Brazilian transgender player debuts in top volleyball league

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(Screenshot from YouTube)

BAURU, Brazil (AP) — While playing in men’s professional volleyball leagues in Europe, heavy-hitting Brazilian player Tiffany Abreu accumulated dozens of trophies.

But she says that among her most important accolades was being named most valuable player for a match with a countryside team Tuesday night as rain leaked from the roof in a half empty gymnasium.

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U.S. sanctions Chechnya officials behind anti-gay crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. has used the Magnitsky Act to sanction Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov over human rights abuses in the semi-autonomous Russian republic. Photo by Alexxx1979; courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions against two Chechen officials under a 2012 human rights law.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and Ayub Kataev of the Chechen Internal Affairs Ministry are among the five Russian citizens who have been added to the list of those sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which freezes the assets of Russians who commit human rights abuses and bans them from entering the U.S. The law is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after authorities arrested him after he investigated a $230 million tax fraud scheme.

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Puerto Ricans with HIV/AIDS continue to struggle after Maria

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Anselmo Fonseca of Pacientes de SIDA Pro Política Sana, left, works with Jesús Cruz, a social worker at Bill’s Kitchen, a San Juan-based organization that prepares meals for people with HIV/AIDS, to serve food to the elderly after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of Anselmo Fonseca/Pacientes de SIDA pro Política Sana

The situation for people with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico remains precarious three months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

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UK: Bermuda marriage repeal bill is ‘matter’ for territory’s government

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A spokesperson for the British Foreign Office on Monday said a bill that would rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples in Bermuda is “a matter for the” island territory’s government.

“The U.K. government is a proud supporter of LGBT rights and continues to support same-sex marriage,” said the spokesperson in a statement sent to the Washington Blade. “While the U.K. government is disappointed with the implications of this bill, this is a matter for the Bermuda government acting within the terms of the Bermuda Constitution and in accordance with international law.”

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Indonesia sentences gay club workers to 2-3 years in prison

By : wire report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court has sentenced 10 men arrested in a raid at a gay club and sauna to between two and three years in prison, an activist and a relative of one of the men said.

They were among more than 140 men detained after the raid in May on what police said was a sex party at the Atlantis spa in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

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Philippines president is ‘for’ same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Photo public domain by Ryan Lim of Malacañang Photo Bureau

The president of the Philippines on Sunday said he supports marriage rights for same-sex couples.
The Philippine Star newspaper reported Rodrigo Duterte told members of the LGBT community in Davao City on the island of Mindanao that he wants same-sex marriage in the Philippines, but “we’ll have to change the law.”

“We can change the law,” Duterte reportedly said.

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2 couples tie knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

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ABOVE: Lauren Price and Amy Laker. Image from Equal Marriage Rights Australia’s Facebook.

SYDNEY (AP) — Two female couples tied the knot in Australia’s first same-sex weddings under new legislation allowing gay marriages.

January 9 had been expected to be the first possible date for same-sex weddings due to a four-week waiting period since the landmark law was passed. But the two couples were married in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday after being granted permission to waive the notice period.

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Bermuda Senate approves marriage repeal bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Bermuda Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory.

The 8-3 vote took place less than a week after the Bermuda House of Representatives approved the measure, which would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships as opposed to get married. The bill will become law unless Gov. John Rankin refuses to sign it.

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Transgender woman running for Colombian Senate

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A transgender woman who is running for the Colombian Senate hopes to make history in the South American country.

Tatiana Piñeros on Monday formally registered her candidacy with Colombian election officials.

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Puerto Rico Senate approves religious freedom bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Puerto Rico Senate has approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth. Activists and their supporters have urged Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to veto the measure. Image by Nicolas Raymond; courtesy Flickr

The Puerto Rico Senate on Sunday approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth.

The bill — which is known as the Law for the Protection of Religious Liberty in Puerto Rico — notes the U.S. and Puerto Rican constitutions guarantee freedom of religion. The measure also states “it is important to remember the situations of confrontations that the religious sector experienced in the past administration where the public education sector tried to impose an ideology contrary to parents’ Christian principles.”

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Bermuda House approves same-sex marriage repeal bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Members of the Bermuda House of Representatives have approved a bill that would rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British territory. Photo by Mike Oropeza; via Wikimedia Commons

Members of the Bermuda House of Representatives have approved a bill that would repeal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory.

The Royal Gazette newspaper reported lawmakers approved the Domestic Partnership Act — which would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships as opposed to get married — by a 24-10 vote margin. Lawmakers debated the measure for five hours on Friday before they voted on it.

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Australia House of Representatives approves same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Australian House of Representatives on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill that would extend marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The vote took place less than a week after the bill passed in the Australian Senate by a 43-12 vote margin.

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