Members of Congress urge Pompeo to condemn Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 29 urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly condemn the anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and the other lawmakers in their letter also urged Pompeo to pressure the Russian government to end the crackdown.

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Chechnya president again denies gay arrests

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Wednesday once again denied reports that more than 100 gay men have been arrested in the semi-autonomous Russian republic.

Kadyrov told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting that Vesti, a Russian television station, broadcast that “even talking about this is uncomfortable.”

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Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.

The Saturday report in Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government, but gave no details.

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Russian lawmaker sees Apple’s U2 album as gay ‘propaganda’

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – A member of Russia’s parliament has asked prosecutors to determine whether Apple violated Russia’s ban on gay “propaganda” when it delivered U2’s latest album to a half-billion iTunes users for free last year.

Izvestia, a newspaper loyal to the Kremlin, reported April 29 that it has a copy of Alexander Starovoitov’s appeal to prosecutors in which he says the cover of the album Songs of Innocence shows two men “in a display of non-traditional sexual relations.”

In fact, the cover shows the band’s drummer embracing his 18-year-old son, both of them shirtless.

It is not yet clear whether prosecutors will open an investigation.

Some of those in Russia who ridiculed Starovoitov’s appeal drew a comparison to the time in 2006 when President Vladimir Putin kissed a small boy’s bare stomach.