replies to the comunist clowns insults is an example of serious writer and thinker.

    But what do you think of from a guy who says “shove it up your ass”, that he is a extreme right bigot, which he is.

    Jorge

  3. janet cantor Says:

    I stand by my remarks.

    In the part of the declaration that you quote it does not say without any limitation due to “gender”.

    Yoani Sanchez urges us to learn to debate without offending. And there is an expression I love, “History begins where you want it to when you want to win an argument.”
    It would have been more helpful if bjohns 15 had simply explained his disagreement on homosexual marriage. Once he resorted to name calling, he stepped over the line.
    I don’t know how Jorge or bjohns 15 would like their politics to be described, but I will assume they are liberals. I dislike arguing with liberals because when they are not using ad hominem, they begin to question my motives. This is not merely irritating; it is no way to conduct an argument.
    Why should anyone respect your opinions when you immediately define him as a homophobe? I am a conservative. that does not make me “an extreme right wing bigot.” Reread Yoani’s advice and take it yourself. Otherwise you have no right to take umbrage when others mock you or delete your remarks.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Janet,

      Please point out where I partook in name-calling as opposed to a reasonable argument.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Janet,

      I am aware that the declaration does not mention the same-sex part, but what amnesty international writes does:

      “Civil marriage between individuals of the same-sex is an issue in which fundamental human rights are at stake.”

      I did not engage in name calling; I believe that anyone who believes LGBT individuals are not entitled to the right to marriage contribute to the deprivation of the human right of marriage to LGBT individuals. You are welcome to disagree with the latter conclusion, but it is not “name-calling”.

      I suggest you read the live coverage of the prop. 8 trial, or the Iowa supreme court decision that struck down gay marriage bans in Iowa. Based on the evidence that I have looked at, there is no rational argument that stands up against the right for LGBT individuals to get married.

      I should have explained this better in the post, but I’ll do it now. By depriving LGBT individuals the right that is available to straight individuals, the state and society in effect stamp LGBT individuals with inferiority, which then can contribute to persecution of those same individuals. It still takes place today, if you were to do a simple google search on attacks on gays in the U.S., you would find several hate crimes against lgbt individuals.

      To me, and to plenty of others, the current ban on gay marriage in many places is indistinguishable from the former ban on interracial marriage, or even the de jure segregation based on race that existed in many places pre-civil rights era. In other words, people still had “opinions” on those issues in the past, but those positions were not based in reason. Same with gay marriage, except that the latter challenges more social mores, especially those that are put forward by religious institutions.

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        You are aware that Amnesty International is nothing more than an international advocacy group whose beliefs are simply based on their opinions and interpretations of what they advocate for, right?

        What exactly is your definition of “right to marriage” for LBGT individuals? Is it that most clergy in the church refuse to provide the service? or the simple fact that most states do not allow for civil unions? or is it the simple fact that its all about obtaining the benefits of the term marriage?

        To me, and to plenty of others, the current ban on gay marriage in many places is indistinguishable from the former ban on interracial marriage, or even the de jure segregation based on race that existed in many places pre-civil rights era. In other words, people still had “opinions” on those issues in the past, but those positions were not based in reason.

        “those positions were not based on reason”? Who makes that assumption? A difference of opinion is one thing, but to claim the others opinion is not based on reason, is only your opinion and those who hold your same ideology. I think you are falling into the realm of “marriage is a right”, which our Constitution does not mention. Since marriage is based on civil law, not constitutional law, thus there is no right to obtaining the benefits that a recognized spouse is entitled to. Constitutional law only requires the States provide Equal Protection to its populace, not equal benefits, as we are not yet and hopefully never will be a Socialist Nation.

      • bjohns15 Says:

        Hey Liquid,

        I could get into many details on this, but before I do that, I sincerely suggest you read the Iowa Supreme Court Decision; it’s a great step-by-step analysis. Here is the link: http://dev.midcomp.com:2233/wfData/files/Varnum/07-1499(1).pdf

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        It is the Iowa Constitution that is in play, not the US Constitution as I eluded to. It is Civil Law based on the States Constitution and Iowa Code 595.2. The Iowa Supreme Court decision is based on “legislative facts” that can change. At times, however,
        judicial decision-making involves crafting rules of law based on social,
        economic, political, or scientific facts. … As a result,
        judicial decision-making in the context of constitutional issues can involve
        the “process of adapting law to a volatile social-political environment.”

        The entire decision is based on 1 question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Iowans from civil marriage?

        This would now fall under each individual States decisions and not the Federal Governments. I suggest we watch what happens in CA and Prop 8, since it has now been put to public vote and denied.

      • bjohns15 Says:

        Yes, I am aware that it was based on Iowa Const. but if you look to the case law cited much of it derives from the U.S. Supreme Court. The equal protection analysis undertaken in the Iowa decision is very similar to what would happen if it got to the U.S. Supreme Court. But, yes, the Prop. 8 decision(if it gets to Supreme Court, which there is a good chance of it happeneing, is what is to be looked at. And it’s in the hands of some of the best lawyers in the country.

