Members of Congress urge ICE to improve transgender detainee treatment

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A transgender woman eats inside a unit for trans detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M., on June 6, 2019. Photo public domain.

More than 30 members of Congress on Aug. 1 sent a letter to Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence about the treatment of transgender detainees in their custody.

“We are gravely concerned regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) policies for individuals seeking asylum in the United States,” wrote the lawmakers. “Today, we write to express our strong concerns with ICE’s treatment of transgender migrants seeking asylum in the United States, especially those coming to the U.S. from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.”

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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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The Last Page with Senior Account Manager Russ Martin

By : Rick Claggett
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“I have newspaper in my blood and have worked in the industry for nearly 20 years,” says Russ Martin.

Russ began working for Watermark as a part time account manager in March of 2018. Within a few months Russ, and Watermark, realized the demands of managing marketing accounts were not conducive with a part-time schedule. Russ informed Watermark that his then current schedule would not allow him the time he needed to perform his tasks to the best of his ability, and he tendered his resignation.

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ICE releases 14 transgender asylum seekers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released from its custody 14 transgender women who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts in a July 31 press release that announced the trans women’s release said they had been detained at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M.

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Violence, discrimination prompts LGBTI Hondurans to migrate

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A photo of Roxana Hernández, a transgender Honduran woman with HIV who died in ICE custody in May, hangs on a wall inside the offices of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, an LGBTI advocacy group in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on July 11, 2018. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Members of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, an LGBTI advocacy group in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, on July 11 were sewing a transgender Pride flag for an upcoming march. On the wall behind them were the pictures of 19 local activists and community members who have been killed over the last decade.

“You can be killed at any moment in this extremely violent country,” a lesbian activist told the Washington Blade during an interview with three others affiliated with Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa who identify themselves as transsexual women.

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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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LGBT candidates run in Honduras elections

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rihanna Ferrera is a transgender woman who ran for the Honduras Congress. Photo courtesy of Rihanna Ferrera

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Opponents of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández have taken to the streets amid growing concerns that his government committed fraud in the country’s presidential election.

The election took place on Nov. 26 and early results were announced that night. With 57 percent of the votes counted, Hernández was trailing opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla, a former journalist, by a five point margin.

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Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute launches Honduras election campaign

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: LGBT rights advocates in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, take part in a Pride march on July 15, 2017. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute has launched a campaign that seeks to increase LGBT Hondurans’ involvement in the country’s upcoming general election. (Photo courtesy of Freddy Funez)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute on Monday formally launched an initiative that seeks to promote LGBT and intersex Hondurans’ engagement in their country’s political process.

The launch of the Vote for Equality campaign coincides with a gathering of LGBT and intersex rights advocates in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. It also comes two months before the country’s general election that is scheduled to take place on Nov. 26.

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Transgender woman running for Honduras congress

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Rihanna Ferrera could become the first openly transgender person elected to the Honduran congress if she wins in November. (Photo courtesy of Rihanna Ferrera)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — A transgender woman who is running for a seat in the Honduran congress hopes to make history in her country’s general election in November.

Rihanna Ferrera is a candidate for the center-left United Social Democratic and Innovation Party (PINU).

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Activists in violence-plagued Honduras city hold Pride parade

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hundreds of people from across Honduras on Saturday participated in a Pride parade that took place in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

Kendra Stefani Jordany, a transgender woman who is running for the Central American Parliament, is among the roughly 400 people who took part in the march in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula.

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Activist loses bid to become first LGBT member of Honduras congress

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A prominent Honduran activist has lost his bid to become the first openly LGBT person elected to the country’s congress.

Diversity Movement in Resistance’s Human Rights Committee Coordinator Erick Martínez finished 71st out of the 207 candidates from the Francisco Morazán Department in primary elections that took place on March 12.

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LGBT migrants flee violence, poverty in Central America

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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(AboveFrancela Méndez was a member of Colectivo Alejandría who was killed at a friend’s home in 2015. The transgender rights organization has hung this tribute to her at its offices in San Salvador, El Salvador. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The offices of Colectivo Alejandría, a transgender advocacy group, are located in a house in the Magaña neighborhood of the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador that is surrounded by a thick wall with barbed wire on the top of it. A heavy metal gate with a narrow slit through which a person can look outside spans the driveway, while bars cover the house’s windows.

Colectivo Alejandría Director Karla Guevara told the Washington Blade on Feb. 6 during an interview with two of her colleagues that an average of 20 people are killed in El Salvador every day. Francela Méndez, a prominent activist who was a Colectivo Alejandría board member, is among the more than a dozen trans women who were known to have been killed in the Central American country in 2015.

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