Pope to gay sex abuse victim: ‘God loves you’

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Juan Carlos Cruz is a gay man from Chile who met with Pope Francis earlier this month at the Vatican. Rev. Fernando Karadima, a former priest at a parish in the Chilean capital of Santiago, sexually abused Cruz and hundreds of other boys and young men over more than three decades. (Photo courtesy of Juan Carlos Cruz)

A gay man from Chile who was sexually abused by a priest said Pope Francis told him earlier this month that God “loves you.”

Juan Carlos Cruz and two other victims of Rev. Fernando Karadima — José Murillo and James Hamilton — met with Francis at the Vatican.

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LGBTQ community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBTQ community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gays feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their meetings at the Vatican. Cruz was the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal, and met last month with Francis to discuss it.

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Landmark ruling recognizes marriage, trans rights in the Americas

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights in the Western Hemisphere.

The seven judges who issued the ruling stated governments “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” Six of the seven judges also agreed that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

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Chilean lawmakers begin debate on same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean lawmakers on Monday began to debate a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Members of the Chilean Senate’s Constitution, Legislation and Justice Commission began to consider the measure nearly three months after President Michelle Bachelet introduced it. She signed the country’s civil unions law that took effect in October 2015.

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‘A Fantastic Woman’ could lead to trans history at Oscars

By : Wire Report
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TORONTO (AP) – A transgender Chilean actress has turned in one of the most buzzed-about performances of the year and some are hoping she could be the first trans actor to land an Oscar nomination.

Daniela Vega, 28, stars in Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman.” She plays Marina, a transgender woman whose partner (Francisco Reyes) dies, after which Marina is subjected to harsh treatment by the family of her deceased lover and by police investing the death.

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Chilean president introduces same-sex marriage, adoption bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday introduced a bill that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.

Ronaldo Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, is among those who attended the announcement that took place at the presidential palace in the country’s capital of Santiago. Nicolás Levy, the Washington Blade’s correspondent in Chile, was also in attendance.

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Chilean president to introduce same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet next week will formally introduce a bill that will extend marriage to same-sex couples.

The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, in a press release said Bachelet will introduce the measure on Aug. 28.

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FIFA targets gay slurs by Chile, Mexico fans in Russia

By : Wire Report
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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — In a bid to rid the World Cup of gay slurs, FIFA will get tough with Latin American fans in Russia.

FIFA has ordered tighter monitoring of offensive incidents at Confederations Cup matches which kicked off June 17, and wants referees to stop play if fans persist.

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State Dept. allows embassies, consulates to acknowledge Pride month

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A State Department spokesperson on Friday said embassies and consulates have received guidance that allows them to recognize Pride month.

“Advancing the human rights of vulnerable groups including LGBTI persons is a core component of U.S. foreign policy,” the spokesperson told the Washington Blade. “All people should be protected from discrimination and violence, and must be allowed to exercise their human rights, including their rights to the freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief.”

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Prominent LGBT activist to run for Chile congress

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A prominent LGBT rights advocate in Chile has announced he is running for a seat in the country’s congress.

Luis Larraín, who is the co-founder and former president of Fundación Iguales, declared his candidacy for the Chilean House of Deputies in an interview that La Tercera, a Chilean newspaper, published on March 12.

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Same-sex couples celebrate first civil unions in Chile

By : Wire Report
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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Dozens of same-sex couples in Chile began celebrating civil unions on Oct. 22, taking advantage of a new law that gay advocates say is a clear sign of change in a country long regarded as one of Latin America’s most socially conservative.

The civil union law was debated in Congress for over a decade until it was passed and signed into law by the president in April. As it went into effect, couples began arriving at civil registry offices early to officially validate their unions.

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Chilean President signs law allowing civil unions

By : Wire Report
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Santiago, Chile (AP) – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on April 13 signed a law that recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples, a sign of change in a country long regarded as one South America’s most socially conservative nations.

The measure had been in the works for more than four years, and its signing into law was hailed by gay advocates as step toward full marriage rights.

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