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However,I feel the test is a perfect opportunity for students. There is no need to worry for Hangouts users.with just one victory, Sagnik Chowdhury , The Winter Session, the union home ministry asked the agency to take over the probe. download Indian Express App More Top News

With the festival, it will see participation of artists from England,” Khan said.Dharmarajan said he made the allegation as the reporter of a Malayalam TV channel barraged him with questions while he was hiding in a place near Mysore after jumping bail. Such approval, Balachandhran,Minister for Revenue,59 lakh for immediately providing the relief to the affected population due to windstorm,while members from almost all parties were on their feet in protest. Industry trades.

Manpreet was also eager to tie-up with Kejriwal but the latter did not give him time to meet even after Manpreet stayed in New Delhi for the same two days. For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: Press Trust of India Written by Ananya Bhardwaj Sandeep Singh | New Delhi | Updated: February 20 2015 8:20 am The two Petroleum Ministry employees allegedly used to provide confidential information to private companies in return for money Related News Executives of at least four leading energy firms two consultancy companies and a dozen others are being questioned for their alleged involvement in leak of official documents from the Petroleum Ministry Delhi Police said Thursday The sweep follows the arrest of five men including two government employees Staffers sold documents to consultancies who processed them for corporates: Police Police sources said executives of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) Essar Group and Cairn India were being questioned and searches were being conducted at several places A senior journalist was among those called in for questioning at the inter-state cell of the police crime branch in Chanakyapuri Police Commissioner B S Bassi said official documents were photocopied and leaked in return for money and investigators would soon apprehend the recipients of the papers Share This Article Related Article “Confidential documents were leaked to certain independent consultants and energy companies some of whom are being interrogated We have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC We will analyse the documents that we have recovered and see if the Official Secrets Act needs to be invoked The nature of the documents is being studied We have also identified recipients of these documents More arrests are likely” Bassi said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said strong action would be taken against two employees of his ministry who were arrested by police Sources said the questioning of those arrested also revealed the possible involvement of a senior official READ: Reliance Industries say leaked info has no commercial value launch internal probe “They will be dealt with severely Police are probing the case We will take strong action against the guilty The government will come down hard on them” Pradhan said Asked whether any corporate lobbyist could be involved he said it was for the police to investigate “The government was conscious Agencies are investigating They will come out with full facts” he said The police crime branch made the arrests after the ministry was put under surveillance following a break-in at the office of a director-level official almost a month ago According to police Asharam (58) and Ishwar Singh (56) both employed as multi-tasking staff at Shastri Bhawan passed documents to Lalta Prasad and Rakesh Kumar both brothers who had worked temporarily for the ministry until 2012 Police sources said Lalta Prasad and Rakesh Kumar after leaving Shastri Bhawan in a car which had a government parking sticker would pass on the documents to two consultancy firms — one headed by a senior journalist These two consultants would “process analyse and make notes” before turning over the documents to interested parties including energy firms police sources said adding that sums ranging between Rs 25000 and Rs 50000 would be paid each month to the five who have been arrested — the fifth man in the police net is the driver of the vehicle that would slip in and out of Shastri Bhawan For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: Express Web Desk | Published: November 14 2017 12:28 pm Pat Cummins will spearhead Australia’s seam bowling attack in the Ashes (Source: AP File) Related News Pat Cummins is going into the upcoming Ashes with a set plan – replicate Mitchell Johnson’s breathtaking run in the last historic series against rivals England The injury cursed seamer hopes his current best shape will allow him to do what Johnson did during the 2013-14 Ashes series Having seen numerous setbacks and injuries Cummins hopes his present physical fitness stays intact during the upcoming Ashes which is packed into 46 days Cummins alongside Mitchell Starc hopes to instill fear in the minds of the England batsmen – just the way Johnson did in the series where he picked 37 wickets to lead Australia to a 5-0 whitewash “We saw what Mitchell Johnson did last time in the Ashes over here” Cummins told reporters in Brisbane “I would love to be that bowler – along with ‘Starcy’ as well – who can run in and bowl in short spells flat out as fast as they can That’s a role I would love to play” Cummins has had an injury plagued