Tag Archives: monkey

Argentina: Court grants orangutan basic rights

An orangutan that has lived 20 years at the Buenos Aires zoo is entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans, an Argentine court has ruled, a decision the ape’s attorney called unprecedented and a ticket to greater freedom.

The ruling comes a month after a local animal rights group filed a habeas corpus writ in favor of Sandra, who was born in Germany but has lived in captivity in Buenos Aires most of her life.

“Following a dynamic … judicial interpretation, it is necessary to recognize that the animal is subject to rights, and should be protected,” said theruling, published this week by the official judicial news agency.

Andres Gil Dominguez, who represented the orangutan, said the “unprecedented” ruling paves the way for the habeas corpus rights to be accepted by the courts and for Sandra to be released at a sanctuary.

{It sets a precedent that changes the paradigm of animal guardianship and will impact their rights. … It will lead to a lot of discussions,” Gil Dominguez told The Associated Press.

“From this ruling forward … the discussion will be whether captivity in itself damages their rights.”

Earlier this month, a New York appeals court ruled that a chimpanzee is not entitled to the rights of a human and does not have to be freed by its owner. The three-judge Appellate Division panel was unanimous in denying “legal personhood” to Tommy, who lives alone in a cage in upstate Fulton County.

A trial-level court had previously denied the Nonhuman Rights Project’s effort to have Tommy released. The group’s lawyer, Steven Wise, told the appeals court in October that the chimp’s living conditions are akin to a person in unlawful solitary confinement.

Wise argued that animals with human qualities, such as chimps, deserve basic rights, including freedom from imprisonment. He has also sought the release of three other chimps in New York and said he plans similar cases in other states. But the mid-level appeals court said there is neither precedent nor legal basis for treating animals as persons.

Tennessee pol ousted from restaurant over AIDS comment

A Tennessee Republican lawmaker was ousted from a Knoxville restaurant over comments he made on a satellite radio show about the origins of AIDS and how it’s transmitted.

Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville was interviewed late last week by Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of Huffington Gay Voices, on Signorile’s radio show on SiriusXM’s LGBT channel, OutQ, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Campfield told the newspaper that some of his comments were taken “out of context” in the story.

He added: “I’m not a historian on AIDS … but I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”

The subject of the radio interview was a proposal by Campfield, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would ban public schools from teaching about gay issues.

During the discussion, Campfield said HIV and AIDS originated from a man having sex with a monkey and that “it is virtually … impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”

In a Huffington Post story on the interview, Signorile describes Campfield as “comparing homosexuality to bestiality and making what public health officials would characterize as recklessly false assertions about AIDS.”

This afternoon HP reported that the owner of The Bistro at the Bijou in Knoxville asked Campfield to leave the restaurant over the weekend. “I hope that Stacy (sic) Campfield now knows what it feels like to be unfairly discriminated against,” restaurant owner Martha Boggs wrote on her Facebook page.

Later she said, “I didn’t want his hate in my restaurant.”

The Senate version of Campfield’s legislation passed last year. The companion has been delayed in a House subcommittee.

The measure limits all sexually related instruction to “natural human reproduction science” in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Campfield said it’s needed in part because homosexuality is more dangerous than heterosexuality and “there are people who want to glorify risky behavior in schools.”

Opponents of the legislation fear it would prevent teachers and others from speaking out against the bullying of gay teens.