Sen. Collins: Grenell ‘does not have’ experience to oversee intelligence

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Susan Collins, photo via Collins’ Facebook page.

A top member of the Senate Intelligence Committee from President Trump’s own party said Monday Richard Grenell, the gay official Trump tapped to oversee intelligence agencies, lacks the right experience for the role, according to Politico.

“I care deeply about that position and believe the person needs experience in the intelligence community which regrettably ambassador Grenell does not have,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was quoted as saying.

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US hosts homosexuality decriminalization event at UN

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Dec. 18, 2019. Photo via Twitter.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Wednesday hosted an event that highlighted efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations around the world.

A press advisory provided to the Washington Blade notes U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Knight Craft and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell hosted the event that took place alongside a U.N. Security Council meeting.

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Cyndi Lauper to receive UN honor

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Cyndi Lauper, photo via Lauper’s Facebook page.

LGBTQ ally and advocate Cyndi Lauper is about to add an award from the United Nations to her already long list of honors.

The Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning songwriter and performing artist will become the first-ever recipient of The High Note Global Prize, an award honoring and celebrating major recording artists for outstanding achievement in using their music and celebrity platform to advocate for social justice worldwide.

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UN LGBTQ rights watchdog talks visibility, global backlash

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the U.N.’s LGBTQ rights watchdog, speaks at the ILGALAC Regional Conference in Bogotá, Colombia, on Nov. 20, 2019. Photo courtesy of Alice Ochsenbein.

The U.N.’s LGBTQ rights watchdog on Wednesday acknowledged the increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people around the world has prompted a global backlash.

“Visibility is the key to acceptance, but of course visibility also comes with the risk of backlash,” said Victor Madrigal-Borloz during a telephone interview from the Colombian capital of Bogotá.

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Trump brings up global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality at UN

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump included in his speech before the United Nations on Sept. 24 his administration’s global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

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Research warns Indonesia gay bashing is fueling HIV epidemic

By : Wire Report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Disowned by his father and ill-equipped to deal with the stigma of HIV/AIDS, a young man who died in the central Indonesian city of Yogyakarta early this year had “effectively committed suicide” by stopping anti-viral medication, according to a doctor familiar with the case.

The 20-year-old man’s shocking death is a sign of an out-of-control but little acknowledged epidemic of HIV among gay men in Indonesia that researchers say is now being fueled by a gay hate climate whipped up by the country’s conservative political and religious leaders.

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Indonesia police arrest 58 in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

By : Wire Report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Dozens of men, including several foreigners, were arrested in a raid of a gay sauna in Indonesia’s capital, police said Oct. 8, as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face increased hostility in the world’s most-populous Muslim nation.

Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said the raid, which occurred Oct. 6 in downtown Jakarta, will lead to seven people being charged under Indonesia’s pornography law, including the sauna’s owner and staffers. They face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines.

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White House: Vote against UN death penalty resolution not about gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration is pushing back against criticism over its vote at the United Nations against a resolution repudiating the death penalty, saying the move wasn’t about the application of the punishment to same-sex relationships.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson said Tuesday the vote against the measure is consistent with other U.S. votes at the United Nations against the death penalty resolution in previous administrations.

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Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the arrests of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” she said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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Anti-LGBT activists part of U.S. delegation to UN women’s conference

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. delegation to an annual U.N. women’s conference includes two representatives of organizations that strongly oppose LGBT and intersex rights.

The State Department on Monday announced the delegation to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting — which began on the same day and will end on March 24 — includes Center for Family and Human Rights Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti and Heritage Foundation Associate for Social Issues at the U.N. Grace Melton. The U.S. has also asked the Washington-based Organization of American States to formally recognize C-FAM in order to participate in its activities.

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LGBTQ rights supporters win 2nd victory at the United Nations

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) Supporters of LGBTQ rights have won a major victory at the United Nations with the failure of a second African attempt to stop a U.N. independent expert from investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After a first defeat Nov. 21 in the General Assembly’s human rights committee, African nations led by Burkina Faso attempted again Dec. 19 to suspend the work of the first LGBTQ expert. But the result was almost identical.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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