Mariela Castro banned from traveling to US

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Mariela Castro, daughter of former Cuban President Raul Castro, rides in the march observing the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Havana in 2017. She, along with her father and other siblings have been banned from traveling to the U.S. by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Trump administration announced Sept. 26 the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro who spearheads LGBTI issues can no longer travel to the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement said Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act “provides that, in cases where the secretary of state has credible information that foreign government officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.”

Continue Reading >>

Activists: State Department ‘has abandoned full support of LGBTI people’

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Dozens of activists in a letter to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say the State Department under his leadership “has abandoned full support of LGBTI people within its global human rights policy.”

Council for Global Equality Chair Mark Bromley, Preston Mitchum of Advocates for Youth, American Jewish World Service President Robert Bank, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Margaret Huang, Sharon Nazarien of the Anti-Defamation League, Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress, Center for Health and Gender Equity President Serra Sippel, Bishop Joseph W. Tolton of the Fellowship Global, GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard, LGBTQ Victory Institute President Annise Parker, Rev. Jim Merritt of the Metropolitan Community Church’s Global Justice Institute, Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy, Human Rights First Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski, Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron Morris, InterACT Executive Director Kimberly Zieselman, International Women’s Health Coalition President Françoise Girard, Darrel Cummings of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights Executive Director George Ayala, National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce President Justin Nelson, OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern, PFLAG Executive Director Brian Bond, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy and Synergía-Initiatives for Human Rights Executive Director Stefano Fabeni signed the letter that was sent to Pompeo on June 20.

Continue Reading >>

North Dakota’s first openly gay lawmaker looks to become secretary of state

By : Jeremy Brener
Comments: 0

BISMARK, ND | Rep. Josh Boschee, who became the first openly gay lawmaker in North Dakota when he was elected to the state’s House of Representatives in Jan. 2013, is looking to make history again in November and become the state’s first openly gay secretary of state.

As a North Dakota representative, Boschee led a charge to save a state bill that would have given protections against discrimination in housing and employment to LGBTQ North Dakotans.

Continue Reading >>

Pompeo grilled over anti-LGBTQ statements during confirmation hearing

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: The confirmation hearing on CIA Director Mike Pompeo‘s nomination to become the next secretary of state took place before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 12, 2018. Washington Blade by Michael Key.

Mike Pompeo on Thursday during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of state faced questions about his previous anti-LGBTQ statements.

Continue Reading >>

Tillerson acknowledges Transgender Day of Remembrance

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday issued a statement that acknowledges the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States honors the memory of the many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence,” said Tillerson.

Continue Reading >>

Tillerson acknowledges Pride month

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday issued a statement that acknowledges Pride month.

“The Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom,” he said.

Continue Reading >>

State Department releases 2016 human rights report

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

The State Department’s annual human rights report that it released last week notes discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity were commonplace throughout many parts of the world in 2016.

The report notes René Martínez, a prominent LGBT rights advocate in the violence-plagued Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, was killed in June after he left his home. It also highlights Hande Kader, a transgender sex worker and activist who was found dead in Istanbul in August.

Continue Reading >>

Maryland senator seeks apology for fired workers in ‘lavender scare’

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

BALTIMORE (AP) – Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin wants Secretary of State John Kerry to formally apologize to hundreds of federal workers who were fired decades ago because of their perceived sexual orientation.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Democratic senator said in a letter to Kerry on Nov. 29 that it’s time for the country to apologize for the so-called “lavender scare.”

Continue Reading >>

Trump considers openly gay man for post, favors Giuliani for secretary of state

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani emerged as the favorite to serve as secretary of state in Donald Trump’s incoming administration, a senior Trump official said as the president-elect narrowed down his Cabinet picks.

The official said there was no real competition for the job and that it was Giuliani’s if he wanted it. The official was not authorized to speak on the record and requested anonymity.

Continue Reading >>

Kate Brown becomes first openly bisexual governor in U.S.

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has thrown a spotlight on the next in line to succeed him: the 54-year-old secretary of state who has long been thought to have her eye on Oregon’s top elected position.

Kate Brown, a liberal Democrat widely considered to be to the left of the departing Democratic governor, becomes the first openly bisexual governor in the nation. She was expected to assume office Feb. 13 after Kitzhaber stepped down amid an influence-peddling scandal involving his fiancee.

Continue Reading >>

Florida leaders concerned for safety of LGBT athletes at 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia

By : Staff Report
Comments: 0

As the hate speech against gays escalates in Russia, the fear of reprisal during the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics against athletes and spectators has increased.

Safety concerns have led four Florida Congressional Democrats to sign their names to a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. The letter, dated Aug. 2, is signed by nearly 90 members of the U.S. Senate and House including: Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Fort Lauderdale, Rep. Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, and Rep. Ileana Ross-Lehtinen of Miami.

Continue Reading >>