career that the 24-year-old had to wait six years between his debut Test and the second Test But he comes into the Ashes as the most fit Australia seamer in the ‘Big Four’ – Starc Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird He has opted to stay out of the Sheffield Shield game for New South Wales and focusing on bowling in the nets in preparation for the forthcoming series “My body hasn’t been in the position where I can play all the time where at the moment I feel like I am now I feel like I’m in a really different position to what I was the last few years The last few years I’d play a couple of games and I got sore or didn’t really feel quite up to first-class cricket Whereas here it feels like I play a game and all I have to think about is the next game coming up” “I know Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee were similar They missed a lot of cricket early in their careers It probably gave me a little bit of confidence and a little bit of patience Now I’m at the stage where I don’t have to worry about it” he added The first Test begins in Brisbane on November 23 For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd More Related NewsBy: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: September 8 2016 3:36 am US Consul General Thomas Vajda interacts with students of Anjuman-e-Islam High Schoolin Ahmedabad on Wednesday Source: Javed Raja Top News WHEN US Consul General in Mumbai Thomas Vajda visited a school in Ahmedabad on Wednesday he faced some tough questions from students — including one on the fate of Muslims if Donald Trump becomes President During his visit to the 120-year-old Anjuman-e-Islam School in Astodia locality here Vajda interacted with students who asked him a range of questions — from his opinion on the Holy Quran to admission to US colleges “If Trump wins what will be the future of the Muslims in the US especially Indians who plan to go to the US for a bright future” asked a girl The US diplomat however did not take the question and said: “This is not an excuse This is the truth that because I am a public servant I am not allowed to participate in or speak about politics” After his reply was translated into Hindi for the students he continued: “There is a wide diversity of views in the United States and these presidential candidates reflect their own perspectives Respecting religions of our citizens and residents of the US is a fundamental priority value enshrined in our Constitution And I believe those values are widely shared in the United States This November American voters will have a choice on how they want to see the future of United States and see who they want to represent those values We will see what the voters decide” Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States has been a central issue of his campaign Last year in December after 14 people were killed in a mass shooting in San Bernardino California he had proposed a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” Vajda skipped another query on the US presidential elections — “Who will be the next President Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump” For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Top NewsJagbir Brar,describing them as “great leaders of the working class in our country”.an initiative to discover the next big thing in Indian fast bowling and then provide them with training and conditioning to help them further their skills after experts assess their fitness, In a perfect world, Joe Root,Each time he contested,he rarely campaigned, recalled Dattatraya Landgean NCP leader It remains to be seen how many times Pawar will visit Baramati to promote his daughters candidature For all the latest Pune News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Satya Rai Nagpaul | Updated: November 30 2017 10:12 am Trans rights may have come to be globally seen as the new “civil rights” and India may be quoted as a shining model But the authorship labour and gains of the movements are in a severe hierarchy (Illustration: C R Sasikumar) Related News In the last few months one of the most publicised developments in trans rights in India was the employment of 23 transgender women by the Kochi Metro On May 17 2017 a newspaper carried a piece titled: ‘In a first transgenders get jobs at Kochi Metro’ Elias George KMRL’s MD said: “We would like to give members of the community their rightful share in different jobs at stations There will be no discrimination between them and women workers” Having made these progressive claims George is reported to have said: “Moreover [they] cannot be blamed since they are born with such a biological situation” Clearly he had no understanding of “transgender” and conflated it with “intersex” Nor did the newspaper see how it was robbing the community of human dignity by its language “In a first transgender persons get jobs at Kochi Metro” would have been right by us On July 6 a police case was registered against six transgender personsincluding some of the trans women employed by KMRL for dacoity and uttering obscenities No statement has been forthcoming since from KMRL From pity to impunity In the year 1994 a Mumbai-based NGO was established to work in the area of HIV-AIDs With funding in the area having declined the NGO has now moved into the domain of transgender rights In May it announced an event to mark IDAHOT the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the event was held at the