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        but if you look to the case law cited much of it derives from the U.S. Supreme Court.

        The citations to the Supreme Court decisions was only in how to proceed in determining a situation that was deemed present in the case.

        Citation 6 specifically: The United States Supreme Court has not resolved the broad question of whether an absolute ban of marriages between persons of the same sex violates the Federal Equal Protection Clause. See Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 578, 123 S. Ct. at 2484, 156 L. Ed. 2d at 525 (noting that case does not decide “whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter”). Nor has the Court resolved many of the narrower legal questions presented by this lawsuit. Nonetheless, the federal framework traditionally employed for resolution of equal protection cases provides a useful starting point for evaluation of Iowa’s constitutional equal protection provision.

      • bjohns15 Says:

        Yeah, I do not think they have the voters have the right to decide on the rights of others, just like they did not have the right to decide whether mixed race marriage was permissible or whether de jure segregation was.

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        I do not think they have the voters have the right to decide on the rights of others,

        What of Democracy then?

        Again, marriage is not a “right”. It is a contract recognized between individuals that creates a kinship bond. With that recognition comes responsibilities and benefits. This is what the States rely on. One of the main limitations in the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amend. US Constitution) is that it limits only the powers of government bodies, and not the private parties on whom it confers equal protection. Most “Civil Rights” have been passed under the Commerce Clause, I wonder if this is going to come up during the Federal Courts interpretation?

      • bjohns15 Says:

        I see what you are saying. But democracy without checks can be just as bad as a nondemocratic system.

        One of the first questions of the judge in the prop. 8 trial is crucial: “what if the government got out of the business of marriage?”

        In other words, if marriage was not given to opposite sex couples by the state, the whole issue could be moot. The issue is the government’s discrimination of the doling out of the benefit of marriage to only opposite-sex couples.

  4. bjohns15 Says:

    Basically, my opinion on gay marriage is based on a plethora of evidence. For example, I gave the link in the original article for the live coverage of the Prop. 8 trial, which is full of expert witnesses for and against gay marriage. That’s where I drew it from; I just don’t have the time to recount the evidence here, especially if it appears the commentator is predisposed to not arguing in good faith.(not you, Janet, who decided to skip substantive argument and label me:

    “I don’t know how Jorge or bjohns 15 would like their politics to be described, but I will assume they are liberals. I dislike arguing with liberals because when they are not using ad hominem, they begin to question my motives. This is not merely irritating; it is no way to conduct an argument.”

    If there is one issue that I am close to sure on, it is this one. Liquid, Once you read the Iowa decision and/or the prop. 8 coverage, let me know what you think.

    • Liquid Reigns Says:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/us/28prop.html

      But Andrew P. Pugno, general counsel for Protectmarriage .com, the leading sponsor of Proposition 8, said that while the plaintiffs had put on “a spectacular show,” they had nevertheless not addressed what he sees as the central issue of the case: whether California voters were within their rights to establish marriage as between a man and a woman. (emphasis mine)

      “To invalidate the people’s vote, the plaintiffs have a really tough burden: they have to prove the people acted irrationally,” Mr. Pugno said. “That does not mean that there has to be choice between whether gay marriage is good or gay marriage is bad, but do the people have a right to decide?”

  5. Liquid Reigns Says:

    One of the first questions of the judge in the prop. 8 trial is crucial: “what if the government got out of the business of marriage?”

    But that is not what the trial is about, the question for the Federal Government to determine is whether California voters were within their rights to establish marriage as between a man and a woman.

    Marriage isn’t “given”, marriage is “recognized” as a contract between two persons. I would argue that the issue of discrimination is in the recognition of the contract between two people (the problem is the definition of two people), not that it is a “right” that is being denied. However, responsibility also comes into play (and needs to be defined), is it the responsibility of those engaged in this contract to further the human race? (for which a man/man or woman/woman marriage can not accomplish without the use of medical services).

    • bjohns15 Says:

      I know the question of the case, but the judge’s question was interesting, especially in light of the gay individual’s answer.

      “is it the responsibility of those engaged in this contract to further the human race?”

      Apparently not, as infertile couples can marry, couples who are no longer within reproductive range can marry, and married couples can opt not to have any children at all. So unless the contract required that everyone further the human race, the exclusion of same-sex couples doesn’t fly.

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        as infertile couples can marry, couples who are no longer within reproductive range can marry, and married couples can opt not to have any children at all.

        Infertility does not mean one can not get pregnant only that they have failed to become pregnant within 1 year of intercourse, it does not stop them from having children, it merely makes it harder for them to get pregnant. Define reproductive range, as there have been women as old as 60+ who have given birth. Married couples can opt to not have children, but if they change their mind, they can have them, pro creation is not at a dead end.

        LBGT have those abilities as well already, they have not been excluded. They are simply making the choice as to whom they wish to partner with, thus ending the ability to pro create.

      • bjohns15 Says:

        Ok, but the real question is whether by excluding LGBT from marriage does the goal of pro-creation.

