Cuba begins distributing PrEP through pilot program

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Cuban government has begun to distribute PrEP through a pilot program that began last month.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, last week reported 28 people in Cárdenas, a city in Matanzas province that is roughly 90 miles east of Havana, have received PrEP since the program began on March 6.

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Brunei government again defends penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei continues to defend the country’s new penal code that includes the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

“We reaffirm that the Syariah criminal law system focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” wrote Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, in a letter it sent to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on April 7. “It seeks to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the accused person and the rights of the victims and their families.”

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Rugby Australia to terminate Folau deal after anti-gay post

By : wire report
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Israel Folau and his anti-gay sentiments appear to have gone too far this time.

Rugby Australia said April 11 it plans to terminate the fullback’s contract with the national team after he made anti-gay comments on social media for the second year in a row.

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Belize: LGBTQ Adventure in the Jungle

By : Aaron Drake
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“Jump in!” one of the tour guides shouted when it was my turn to immerse myself in the crystal clear, freezing cold stream leading into the mouth of the cave. The cave was Actun Tunichil Muknal—better known as ATM by the locals—one of the natural cave systems in Belize that was used by the Mayan civilization for rituals and ceremonies.

It was like something straight out of an “Indiana Jones” movie; after being outfitted with a helmet, headlamp and life vest, we set off on a 45-minute hike through the jungle, crossing three shallow waterways before we literally jumped in. Once inside the cave it got very dark and was a vigorous workout to climb over and through rocks, occasionally stopping to admire the stalagmites and stalactites that had formed over thousands of years.

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‘The Inheritance’ among the big winners at Olivier Awards

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Cast of “The Inheritance” (Image by Marc Brenner, Courtesy of InheritancePlay.com)

LONDON (AP) | “The Inheritance”, an epic drama about gay lives in New York, and musicals “Come From Away” and “Company” were the big winners at British theater’s Olivier Awards on April 7, receiving four trophies apiece.

“The Inheritance,” Matthew Lopez’s drama about young gay men living in New York a generation after the AIDS crisis was declared best new play.

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Bisexual Bruneian man speaks out against country’s new penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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A bisexual man in Brunei on April 5 said his country’s new penal code that calls for the death penalty for anyone convicted of consensual same-sex sexual relations is “weaponizing religion.”

“Our religion is one of peace and one of tolerance,” he told the Washington Blade during a WhatsApp interview from Bandar Seri Begawan, the Bruneian capital. “I don’t see it as righteous or pious … it’s weaponizing religion.”

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LGBTI activists urge Vatican to condemn homosexuality criminalization laws

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of more than 50 LGBTI rights advocates met April 5 with a high-ranking Vatican official and renewed their calls for the Catholic Church to condemn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

ILGA World in a press release said the activists met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and presented him with “the preliminary findings of a research project” that focuses on the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations in the Caribbean. National LGBT Bar Association Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, ILGA World Co-Secretary General Luz Elena Aranda and IBM Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tia Silas are among those who met with Parolin.

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Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King support Brunei-owned hotel boycott

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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More celebrities have expressed their support of George Clooney’s call to boycott hotels owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, in protest of the country’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Brunei’s Sharia law-based penal code took effect on April 3. People found guilty of adultery or gay sex can be punished with death by stoning. Punishment for lesbian sex is 100 lashes with a whip.

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US ‘deeply concerned’ over arrests of LGBTI people in Azerbaijan

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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A State Department spokesperson on April 4 said the U.S. is “deeply concerned” over reports that indicate more than a dozen LGBTI people in Azerbaijan have been arrested.

Reuters cited an Azeri LGBTI advocacy group that said police this week arrested four transgender sex workers. Freedom House in a press release said police in Baku, the country’s capital, on April 1 arrested “at least 14 LGBT+ people.”

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George Clooney calls for boycott of Sultan Of Brunei’s hotels over anti-gay death law

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei in protest of Brunei’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Staring on April 3, a new law in Brunei will make gay sex punishable by stoning. In an op-ed for Deadline, Clooney urges the public not to patron The Dorchester (London), 45 Park Lane (London), Coworth Park (U.K.), The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Le Meurice (Paris), Hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris), Hotel Eden (Rome) and Hotel Principe di Savoia (Milan).

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Ecuador Constitutional Court hears marriage case

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ecuador’s highest court on March 31 heard oral arguments in a case that could extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the South American country.

Judges on Ecuador’s Constitutional Court considered the case of Efraín Soria and his partner, Javier Benalcázar, a gay couple from the country’s capital of Quito who tried to apply for a marriage license last May.

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LGBTI migrants from Central America find refuge in DC

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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Dariana Méndez and her partner, Rony Alexander, were sitting next to each other on a large couch at Casa Ruby in Northwest D.C. shortly after 7 p.m. on March 26.

Méndez, a transgender woman from San Salvador, El Salvador, told the Washington Blade that she and Rony Alexander, a gay man from Honduras’ Lempira department, became a couple when they arrived in D.C. earlier this month. Méndez also talked about the discrimination and violence she said she suffered in El Salvador because of her gender identity.

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