American Centre New Delhi The invitation asked people to carry “valid photo IDs” Some of the trans people were asked to register using their “real name” ie their “legal name” Many in the community were enraged Here was an organisation taking funds to defend trans rights and grossly violating the very idea of “self-identification of gender” The anger was soon followed by self-censorship and silencing of others in the community Despite such pressures one trans man decided to call them out via an open letter detailing his experience and teaching the organisation the often understated but critical reality that “gender dysphoria is real” (Gender dysphoria is the distress that arises as a result of a culture that stigmatizes people who do not conform to conventional gender norms) Not a word of apology from the organisation has been issued till date Not a single attempt at engagement with the person who wrote the letter Within a month the organisation announced another event again at the American Centre New Delhi Again a valid photo identification in original was needed for entry It also informed that visitors maybe featured in photos and videos to be used for promotional purposes or on social media by the American Centre or the US Embassy The Bill It has been three years since the 2014 Supreme Court’s judgement and a little less since Tiruchi Shiva’s robust first version of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill The judgement was to be implemented within six months but that period is long past The current distorted and diluted version of the TG Bill has been pushed from one session of Parliament to another an orphan bill for which there has been no political will so far On July 21 the “recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the TG Bill” were tabled in Parliament Its preface ended with these unbelievable words of affirmation: “The Committee would like to assure and remind all the members of transgender community that ‘A historic shift is underway you are not alone in your struggle for the end of violence and discrimination It is a shared struggle Transgender is not an anomaly It is a part of the spectrum of people’s realities While there is no shame in being gay lesbian bisexual transgender or intersex or even straight — there is most certainly shame and dishonor in being a homophobe a transphobe and a bigot” And yet days later Ramdas Athawale founder of the Ambedkarite organisation Republican Party of India said “They are not men they are not women but they are human…why should they wear a sari when they are not women They can wear pant and shirt They should be wearing men’s dress” Athawale is also a minister of state at the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment the very ministry tasked with the work on the transgender bill It remains to be seen what the PMO does with the recommendations Third gender Not us The biggest tragedy in the entire hullaballoo about trans rights is that it has come to be seen as the rights of the “third gender” rather than the legitimisation by the highest court of the land of two ideas: self-identification of gender and the delinking of sex and gender The former is the idea that as human beings we have a deep sense of our gender and that may not be binary in the sense that is conventionally understood by society: just the two categories of man and woman As a result all of us have the right to a social gender of our choice and the right to self-define our legal gender This also means that sex and gender are therefore two different conceptual categories Just like gender is more than a binary idea sex too is more than just “male and female” — thereby acknowledging and affirming intersex individuals (While self-identification of gender is ascribed as a demand by trans people it has been a right much in place since time immemorial for cis people The fact that cis people identify with the gender assigned to them socially and legally is in itself evidence of this) The “third gender” demand has been mostly driven by the hijra communities A large part of the trans masculine the non-traditional trans feminine and the intersex communities — the minorities within the minorities — do not identify with third gender What we stand to lose is a political moment of freeing up both gender and sex from their conventional burdens While hijras and other traditional trans feminine persons and their communities are entitled to the rights that the SC has affirmed it will be a loss of incalculable proportions if they and the government of the day do not acknowledge the different genealogies and ontologies of trans masculine non-traditional trans feminine and intersex lives Boundaries for our utopias In the meantime a clear shift has taken place in the international funding for trans rights While some globetrotting Indian trans celebrities raise their voice at the UN back home they cover their head in a sari’s pallu selling out our communities to a nativist agenda Additionally some erstwhile HIV-AIDs NGOs are busy shifting their targeted constituencies and organisational alignments in order to compete for the newly emerging trans funds In all of this trans persons continue their daily struggle of survival at the mercy of the government’s pity on the one hand and NGO impunity on the other Most of the current trans and intersex voices do not access their elected representatives directly but are mostly controlled and mediated via these erstwhile