Code of Conduct at events

Adrian Bunk bunk at
Thu Nov 11 19:25:10 UTC 2010

On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 01:56:55PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Adrian Bunk writes ("Re: Code of Conduct at events"):
> > 1. What if the code of conduct conflicts with the law?
> > 
> > Sounds strange, but Ian's proposal says "homophobia ... will not be 
> > tolerated".
> > 
> > What happens if a conference is in a country like Singapore or
> > Saudi Arabia where sex between men is illegal?
> > 
> > You cannot punish someone for reporting a major crime [1] to the police.
> Have you ever been at a party where people smoked cannabis ? [*]
> If I were at such a party and decided that I ought to call the police,
> I would expect that the host would throw me out and never invite me
> back.  I think no-one who heard about it would invite me at all any
> more.

A conference is different from a private party where the host is 
completely free to choose whom to invite and whom not.

And for making an even more extreme example:
When it annoys me when someone smokes cigarettes in a place where it's 
forbidden by law I have a very low threshold for calling the police.

> > [1] according to the local law, e.g. capital punishment in Saudi Arabia
> So, you are supposing a conference in Singapore, where two same-sex
> attendees who had been getting it on in their hotel room were reported
> to the police by another attendee and possibly executed ?

No, in Singapore they would only face up to 2 years in prison.

> I very much hope that this would result in the police's informant
> being completely ostracised from our community.  I would find it
> impossible to be civil to such a person.

If you like it or not, you have to adapt to the local laws - even the 
Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany left his boyfriend (who 
often travels with him on state visits) at home when doing a state visit 
in Saudi Arabia.

If you have sex with another man while on a conference in a country 
where that's illegal you are incredibly stupid.

And in the worst case people not reporting such an incident might also 
face prison sentences.

Don't blame the person who obeys the law.

If you want to avoid that, don't organise or attend conferences in 
countries where you dislike the local laws.

> Ian.



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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