House Democrats promise action on LGBTQ rights bill

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | House Democrats are promising to prioritize anti-discrimination legislation that would for the first time establish widespread equal rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently said she would introduce the Equality Act as one of her first orders of business if Democrats retake the House in November. Pelosi made the announcement at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, telling the crowd the issue of equal rights for the LGBTQ community is “personal.”

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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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Anti-LGBT Trump nominee to Export-Import Bank rejected by Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Anti-LGBT Scott Garrett was rejected as president of the Export-Import Bank. Photo by Gage Skidmore via wikimedia

Amid objections from LGBT groups, the U.S. Senate rejected on Tuesday a Trump nominee to the U.S. Export-Import Bank with a history of anti-LGBT views.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs rejected the nomination of Scott Garrett on a bipartisan vote of 10-13. In June, Trump nominated Garrett as president of the Export-Import Bank, which provides finance assistance to help foreign entities buy U.S. exports.

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Senate unanimously approves Chechnya resolution

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that condemns the ongoing crackdown against LGBT people in Chechnya.

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the resolution earlier this year. The U.S. House of Representatives in June unanimously approved a nearly identical resolution that U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) introduced.

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