Anti-LGBTI groups participate in State Dept. religious freedom conference

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is among those who participated in a religious freedom conference the State Department held in D.C. this week. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A number of anti-LGBTI organizations participated in a three-day religious freedom conference the State Department held this week in D.C.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Thursday tweeted a picture of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins “welcoming attendees” of a workshop that focused on U.S. government grants.

A conference schedule the Washington Blade obtained indicates the workshop took place at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s offices in Northwest D.C. The picture on Twitter shows Perkins — who is a member of the commission — speaking at a podium in front of a screen with the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and its Office of Global Programs’ names projected onto it.

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Egypt court releases two people arrested for raising rainbow flag at concert

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: An Egyptian court has released two people who were arrested after they raised a rainbow flag at a concert in September. Photo by Ted Eytan; courtesy Flickr

An Egyptian court has released two people who raised a rainbow flag during a Cairo concert in September.

Egyptian Streets — which describes itself as an “independent, young and grassroots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets” — on Tuesday reported the Giza Criminal Court released Sarah Hejazy and Ahmed Alaa on $56.37 (1,000 Egyptian pounds) bail.

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Pence urged to raise anti-LGBT crackdown in Egypt

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dozens of members of Congress on Monday urged Vice President Pence to raise Egypt’s anti-LGBT crackdown when he visits the country.

“In recent years, independent civil society groups have been the target of a concerted government effort to silence their voices and limit their ability to operate,” notes a letter that U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and 71 others signed. “Minority groups, including religious minorities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have been the targets of discrimination and violence. Independent media organizations have been shuttered and dozens of journalists, bloggers and citizens have been jailed for their speech.”

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