Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the arrests of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” she said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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Anti-LGBT activists part of U.S. delegation to UN women’s conference

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. delegation to an annual U.N. women’s conference includes two representatives of organizations that strongly oppose LGBT and intersex rights.

The State Department on Monday announced the delegation to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting — which began on the same day and will end on March 24 — includes Center for Family and Human Rights Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti and Heritage Foundation Associate for Social Issues at the U.N. Grace Melton. The U.S. has also asked the Washington-based Organization of American States to formally recognize C-FAM in order to participate in its activities.

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LGBTQ rights supporters win 2nd victory at the United Nations

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) Supporters of LGBTQ rights have won a major victory at the United Nations with the failure of a second African attempt to stop a U.N. independent expert from investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After a first defeat Nov. 21 in the General Assembly’s human rights committee, African nations led by Burkina Faso attempted again Dec. 19 to suspend the work of the first LGBTQ expert. But the result was almost identical.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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Gay rights supporters win UN victory to keep UN LGBT expert

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Supporters of gay rights won a victory at the United Nations Nov. 21 when an African attempt to suspend the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity failed.

African nations had urged the General Assembly’s human rights committee to delay implementation of a resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to determine “the legal basis” for the expert’s mandate. They also sought to suspend the expert, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who was appointed on Sept. 30 and has started his work.

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Africans fail to block first UN expert on LGBT violence

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) – African nations and their supporters have failed to suspend the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity from doing his job.

African nations had urged the General Assembly’s human rights committee to approve a resolution that would initially suspend and then get rid of the expert, appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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United Nations appoints first expert on LGBT violence and discrimination

By : Wire Report
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Vitit Muntarbhorn

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Human Rights Council has appointed international human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand as the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said his appointment on Friday “made history” and “will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world.”

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Doctors Without Borders has “zero tolerance” for inaction fighting AIDS in Africa

By : Wire Report
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Durban, South Africa (AP) – Doctors Without Borders’ HIV policy adviser says the global aid group has “zero tolerance” for inaction on fighting the virus in Central and West Africa.

The organization says 4.5 million of the 6.5 million people living with HIV in those regions don’t get treatment.

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U.N. creates job to monitor discrimination against LGBTs

By : Wire Report
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Geneva (AP) — The U.N.’s top human rights body on June 30 decided to appoint an expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a move applauded by LGBT groups.

In a narrow 23-18 vote with six abstentions, the Human Rights Council called for the creation of a three-year position for an independent expert to look into wrongdoing against gays, lesbians and transgender people. The expert is expected to be appointed at the next meeting of the 47-member, Geneva-based body in September.

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LGBT groups excluded from UN AIDS meeting

By : Wire Report
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UpRisings_WorldAidsDayNew York (AP) — Gay, transgender and other groups blocked from participating in a high-level U.N. meeting on AIDS represent the populations most affected by the disease and should take center-stage at the event, advocates said June 7.

Nearly two dozen civil society organizations from five continents that provide services for LGBT communities, intravenous drug users and others have been denied access to the three-day General Assembly meeting starting Wednesday at the request of Russia, Cameroon, Tanzania and 51 Muslim countries.

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Kenneth Cole named international goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS

By : Wire Report
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United Nations (AP) – Fashion designer and AIDS activist Kenneth Cole was named an international goodwill ambassador June 7 by the head of the U.N.’s AIDS-fighting organization.

The appointment by UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe came on the eve of the U.N. General Assembly’s high-level meeting on ending AIDS on June 8 -10.

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51 Muslim Nations block LGBT groups from U.N. AIDS conference

By : Wire Report
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United Nations (AP) –  Major Western nations are protesting a move to block gay and transgender groups from attending a high-level United Nations conference on AIDS.

A letter from Egypt on behalf of 51 countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation asked that 11 organizations not be allowed to attend the conference next month. The letter, dated April 26 and obtained May 18 by The Associated Press, gives no reason for the objections.

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