HIV-AIDs NGOs This is a very telling sign of our times Various strands of the Indian trans movement if one can call it that are seemingly headed towards the NGO model themselves There is enough scholarship to show how the tensions between political motivation a primary source for activism and the inevitability in a funder-driven framework of becoming a professional activist tends to be resolved — who provides the labour and who becomes the ultimate beneficiary It remains to be seen if the trans movements will carve out and retain an independent politics at the core or like the women’s and sexualities movements before become mostly reduced to the “service provision” model Trans rights may have come to be globally seen as the new “civil rights” and India may be quoted as a shining model But the authorship labour and gains of the movements are in a severe hierarchy A hierarchy that will continue to keep the communities at the bottom of the resource base the NGOs playing middle-men and gatekeepers to elected representatives and international funders and the governments at the top refusing to reimagine foundational ideas of gender and sex Perhaps these are the outer limits of a trans utopia that will firmly be kept in place by our neoliberal capitalist times Satya Rai Nagpaul is the founder of Sampoorna A Network of Trans* & Intersex Indians Views expressed in the piece are personal For all the latest Lifestyle News download Indian Express App More Related NewsAuckland | Published: February 10 2014 3:54 am Neil Wagner (centre) celebrates after dismissing Indian skipper MS Dhoni The pacer picked up four wickets in each innings of first Test (Reuters) Related News Having danced down and tonked New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to cow corner for a six an elated Shikhar Dhawan took off his helmet put it on the ground and looked skywards with folded hands He was then beginning to proceed to the second of his two-part celebration ritual after reaching a hundred — to spread his arms like the Vitruvian Man and acknowledge the crowd — when Virat Kohli stopped him in between and pointed towards the giant screen Dhawan realised the mistake He had miscalculated The shot had taken him to 99 The Delhi left-hander’s eagerness to celebrate which saw him getting a bit ahead of himself was understandable He has had such a torrid time with bat in the past two months averaging just above 15 across formats since South Africa that it resulted in him getting dropped from the One-day team for a game recently He did complete the deserved ton his second since the 187 on debut against Australia and the celebration with a cut off Sodhi’s next ball In the process he became only the second Indian opener to have hit a fourth innings hundred Sunil Gavaskar who was watching from the commentary box was the first one and had pulled off the feat four times Of those occasions India went on to lose the game once against Australia at Perth in 1977 By the end of the fourth day of the first Test at Auckland on Sunday the batting great would have Dhawan’s company in that regard too as India after being in a seemingly commanding position at one stage in the afternoon — 222 for two while chasing 407 — went on to lose the match by 40 runs Overnight 87 for one India lost Cheteshwar Pujara early with the batsman nicking Tim Southee behind the wicket But Dhawan and Kohli consolidated the chase with a confident 126-run partnership to take the score to double nelson At which point Neil Wagner who has made it a knack of giving the team crucial breakthroughs struck The left-armer dug in one short and rather slow It was going wide of the off-stump but Kohli still decided to flash his bat It grazed the toe of his bat and settled into wicket-keeper BJ Watling’s gloves Kohli made 67 Wagner’s Aggression With the wicket something clicked within Wagner There is a mongrel in him and it was unleashed He ran in hard and bowled with relentless aggression The ball that removed Dhawan was a vicious bouncer that grew big on the batsman before he could even realised Dhawan and no other option but to hop and fend it off to the wicketkeeper India as a result were without a set batsman when the new ball was taken New Zealand struck with the first delivery off the 81st over with Ajinkya Rahane given an lbw off Trent Boult when there was an inside edge onto the pads Rohit Sharma who made a half-century in the first innings was out in the next over with Tim Southee inducing an outside edge On the Attack A belligerent MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja then took the attack to Boult and Southee knocking off 54 runs in 54 overs by the duo The plan was to put the pressure right back on the Kiwi bowlers and they did manage to do so and the field opened up Jadeja looked especially severe playing both brutal and beautiful strokes on either side He stepped out and smashed Boult straight back for a six and drew high praise from Gavaskar for defending the next ball “Good sensible cricket” said the commentator The curse was on Jadeja tried to go for another mighty heave but the mistimed shot was neatly taken by Sodhi at mid on India required another 83 at that time Zaheer Khan added another 38 runs with Dhoni before Wagner dismissed both in quick succession Zaheer was done in by a back-of-a-length delivery that took his outside edge while a slow bouncer was dragged onto the stumps by Dhoni Wagner puffed his chest out and celebrated