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Chechen police ‘kidnap and torture gay men’ – LGBT activists

Chechen Police kidnap gays

Gay men are fleeing brutal persecution in Chechnya, where police are holding more than 100 people and torturing some of them in an anti-gay crackdown, Russian activists say. Natalia Poplevskaya of the Russian LGBT Network said “we are working to evacuate people”. A government spokesman called the reports “lies” and said homosexual people “simply don’t exist in the republic”. Homophobia is widespread in Chechnya. The mainly Muslim region is run by Ramzan Kadyrov, an authoritarian leader with a notorious private militia, fiercely loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ms Poplevskaya told the BBC that victims – either gay or just perceived as gay – are being held at a detention centre near Argun, 20km (13 miles) from the city of Grozny. She said the LGBT Network, based in St Petersburg, was aware of “an organised campaign to detain gay men” in Chechnya. “Torture is going on with electric shocks, beatings with cables. All the people arrested are homosexual men or perceived as being gay,” she said. Three deaths have been reported. More than 30 people were crammed into one cell, she added. Despite appeals to the Russian authorities to stop the abuses, no action has been taken, she complained. Kadyrov …

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White House Statement on Trump’s EO Protecting LGBTQ Community

Trump LGBTQ

The White House just released the following statement which has us breathing a sigh of relief as it fogs our negative view of President Trump President Donald J. Trump Will Continue to Enforce Executive Order Protecting the Rights of the LGBTQ Community in the Workplace President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump. Find more here.

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Florida’s Growing Homelessness Problem

Drug Addicts

By Allison Singer According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) you are considered homeless and are eligible for the SNAP/Food Stamp Program if you: (1) have no fixed, regular place you sleep at night or (2) the place you sleep at night is one of the following: a shelter, a half-way house, the home of someone else if you are there less than 90 days or a place where people do not usually sleep such as a doorway, a lobby, a bus station, a hallway, or a subway. (1) So what exactly is a halfway house? Halfway Houses are transitional living places for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. In some states, because of legal requirements, the term “sober living house” is used. Some people go to halfway houses from a treatment center, prison, or a homeless situation, while others go there to be in a sober and clean environment to begin the recovery process. Some residents are in halfway houses due to court orders. (2) It seems as if a lot of them have been popping up lately. An estimated 4,000 halfway houses are currently located in Florida. Although now that drug addiction and alcoholism are considered …

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Broward County Updates and Reaffirms its Domestic Partnership Ordinance

Domestic-Partners

Broward County, FL – Tuesday, October 13 2015 The Broward County Commission updated its domestic partnership ordinance Tuesday, adding new protections and ensuring that partnerships registered elsewhere will be recognized in Broward County. “Today’s vote is an affirmation of the enduring value of domestic partnership policies and ensures that thousands of unmarried, committed couples in Broward county will continue to have vital protections for their families,” said Deputy Director Stratton Pollitzer. “Even as we celebrate marriage equality, it is important to understand that some couples do not marry for reasons both personal and practical but that these families are just as deserving of health care and other protections. “Broward’s domestic partnership policy has always been open to both same sex and opposite sex couples, as all domestic partner policies should be. And in fact opposite sex couples make up nearly three-quarters of those registered. “In choosing this moment to strengthen their policy, Broward County is sending a signal to the rest of Florida that domestic partnership policies continue to have great value, and they are sending a signal to all families that they will be respected and supported in Broward. We’d like to thank Commissioner Lois Wexler for her leadership …

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The Pride Center Expands Services for South Florida LGBT Families with New Playground

Equality Park Playground

Community-supported Initiative to be First-of-its-kind Children’s Play Area on a United States LGBT Campus FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (September 8, 2015) – The Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors will be building a playground to accommodate the growing need for a safe play area that provides social support, mentoring and educational and creative development for LGBT families in South Florida. To make this vision a reality, The Pride Center has launched a $75,000 fundraising challenge and is seeking community volunteers to help construct the 2,500-square-foot interactive playground (roughly half of the size of an NBA basketball court) on Friday, October 16. When completed, it will be the first playground of its kind in the United States to be situated on a LGBT campus. “A playground is more than just a physical space. Creative play is developmentally important for our children and future leaders. It’s a brain-expander, a friend-maker and a mentor-connector,” said Robert Boo, CEO of The Pride Center at Equality Park. “Together, with our national benefactors plus the support of the local business community and volunteers, we can meet our mission of providing a welcoming space that celebrates, nurtures and empowers the LGBT community and our friends and …

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Tariffs, not slavery, precipitated the American Civil War

Battle of Gettysburg

Arthur Hirsch’s recent article about the Battle of Gettysburg reveals a disturbing ignorance of the political dynamics that brought this nation to a war that 150 years later remains the most cataclysmic event in our history (“A defining day relived,” July 2). It accepts the shallow but unchallenged premise that the Civil War occurred because slavery was practiced in the South, and that righteous resolve to abolish the institution left the U.S. with no option other than a resort to arms. This is a myopic view with which many historical facts simply cannot be reconciled. The war resulted from causes unrelated to slavery and abolition. It was entirely a consequence of the Southern states’ secession, which occurred despite the undeniable fact that the slave states could not have hoped for better protection of slavery than that afforded by the U. S. Constitution — provided they remained in the Union. Both Lincoln and the slaveholders well knew in 1860 that a constitutional amendment ending slavery would never be mathematically feasible. But Lincoln further understood that the South was gravitating toward secession as the remedy for a different grievance altogether: The egregiously inequitable effects of a U. S. protective tariff that provided …

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