Caribbean countries hold first-ever Pride parades

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Activists in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados this month held their countries’ first-ever Pride parades.

Hundreds of people took part in a Pride parade in the Trinidadian capital of Port of Spain on Saturday.

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Russia fomenting discord over guns, gays, race

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A 29-year-old Russian woman living in D.C. who was indicted last week for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to clandestinely act as a Russian agent is part of a longstanding effort by Moscow to foment discord in the U.S. by exploiting divisive issues such as guns, LGBT rights, and racial bias, according to a source close to the investigation into the woman’s activities.

After hearing evidence presented by federal prosecutors, a D.C. grand jury on July 17 indicted Maria Butina on charges of criminal conspiracy and illegally acting as a foreign agent within the U.S. A U.S. District Court judge the following day ordered her held without bond after prosecutors said she had moved out of her D.C. apartment and was at risk for leaving the country.

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Prince Harry and Elton John team up to launch coalition to fight HIV in men

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Prince Harry and Elton John discussing the AIDS 2018 Plenary Session (Photo via Twitter)

Prince Harry and Elton John are collaborating on a new effort to raise HIV awareness in men.

The Duke of Sussex and the singer appeared together at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday to announce the launch of the MenStar coalition which was founded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Unitaid, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Johnson & Johnson and Gilead Sciences.

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Even with PrEP, HIV rates still a concern for gays

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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DUBLIN | Men with same-sex sexual partners are 28 times more likely to contract HIV than their heterosexual counterparts despite a radical reduction in new infections among gay men in Western countries, according to a U.N. report released this week, the Independent, an Irish newspaper, reports.

The overall annual number of new HIV infections dropped from a high of 3.4 million in 1996 to 1.8 million last year, according to UNAIDS, which coordinates the organization’s global response to HIV/AIDS.

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Trans Puerto Ricans can now change gender on birth certificates

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender people in Puerto Rico are now able to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

A federal judge in March ruled the U.S. commonwealth’s previous policy — a 2005 decree from the Puerto Rico Supreme Court that said trans people could not amend the gender marker on their birth certificates — was unconstitutional.

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Study finds aging harder for LGBT people

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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SAN FRANCISCO | Aging is harder for LGBT people according to findings from an ongoing project, LGBTQ Nation reports.

“Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender Study,” a federally funded, ongoing study operated by the National LGBT Health and Aging Center, found higher rates of disability and mental distress among older LGBT people vs. their straight counterparts, a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity in older lesbian and bi women and a higher incidence of poor physical health and living alone for older gay and bi men, LGBTQ Nation reports.

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New Cuba constitution could allow same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A proposed amendment to Cuba’s new constitution would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, a gay Cuban blogger who writes under the pen name Paquito el de Cuba, on Friday wrote the proposed amendment would “redefine marriage as a voluntary union into which two people who are legally eligible can enter.” Rodríguez reported the proposed amendment also “incorporates the principle of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

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Activists sharply criticize passage of Israel surrogacy bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: LGBTI rights advocates in Israel have sharply criticized the passage of a bill that prevents gay couples from using surrogates in the country. (Photo by Wayne McLean; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Activists have sharply criticized the passage of a bill in the Israeli Knesset that prevents gay couples from using surrogates.

The Jerusalem Post reported the bill passed on Wednesday by a 59-52 vote.

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Gays on strike in Israel over exclusion from surrogacy law

By : wire report
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP)| Hundreds of Israeli LGBT advocates and their supporters are on strike, protesting the exclusion of gay men from a recently passed surrogacy law.

Protesters marched in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities on July 22, waving rainbow flags and briefly blocking a major highway.

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Gay activist survives Nicaragua church siege

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: William Ramírez Cerda , a gay activist and business owner, was among those who were trapped inside a church in Managua, Nicaragua, over the past weekend when government troops and paramilitary groups surrounded it. (Photo courtesy of William Ramírez)

A gay rights activist was among the more than 200 people who were trapped inside a Nicaraguan church that pro-government forces surrounded over the weekend.

William Ramírez Cerda on Monday told the Washington Blade during an hour-long WhatsApp interview that he arrived at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in the country’s capital of Managua on the afternoon of July 13.

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New ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ trailer touches on Freddie Mercury’s sexuality

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Bohemian Rhapsody” has released a new trailer that features more of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and AIDS diagnosis.

The clips show Mercury (Rami Malek) first meeting his girlfriend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) who tells him “I love the way you move onstage, the whole room belongs to you. Don’t you see what you could be?”

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Romania’s top court OKs residency rights for same-sex couple

By : Wire Report
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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) | Romania’s top court has ruled that a gay Romanian-American couple is entitled to the same residency rights as other married couples in the European Union.

The Constitutional Court ruling issued July 18 followed a decision last month by the European Court of Justice in the case of Romanian Adrian Coman and his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton. The men wanted their marriage legally recognized in Romania.

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