Sexuality & Gender Equality in Asgardia

As the first space nation, Asgardia stands as the vanguard for humanity’s first foray into creating a civilization among the stars. Asgardia stands for unity and we welcome everyone, from any country and background. It’s written directly into the Asgardia Constitution that:

“All citizens of Asgardia are equal, irrespective of their Earthly country of origin, residence, citizenship, race, nationality, gender, religion, language, financial standing, or any other attribute.”

If you wish to become a citizen of Asgardia, you simply need to accept to the Declaration and abide by the Constitution and legislation of Asgardia. Everyone is welcome.

We are determined that Asgardia will rise above Earthly politics and divides. However, this does not mean that we can forget humanity’s history of prejudices and injustices towards minority groups. In order to live up to the ideals on which our nation is being built, it’s essential that we listen to all voices in Asgardia, especially those of minorities, so all points of view are heard without being drowned out by the majority. This is one of the main reasons why the petition system in Asgardia is a key mechanism of change and communication.

Recently, a petition regarding sexual and gender equality in Asgardia has passed moderation and has been posted to be voted upon by our citizens. So far, the resulting debate has been polarized, to say the least.

The Petition System of Asgardia

Any citizen of Asgardia over the age of 18 can start a petition. To do so, you must include your actual name and a recognizable photo to confirm your identity. The petition itself must clearly advocate your position and direct the petition to the relevant government departments or officials. If the petition passes moderation, it will be posted and given 60 days to garner 1,000 signatures. Once the petition reaches that mark, it will then be sent to the relevant government branch.

If a petition does not pass moderation, the creator will be allowed to rework it, fix any issues, and resubmit. If the petition does not reach 1,000 signatures, it will be closed and deleted from the petitions page.

The Petition in Question: Inclusion of Sexuality and Gender Equality (S.A.G.E.) Citizens in Asgardian Law

Here is the link to the petition that has generated this debate, submitted by Asgardian citizen Scuro Acheson:

https://asgardia.space/en/petitions/27474-inclusion-of-sexuality-and-gender-equality-sage-citizens-in-asgardian-law/

We encourage all citizens and Asgardia to read and vote on it. In summation, it’s a petition requesting the recognition of alternative gender and sexual identities in the laws and reforms of Asgardia.

The first part of the petition is a suggestion to replace the Earth-bound and constantly expanding “LGBTQ+” acronym with the more inclusive “Sexuality and Gender Equality” or S.A.G.E. This acronym would encompass all peoples of any gender or sexuality identity.

The second part of the petition is a request to have S.A.G.E. members included in future bills and budgets and to have S.A.G.E. community members included in the definition of “people” in Asgardia, without question.

The Response

Thus far, this discussion (originally initiated in the Asgardia General Official Facebook group) and the ensuing petition has generated some of the most passionate debate across all of the Asgardian communication platforms. Although there has been significant support for the petition, there have also been a number of responses from citizens who wish to leave behind Earth’s historical prejudices regarding minorities, stating that the Asgardia Constitution guarantees the rights of ALL people. From the point of view of the opposing group, they feel that Asgardia already automatically includes anyone of any alternative gender or sexuality. As a result, they believe that the petition is therefore unnecessary and is intentionally creating a divide between people. The general belief expressed has been, “We either have minorities, or we are all equal. You can’t have both.”

Although there have been some violations of Asgardian community standards in this conversation (specifically those about antisocial behaviour including discrimination, personal attacks, lack of respect, trolling/bullying, and harassment), the conversation on the whole has been a respectful exchange of views. The Asgardia administration in no way wishes to shut this conversation down, as we believe that it’s a valuable debate to have.

As we are only a few days into the life of this petition, we suspect the debate will continue into the future, and probably long past when the petition has either been successful or not in gathering the 1,000 signatures.

The Asgardia Constitution

Although equality of all people is at the very heart of Asgardia and our Constitution, it’s important to remember that similar language has been used by other nations in the past. The national motto of France is, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, or “liberty, equality, fraternity”. In the United States of America, the words, “All men are created equal” appear in the Declaration of Independence. These high-minded ideals have provided the very backbone of these nations’ character, however the meaning of the words has often been lost and forgotten, shoved aside by base prejudice and intolerance of minority groups of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and a wide range of other factors.

Without certain protections being put into place, without the voices of minority groups being heard, their points-of-view and needs can be drowned out by the majority. The petition in question is requesting recognition of the LGBTQ+ (or, if approved, the S.A.G.E.) community in the laws and reforms of Asgardia. It’s not demanding special treatment and it’s not demanding extra rights and privileges, it’s simply a declaration of “we exist”.

As this petition has only been up for a short while, it has not yet received the prerequisite number of signatures necessary to have it move forward to the appropriate branches of the Asgardia government. If it does, it could result in legislation passed by the Parliament or even a nationwide referendum. It’s important to recognize that petitions such as this are mechanisms of change, but cannot result in changes in isolation.

The tone of some of the debate aside, the reaction to this petition demonstrates exactly what we hoped the petition system would do in Asgardia. The passionate exchange of ideas and viewpoints on Facebook, our forums, and the petition itself shows how effective this mechanism of change can be. Filing a petition is your fundamental right as an Asgardian, and Asgardia citizens are using this petition system in the exact way it was meant to be used: to advocate for change and increase the level of communication between all people in our nation.

Please do sign the constitution and become an Asgardian today and vote on the petition in question.

Of course, there are other ways to make your voice heard in Asgardia. You can follow Asgardia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ to join in the conversation and keep up-to-date about Asgardian news and announcements. You should also check out the official Asgardia Forums where you will find even more passionate debate. Remember, every citizen of Asgardia deserves to have their voice heard and the petition system will remain in place to guarantee that right!

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