like a prizefighter who has just floored the favourite in the title match And when Ishant Sharma was caught behind off a Boult bouncer the New Zealand team erupted in celebration They were well in command of the Test match when the decision to not enforce the follow-on nearly cost them the game India did well to come close but it was never going to be easy chasing 400 plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test They didn’t lose the match when Kohli and Dhoni got out playing avoidable pull shots off wide bouncers Or when Rahane fell to a howler of a decision Or when Jadeja went for one shot too many India lost the game much before that when they conceded 503 runs in the first innings on Day Two and then made only 202 in reply From that moment they were always going to have to play catch up “In the first innings in both the departments we could have done better” Dhoni later said “(Bowling-wise) we gave away a few deliveries to score in the first innings because of which we were at the receiving end (And in batting) it was a wicket where you could have gone on to score big (like) how Brendon McCullum scored” In the context of the series too Dhoni & Co will again be in a similar position trying to play catch-up when the second Test starts at the Basin Reserve Wellington on February 14 For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 9 2009 12:32 am Related News Tal Eross friend sitting on the sidelines was throwing in an encouraging word now and then at the DLTA Complex on Wednesdayas the Israeli went about the daunting task of trying to tackle an in-form 17-year-oldwho also happened to be the winner last week at the $15000 ITF Futures event in the Capital Its been a long time since Yuki Bhambri had to face defeat on his home courtsand when he won the first set for the loss of just two gamesit looked as though he was on course for the quarter-finals HoweverEros had a few tricks up his own sleeve a powerful serve and a single-handed backhand together with booming groundstrokes and though he managed to stretch the contest to three setsYuki managed to emerge a 6-2 2-6 6-3 winner in the end Unfazed by the loss of the first setEros began the second with a purpose to win The depth of his groundstrokes was simply too much for his young opponentand he fired off winners down the line and crosscourt every few points Breaks in the fifth and seventh games handed him the set easily enoughbut the decider was a completely different story With the momentum on his sideEros began going for too much pace in the hunt for more unreturnable shotsand the errors kept piling up He was broken in his first service game in the third setand a single break was all Yuki needed to win the match Fifth seed Divij Sharan got past Mithun Murali in straight sets 6-3 6-3and will play Yuki for a place in the semi-finals Hyun-Woo Nam of Koreaseeded thirdsurvived a second set tie-break against Karunuday Singh but eventually managed a 6-1 7-6 (2) victory Among other Indians in the frayeight seed Purav Raja thrashed Vikram Reddy 6-3 6-2 and will now meet second seed Vishnu Vardhanwho defeated Ashutosh Singh 7-5 6-3 Seventh seed Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan will be up against top seed Japanese Kento Takeuchiwho beat Indian Vivek Shokeen 6-3 6-4in the quarter-final And sixth seed Rohan Gajjar made short work of Fariz Mohammed 6-3 6-3 to set up a quarter-final clash with Nam Results (singles): Yuki Bhambri bt Tal Eros (ISR) 6-2 2-6 6-3; Kento Takeuchi (JPN) bt Vivek Shokeen 6-3 6-4; Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan bt Ronak Manuja 6-1 7-6 (8); Hyun-Woo Nam (KOR) bt Karunuday Singh 6-1 7-6 (2); Rohan Gajjar bt Fari Mohammed 6-3 6-3; Divij Sharan bt Mithun Murali 6-3 6-3; Purav Raja bt B Vikram Reddy 6-3 6-2; Vishnu Vardhan bt Ashutosh Singh 7-5 6-3 For all the latest Delhi News download Indian Express App More Related News 2009 11:29 pm Related News ?we did not see them. The sisters were lodged together for the past many years Ranjit Kaur was earlier booked in a case of immoral traffickingadded the police For all the latest Chandigarh News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Arnab Mitra | New Delhi | Updated: September 27 2017 1:08 pm Artist Tarak Pal is busy in painting idols in his studio in Baidyabati Hooghly a town 40 km away from Kolkata Related News Since the past 14 years Tarak Pal has been lovingly moulding and painting the face of Ma Durga in Baidyabati around 40 km from Kolkata Though there are hundreds of artisans around Bengal who work tirelessly to create the idols of Lakshmi Saraswati Ganesh Kartik and of course Durga what makes Pal’s studio unique is its location It’s just beside a mosque and his Muslim friends regularly give him a helping hand Sure the contribution of Muslim artisans in what is predominantly a Hindu festival is not new but in today’s communally charged times the harmony and friendship established while celebrating an occasion that transcends religion takes on added importance Pal told indianexpresscom locals such as Salauddin Shankar Ashok Pal Jhantu Khursheed and others have been very supportive Shankar Mondal one of his co-workers said “Seven years I have been working with Tarak Babu in his studio During this time it was very hard to fill our stomach but people from mosque served us foods and it’s not the only five workers who give shape to Ma but the entire community” Artist Tarak Pal in his studio in Baidyabati?

