Congressional hearing spotlights use of religious liberty against LGBTQ people

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The use of religious liberty — a right afforded fundamental protection in the United States — to assault LGBTQ rights was the focus of a congressional hearing Feb. 27 drawing attention to faith-based adoption agencies denying child placement into LGBTQ homes.

Chairing the three-hour hearing before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee was Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who in her opening statement assailed the Trump administration’s use of religious liberty as a weapon to attack LGBTQ rights.

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Sen. Collins: Grenell ‘does not have’ experience to oversee intelligence

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Susan Collins, photo via Collins’ Facebook page.

A top member of the Senate Intelligence Committee from President Trump’s own party said Monday Richard Grenell, the gay official Trump tapped to oversee intelligence agencies, lacks the right experience for the role, according to Politico.

“I care deeply about that position and believe the person needs experience in the intelligence community which regrettably ambassador Grenell does not have,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was quoted as saying.

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Trump praises gay Bollywood romcom on Twitter

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Scene from LGBTQ Bollywood film “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

To the shock — and perhaps even confusion — of many, President Donald Trump retweeted Feb. 21 a tweet from a British gay activist praising a new gay “Bollywood” romantic comedy movie in India.

Trump’s retweet even came with a short commentary on the film’s production: “Great!”

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Trump taps loyalist Grenell as nation’s top intel official

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Richard Grenell (Photo from Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Feb. 19 named Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director of national intelligence, putting a staunch ally in charge of the nation’s 17 spy agencies.

The move drew immediate criticism from Democrats who said the job should be held by someone with deep intelligence experience. It also puts a Trump loyalist in charge of an intelligence community that the president has routinely disparaged and ignored, notably in the context of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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US hosts homosexuality decriminalization event at UN

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Dec. 18, 2019. Photo via Twitter.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Wednesday hosted an event that highlighted efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations around the world.

A press advisory provided to the Washington Blade notes U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Knight Craft and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell hosted the event that took place alongside a U.N. Security Council meeting.

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Trump brings up global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality at UN

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump included in his speech before the United Nations on Sept. 24 his administration’s global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

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Will Trump appoint the first gay national security adviser?

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and President Donald Trump. (Photo via Twitter)

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Trump administration, has a brusque style that has offended some in his host country and journalists alike, but that hasn’t stopped him from appearing on the short list for President Trump’s next pick for national security adviser.

In fact, that style might help him. Grenell’s open confrontation with German officials and members of the media echo Trump’s brashness with traditional U.S. allies and accusations of “Fake News.”

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Washington Blade: Log Cabin executive director resigns over Trump endorsement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Jerri Ann Henry, photo courtesy of the Log Cabin Republicans.

The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans has resigned following a controversial decision by the organization’s board to endorse President Trump, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Jerri Ann Henry, who was the first woman to lead the LGBT Republican group, formally submitted her resignation Friday and left Monday after discussions with board members characterized as “harsh,” sources familiar with Log Cabin told the Blade.

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U.S. Embassy in Germany hosts meeting with LGBTI activists

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, photo public domain.

The U.S. Embassy in Germany last week hosted a group of LGBTI rights activists from around the world as part of a Trump administration initiative that encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Harvey Milk Foundation President Stuart Milk; Caine Youngman of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo); Hadi Damien of Beirut Pride in Lebanon and Hourvash Pourkian of International Women in Power in Germany are among the activists who participated in a July 26 panel that took place at the embassy in Berlin.

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Botswana High Court decriminalizes homosexuality in country

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Botswana’s High Court on Tuesday issued a ruling that decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations in the African country.

The Associated Press reported the court unanimously ruled sections of the Batswana penal code that criminalized homosexuality with up to seven years in prison were unconstitutional. Activists were inside the court room when the three judges issued their ruling.

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Brunei announces death penalty moratorium

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei on May 5 announced it has placed a moratorium on the death penalty in the country.

The New York Times reported Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah made the announcement against the backdrop of widespread international outrage over a provision of Brunei’s new penal code based on Shariah law that would impose the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

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Trump seems unaware of own global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump seemed unaware on Feb. 20 of his administration’s own global initiative calling on nation’s to decriminalize homosexuality.

Trump was apparently unaware the initiative during a gaggle with news reporters in the Oval Office with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who’s visiting the United States.

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