        Also, you wrote: “the choice as to whom they wish to partner with.” which seems to indicate your belief that LGBT individuals choose to be LGBT, as opposed to being born that way. Although the numerous studies on this question have not proved to be 100 percent conclusive, most experts on the issue lean towards it not being a choice.

      • Liquid Reigns Says:

        Also, you wrote: “the choice as to whom they wish to partner with.” which seems to indicate your belief that LGBT individuals choose to be LGBT,

        No. LGBT members of society can still partner with the opposite sex and pro create, that is the choice. If they choose to only be with a partner of the same sex, then that pro creation hits a wall (responsibility defined). I believe they should have the Liberty to be with whomever they choose, it is the benefits and responsibilities that we don’t agree upon.

      • bjohns15 Says:

        On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM, Bryan Johnson wrote:

        > Ok, but the real question is whether by excluding LGBT from marriage does > the goal of pro-creation become furthered > > Also, you wrote: “the choice as to whom they wish to partner with.” which > seems to indicate your belief that LGBT individuals choose to be LGBT, as > opposed to being born that way. Although the numerous studies on this > question have not proved to be 100 percent conclusive, most experts on the > issue lean towards it not being a choice. > >

  6. Jorge Says:

    janet,

    lets stick to my point. You say that

    “I don’t know how Jorge or bjohns 15 would like their politics to be described, but I will assume they are liberals. I dislike arguing with liberals because when they are not using ad hominem, they begin to question my motives. This is not merely irritating; it is no way to conduct an argument.”

    Who cares if you are liberal or conservative, you start by labelling inmediately. You are condoning Darth Vader (VAL Prieto) and his followers to render insults to anyone who does not share their views. It s the same with Castro, his defense always been to descredit and slander who ever does not agree or critisize thier regime. That is my point, is “stick up your ass a good argument”. As Winston Churchil said, “Men without arguments, insult”.

    That is the reason that on Babalu blog it sounds like the Cuban National Asembly, not counter arguments, since “Todo dentro de Val view, Nada encontra de Val´s View”.

    By the way I am a republican conservative who endorses Marco Rubio in Florida.

    Jorge

  7. janet cantor Says:

    bjohns 15,
    Who was it who started all this by labeling anyone who doesn’t agree with you on this issue, a homophobe? Is that not name calling?
    And I thought I was quite reasonable, so it pains me that you said I was predisposed to not arguing in good faith. I always argue in good faith. But your style of name calling because you disagree is the tactic of the left and so I naturally assumed you were a liberal.
    My comments are not changed because I assumed you were a liberal. I write and talk this way to everybody.
    Jorge, I am quite pleased that you will be voting for Rubio. I hope he wins.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Janet,

      Re-read my article. I did not say that anyone who disagrees with me on the issue is a homophobe. I wrote that there were homophobic remarks in certain entries on Babalu, PLUS the anti-gay marriage stance. Combined, I concluded that this contributes to the deprivation of human rights of LGBT individuals. I commented on issues, not the personal characteristics of the authors.

      I’ll also note that just the other day, George Moneo stated this to a commenter on Babalu : “You are a blithering idiot and a fool. Morons like you are the reason we have a Marxist in the White House today.”

    • bjohns15 Says:

      As to my political affiliation, I make a conscience effort to not align myself with being liberal or conservative.

      I let my arguments speak for themselves. Far too often in the U.S., the alignment with liberal or conservative chills genuine debate on issues. As proof of this, most of the readers that disagree with me do not engage in any genuine debate past conclusory statements.

  8. Jorge Says:

    Well, I se this in two areas. Civil and religious. The catholic and christian founders were smart. Give to Caesar what is of Ceasar and give to God what is of God.” So, the civil laws are separate from the religiuos beliefs. Marriage is a contract, made merely for financial reasons ie to keep property, inheretances and so on. That is why we have a civil marriage and a religious marriage. When we divorce, the judge is who determines the costudy and the alimony, not the parish priest.

    So if for religius reasons you are against same sex marriage, them is a personal view with no legal basis. Same sex marriage wil be decided in the polls and by the law.

    The constitution says we all are entitled to be happy and does not mentions sexual behaviuor.

    Well, at the end in the 1960´s we came to te conclusion that blacks had the same rights as whites under the constitution, therefore, most probably it wil be the same for same sex marriage´s.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Jorge,

      You are right when you say: “therefore, most probably it wil be the same for same sex marriages.” If it is not decided by the Supreme Court, I believe that the younger generation of Americans are more in agreement with same-sex marriage than the older. Thus, it’s just a matter of time, hopefully.

  9. George Says:

    Here we are a few months later, and the racist and homophobic comments at Babalu continue apace.

    http://babalublog.com/2010/07/love-is-a-many-splendored-thing/#comments

    Henry Agueros
    July 5th, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Actually, the Roman Catholic “leaders” in Cuba And the Castro Dictatorship have had a “room” for many years now. Its an open secret that after Raul gets his “full” of his latest body guards who are mostly “BIG” Afro-Cuban men…..he passes them on the to the good Bishop of La Habana.

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