Vocal LGBTI rights opponent wins first round of Brazil presidential election

By : Felipe Alface OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SÃO PAULO | A vocal LGBTI rights opponent won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election on October 7.

Jair Bolsonaro, a congressman from Rio de Janeiro, won with 46 percent of the vote. Former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad finished second with 29 percent of the vote. The two men will face each other in the second round of voting on Oct. 28.

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Lebanon security officials pressure activists to shut down conference

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lebanese security officials late last month pressured human rights activists to shut down a conference that was taking place at a hotel outside of Beirut.

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, a global LGBTI advocacy organization, was among the more than 80 people who were attending the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality’s annual conference on Sept. 29. Stern wrote on her organization’s website she was having lunch with Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality Executive Director Georges Azzi when “his colleagues alerted him” that two “plain-clothes officers” from Lebanon’s General Security Directorate had arrived at the hotel.

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Romania marriage referendum fails because of low voter turnout

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A referendum on whether to define marriage as between a man and a woman in the Romanian constitution’s definition of family has failed.

The Associated Press and other media outlets cited election officials who said turnout was below the 30 percent that was required to make the referendum valid.

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Victory Institute organizes workshops in Central America

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SANTA LUCÍA, Honduras | The LGBTQ Victory Institute is holding a series of workshops in Central America that are designed to bolster the LGBTI community’s involvement in the region’s political process.

Nicaraguans who are participating in protests against their country’s government were among the 28 people who attended the first workshop that took place outside the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa from Sept. 28-30.

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Transgender candidates in Brazil push to have voices heard

By : wire report
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) | Barbara Aires, who was born male, says she spent much of her childhood on the streets because her father, in the military and from the conservative state of Minas Gerais, refused to accept her sexuality.

By her late teenage years, Aires was taking hormones to transition to a woman and, because she couldn’t find other employment, working as a prostitute — the fate of many transgender people who are shunned by much of Brazilian society.

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EXCLUSIVE: Nicaragua activists attend Victory Institute workshop

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SANTA LUCÍA, Honduras | Five activists from Nicaragua who are participating in protests against their country’s government attended a regional LGBTI workshop that took place in Honduras over the weekend.

The activists — who are from the Nicaraguan capital of Managua and the city of Chinandega — are among the 28 people who attended the Victory Institute-sponsored workshop that took place outside the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa from Sept. 28-29.

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Colombia mother fights bullying after gay son dies by suicide

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Alba Lucía Reyes Arenas beams with pride when she talks about her son, Sergio Urrego.

She told the Washington Blade on Sept. 24 during an interview in the Colombian capital of Bogotá that he liked opera from “an early age” and he read his first book, “The Neverending Story,” when he was around 6 years old. Reyes said her son was an atheist who enjoyed art and politics.

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Tens of thousands say ‘Not him’ to leading Brazil candidate

By : wire report
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SAO PAULO (AP) | Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets Saturday in protest against the presidential front-runner, a far-right congressman whose campaign has exposed and deepened divisions in Latin America’s largest country.

The protests came the same day that Jair Bolsonaro was discharged from a Sao Paulo hospital where he received treatment after being stabbed during a campaign rally on Sept. 6. On Saturday evening, after flying home to Rio, he tweeted that there was “no better feeling” than to be close to his family.

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Brazilian club criticizes its own fans for anti-gay chant

By : wire report
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SAO PAULO (AP) | Brazilian soccer club Atletico Mineiro criticized its own fans for an anti-gay chant, a rare step in a country where homophobia has been tolerated at stadia for decades.

Hundreds of Atletico Mineiro fans were filmed targeting supporters of rival club Cruzeiro during a goalless draw in Belo Horizonte in a Brazilian championship match on Sunday.

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Romania’s top court approves marriage referendum

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Romania’s top on Monday by a 7-2 vote margin approved a proposed referendum on whether to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Activists in the European country sharply criticized the decision.

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Cuban president backs same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said he supports an amendment to his country’s new constitution that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

“I defend that there should be no type of discrimination,” he told Telesur, a television station that is largely funded by the Venezuelan government, during an interview that aired on Sunday. “The will of the people and the people’s sovereignty will have the final word.”

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German teenager arrested in gay club bomb attack plan

By : wire report
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BERLIN (AP) | A German teenager has been arrested on suspicion he was planning an Islamic extremist bombing attack in the Frankfurt area, prosecutors said September 13.

Frankfurt prosecutors’ spokesman Sinan Akdogan told The Associated Press the 17-year-old was arrested by Hesse state police September 1 and ordered held by a judge on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence.

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