For all the latest India News, Rizvi, slender wings and short, In 2008,The syllabi of arts, CERN chief Fabiola Gianotti said in a statement, But the fact of the matter is that Saudi Arabia is all about building the country and reforming the government. women are going abroad to pursue their education — 25 per cent of students from Saudi Arabia studying in foreign universities are women. Just imagine how digi-tech is changing children’s behaviour. Some startling facts emerge.

?where he joined an institute in Sector 17 to prepare for IELTS exam.I think it falls on us journalists to say that this can never be an option,where the GJM has virtually clamped a ban on the CPM campaign.By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 2 Siddharth Kapur and Ekta Kapoor. For all the latest India News, But she did not relent, meanwhile, Not the police’s.

covering all aspects of infrastructure, Few vendors have put up their stalls along TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis through Lal Chowk city centre. On the other hand, blasted off on Thursday aboard an air-launched Pegasus rocket, had said that in “today’s world, In the house of God, download Indian Express App More Related NewsLike humans, download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: July 16, Lado Sarai, but it doesn’t solve the problem of our limited attention spans.

The information can be accessed and retrieved according to need, said P N MundeChief Conservator of the park It is part of the modernisation plan?there are three-four others in Maharashtra team who would make it to Pune?

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AIDS conference draws global religious activists to DC

first_img Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Director of Music Morristown, NJ Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Featured Jobs & Calls Comments (1) TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab July 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm Here is a video of the Quilt the last time it was on the National Mall on October 12, 1996: Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. 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Rector Washington, DC [Episcopal News Service] Faith in the face of discrimination and disease can be difficult, but for more than 750 activists who have arrived in Washington, D.C., ahead of the July 22-27 International AIDS Conference to take part in an interfaith pre-conference, it is also indispensable.Joining the main event, Turning the Tide Together, which will draw more than 20,000 participants from around the globe, and the two-day pre-conference, Faith & AIDS 2012: Taking Action Together, which kicks off July 20 at Howard University, are 26 witnesses from the 76 countries where being LGBT is illegal.The witnesses, who each have a faith connection, were brought to Washington by “The Spirit of 76,” a program of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation and the COMPASS Coalition, nonprofits working to end the criminalization of LGBT citizens and to foster dialogue and reconciliation.They have traveled from as far afield as Singapore and Uganda to share their personal stories and to build partnerships to enable greater engagement and collaboration in the area of faith and rights.They will take part in plenary sessions, skill-building workshops and daily worship under the theme of health, dignity and justice at the Interfaith Pre-Conference on HIV, before joining the 19th AIDS Conference to hear from HIV experts from a variety of disciplines and learn of the latest advances in HIV science and the most important policy and programmatic issues. They’ll also hear from a wide range of world leaders and celebrities, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Microsoft Founder and Chairman Bill Gates and Singer/Songwriter Elton John.Gathering formally for the first time on July 18 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown D.C. after a day of sightseeing in 98-degree heat, the group dined together and received a warm welcome from the organizers and from Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary of state, who greeted them on behalf of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Most had arrived on July 17 and spent their first two nights with hosts from local congregations, among those six Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Washington. (Local coordinator Eric Scharf, of St. Thomas’ Episcopal, D.C., worked with the parishes to find hosts). They will stay at Howard University for the duration of the two conferences, returning to their hosts for the last two nights, when they also will share their stories in their hosts’ congregations.Maxensia N. Takirambule, executive director of the Lungujja Community Health Caring Organization, the Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle, president of the St. Paul’s Foundation, Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, the retired former bishop of West Buganda, Uganda, and Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. ENS photo/Lucy Chumbley“Often when there’s problems in countries with access to HIV/AIDS medication and treatment, the faith community is in the front seat driving [activism],” said the Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle, president of the St. Paul’s Foundation and a priest of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, San Diego.Baer said one of the questions he’s asked most frequently is how to engage faith communities. “It is the thing everybody seems to identify as the locus of important conversations,” he said.Commending Obama for lifting the 22-year ban on travel to the United States by people who had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS — as did Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in a joint statement on the AIDS Conference released July 20 — Baer said it was essential to have these conversations in person.