Gay Guatemala congressman-elect sharply criticizes migrant agreement with US

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Aldo Dávila, center, participates in a protest against the “safe third country” agreement his country’s government signed with the Trump administration. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

GUATEMALA CITY | A gay Guatemalan congressman-elect on Saturday sharply criticized the “safe third country” agreement his government signed with the White House that requires migrants who pass through Guatemala on their way to the U.S. to first seek asylum in the country.

“[Guatemala] does not have the conditions to receive migrants in a dignified way,” Aldo Dávila told the Washington Blade during an interview in Guatemala City.

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2 transgender women tortured, killed in Pakistan

By : Wire Report
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MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) | Police in Pakistan say they have found the bodies of two transgender women who were tortured and beaten to death.

Senior officer Mohammad Ali Zia says the bodies were recovered late July 27 from a locked house in the Sahiwal district of the eastern Punjab province. He says it’s unclear that this time what motivated the killings, which appear to have taken place four days ago.

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Trump nominates third gay ambassador

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: President Trump nominated gay U.S. Foreign Service officer Robert S. Gilchrist to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania.

In a little-noticed development, the White House released a statement on Monday announcing President Donald Trump has nominated gay longtime U.S. Foreign Service officer Robert S. Gilchrist to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania.

Gilchrist is a former president of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, or GLIFAA, according to a statement on the group’s website. GLIFAA is an officially recognized organization representing LGBT employees at the State Department and its Foreign Service arm as well as other federal agencies and entities working in foreign affairs.

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Bulgaria court recognizes gay marriage in landmark case

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ABOVE: The National Assembly in Sofia, photo public domain.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) | A court in Bulgaria has ruled in favor of a same-sex couple who married in France, in a case that recognized gay marriage for the first time in the conservative country.

Australian citizen Kristina Palma, who married Mariama Dialo of France in 2016, was initially permitted to live, work and travel in Bulgaria and the European Union on the grounds that she married an EU citizen. But Bulgaria later denied her those rights, arguing that same-sex marriage was not legal in the country.

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Prominent Russian LGBTQ activist stabbed to death

By : ALEX COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Yelena Gregoryeva, a prominent Russian LGBTQ rights activist, was murdered in St. Petersburg on July 21, 2019. Photo via Facebook.

A prominent Russian LGBTI activist was found dead in St. Petersburg on Sunday, according to activists and local media. The woman, Yelena Gregoryeva, 41, was an outspoken and prominent activist in the city.

Authorities on Sunday said they found the body of a woman who had been stabbed. She was later identified as Gregoryeva by activists and family, the Russian outlet Fontanka reported.

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Polish ministers condemn violence against LGBTQ march

By : Wire Report
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Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (pictured) and Interior Minister Elzbieta Witek condemned the violence by anti-gay protesters during an LGBTQ rights march. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) | Polish government officials have condemned violence by some opponents of an eastern city’s first LGBTQ rights march while other members of Poland’s right-wing ruling party were alleged to have participated in anti-gay actions.

National police said on July 22 that 28 “hooligans” were detained and charged with disturbing a legal gathering following the aggression at the march in the city of Bialystok on July 20. Opponents tried to block the march, and some threw bottles and rocks at marchers and the officers escorting them.

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Ecuador becomes latest country to allow same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ecuador’s presidential palace in the country’s capital of Quito, Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

Ecuador last week became the latest country in which same-sex couples can legally marry.

Media reports indicate Alexandra Chávez and Mishelle Avilés on July 18 became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the country when they exchanged vows in the city of Guayaquil.

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Gay teen goes viral for performing death drop at graduation

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Screenshot via Twitter)

A gay teenager has gone viral for performing a death drop after accepting his diploma at graduation.

Brandon Austin, whose drag queen persona is Sophia Stardust, decided that he wanted to make a big impression during his commencement ceremony from West Kent College, near London, England.

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Gays down, straights up in latest Aussie HIV figures

By : Staff Reports from The washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: (Scanning electromicrograph by NIAID via Flickr)

KENSINGTON, Australia | HIV infection rates for gay men in Australia are down sharply — 30% in five years, HIV Plus Mag reports, citing the Kirby Institute’s 2018 HIV Surveillance Report.

“It’s the lowest number we’ve seen in 18 years,” said Rebecca Guy, head professor of the institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research program, in a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. Guy attributed the drop to the increase of PrEP use, regular testing and treatment efforts. PrEP is highly effective at making HIV transmission nearly impossible.

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Codebreaker Alan Turing to be face of new British banknote

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Codebreaker Alan Turing on the British 50 pound note. (Image courtesy of BankOfEngland.co.uk)

LONDON (AP) | Codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as the face of Britain’s new 50 pound note, the Bank of England announced Monday.

Governor Mark Carney said Turing, who did ground-breaking work on computers and artificial intelligence, was “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

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Netanyahu condemns his minister’s remarks on LGBTQ conversion therapy

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ABOVE: Benjamin Nentanyahu talks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during a 2011 interview. (Photo by IsraelinUSA, courtesy of Flickr)

JERUSALEM (AP) | Israel’s prime minister is condemning remarks by his education minister in favor of “conversion therapy,” a controversial psychotherapy technique that seeks to turn LGBTQ individuals into heterosexuals.

Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter that Rafi Peretz’s statements are unacceptable and “do not represent my government’s position.”

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El Salvador police officers charged with murder of transgender woman deported from US

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Three police officers have been charged with the murder of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman from El Salvador who was deported by the U.S. in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Aspidh Arcoiris Trans)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador | Three police officers in El Salvador have been charged with the murder of a transgender woman who was deported from the U.S.

The three police officers — Carlos Valentín Rosales, Jaime Giovanni Mendoza and Luis Alfredo — with El Salvador’s National Civil Police’s 911 System in San Salvador face charges of deprivation of liberty by an agent of authority and aggravated homicide as a hate crime in connection with Camila Díaz Cordova’s death earlier this year. The three men made their initial court appearance on July 5.

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