This is a short essay by a friend of mine. He has my full support, as does his cause. The right to choose one’s sexual orientation needs support and protection, no less so than other individual rights.

Tibor R. Machan

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Dear friends,
I would like to ask you for your support for a worthy cause I very much care about.
In Bangladesh, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people encounter extensive prejudice, discrimination, and violence because of their sexual orientation. Many face discrimination at school, university, and their workplace, are denied access to health care & justice and find little support from family members & friends. Section 377 of the
Bangladesh Penal Code, a colonial law enacted in 1860 and left behind by the British Empire, makes same-sex intercourse a crime punishable by imprisonment for life. I described the impact this hostile environment has on the daily lives of LGB people in Bangladesh in a short article published about a year ago:

http://opinion.bdnews24.com/2012/01/24/bangladesh%E2%80%99s-invisible-minority/.

I’m a member of the Bangladesh Liberal Forum (BLF), a group of loosely associated activists dedicated to the promotion of liberal values in Bangladesh. We recently joined our forces with the Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS, http://www.bandhu-bd.org/) and Boys of Bangladesh (BoB, http://www.boysofbangladesh.org/) in order to combat homophobia in Bangladesh. We believe in the power of education to change the world and consequently created a brochure that we intend to
use to educate people about psychological, legal, and moral issues pertaining to sexual orientation. We will distribute this brochure at workshops and conferences, at universities and to NGOs and government offices in Bangladesh. We will start distributing next month when BSWS will hold workshops about the rights of sexual minorities with students of two universities in Dhaka (ULAB and ASA).

I would like to invite you to support us in our struggle against homophobia in Bangladesh and help us cover the printing cost. We just ordered 5,000 copies of the English version of our brochure (which you can find here: <
http://rainerebert.com What_You_Should_Know_About_Homosexuality.pdf >)
for 350 USD, and we will order a larger number of copies of the Bengali version once the translation is completed. There is no administrative cost, so every dollar you give will be used to cover printing cost, and to educate people about this important issue. Your donation may be in the form of cash or check. Please mail checks to me at 8803 Timberside Dr, Apt 2, Houston, TX 77025. If you are in
Germany, the easiest way to give is by bank transfer (Ɯberweisung an Rainer Ebert, Kontonummer: 54761000, BLZ: 61491010, VR-Bank Elwangen, Verwendungszweck: LGB Bangladesh). If you are in Bangladesh, please contact me.

Thank you for your consideration and support. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes

Rainer

P.S.: I plan to thank supporters at
https://www.facebook.com/LGBT.Bangladesh – if you’d like to stay anonymous, please say so.

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Department of Philosophy
Rice University
6100 Main St, MS 14
Houston, TX 77005

United States of America