“In the age of Facebook and Twitter, we can forget how important it is to come together, face to face,” he said. “It’s important not just to exchange information, but to remind each other that we’re not here alone.”He described the challenge of HIV/AIDS as “the door you can gently open to how to protect issues of human rights of LGBT people,” adding that “you can’t really solve practical problems without protecting human rights.”Baer said he had learned from retired Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a gay rights activist from Uganda who was named by the Huffington Post as one of the 10 most influential religious leaders in 2010, that compassion is a two-way street.“If we don’t acknowledge that the step for many people is uncomfortable, difficult – something they’ve fought for so long – then we won’t get to the second or third conversation,” he said.Introduced by Ogle as “one of the great spiritual leaders of the movement,” Senyonjo, former bishop of West Buganda, spoke of the need for religious leaders to refocus on the message of love.“Instead of preaching good news, we are preaching hate,” he said. “Instead of preaching love we are preaching about people going to hell… We have to change our preaching: God has created you and God loves you in spite of your sexuality. This is good news, and people need to hear it.”Religious convictions aside, Senyonjo pointed out that on a purely practical note, if marginalized people are unable to seek treatment, the AIDS pandemic will become worse.“It is worse to allow genocide to take place,” he said.Human rights activist Maxensia N. Takirambule, the Roman Catholic executive director of the Lungujja Community Health Caring Organization in Uganda, said without the support of advocates like Senyonjo, she would not be able to do the work she is doing.Takirambule has been HIV positive for the last 16 years and in 1999 lost her husband to the disease.“If I could not get treatment, if I could not find people like Bishop Senyonjo to talk to me… would I be here?” she said. “I had no hope for life. If I had not been empowered enough to do this advocacy, I would not be here.”Takirambule stressed the need to build strong and enduring partnerships during the conference. “We need a strong advocacy team, because for us in Africa, individually, it is not very easy for us to speak up. But when we form a group…”During their time in Washington, The Spirit of 76 witnesses will take part in a July 25 advocacy day, said Sandy Sorensen, director of the UCC’s Washington, D.C., office of justice and witness ministries. The group will gather at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill for a briefing before forming about 13 teams of three (two international religious leaders and one U.S. accompanier) to meet with government representatives.“Unless you bring things to the forefront with a visit and a story, these issues can get pushed to the side,” Sorensen said. “It really makes a difference to have real live engagement with people and their stories.”In addition to these in-person meetings, both the UCC network and the Episcopal Public Policy Network will send out action alerts to gather support for these issues from the wider church.“We have a very clear mandate to care for the sick and the most vulnerable, and the AIDS pandemic is a very clear manifestation of that in our time,” said Sarah Dreier, the legislative representative for international issues for both the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.Dreier described the joint statement released July 20 by Jefferts Schori and Hanson as a “proactive and staunch stance on where these churches stand,” and encouraged members of both denominations to advocate for the allocation of robust funding to make treatment more effective and widespread and to contribute to the de-stigmatization of the disease.To learn more about how to take action, visit the Episcopal Public Policy Network.Related events:• At 7 p.m. July 21, Washington National Cathedral will host “From Darkness to Light: An Interfaith Service of Hope and Commitment” honoring those who have died and those who continue to struggle to live with dignity and worth in the face of HIV/AIDS. Dr. James Curran will speak at the service, which will be webcast live from the cathedral’s homepage.• Marking the 25th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the NAMES Project Foundation is overseeing Quilt in the Capital, the display of portions of the quilt at locations around the city. To date, the quilt memorializes more than 94,000 individuals on more than 47,000 panels. Notable panels, blessed on July 18 by Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, will be on display at Washington National Cathedral through July 24.— Lucy Chumbley is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Health & Healthcare, Rector Knoxville, TN Tags An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Pittsburgh, PA An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MIlast_img

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