Connect with us

National

Anti-gay Russian lawmaker sanctioned over Ukraine

Yelena Mizulina introduced gay propaganda bill

Published

on

Yelena Mizulina, Ukraine, gay news, Washington Blade

Yelena Mizulina (Photo by Dmitry Dozhkov; courtesy Wikimedia)

A Russian lawmaker who introduced a bill that bans gay propaganda to minors is among those who face sanctions over the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine.

President Obama on Monday issued an executive order that authorizes U.S. officials to freeze the American assets of Yelena Mizulina, a state Duma deputy, and six other Russian officials over escalating tensions between Moscow and Kiev that include Sunday’s referendum on whether Crimea should declare its independence from Ukraine.

“We have fashioned these sanctions to impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine,” said the White House in a statement.

The Treasury Department also brought sanctions on two Crimean politicians, ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Medvedchuk who chairs the pro-Kremlin Ukrainian Choice party. The European Union on Monday imposed travel bans and froze the assets of Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin and more than a dozen other Russian and Crimean officials as the Moscow Times reported.

“Today’s actions send a strong message to the Russian government that there are consequences for their actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation,” said the White House. “The United States, together with international partners, will continue to stand by the Ukrainian government to ensure that costs are imposed on Crimean separatists and their Russian backers.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin last June signed Mizulina’s bill into law after the state Duma unanimously approved it. Controversy over the statute, the Kremlin’s human rights record and escalating tensions between Moscow and Kiev overshadowed the 2014 Winter Olympics that took place last month in Sochi.

Gay journalist Jamie Kirchick and András Simonyi, the former Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. who is the managing director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Transatlantic Relations in D.C., and Spectrum Human Rights are among those who have urged the Obama administration to use a 2012 law to freeze the assets of Mizulina and others directly responsible for Russia’s anti-LGBT crackdown and prevent them from entering the country. The White House did not add the names to the Magnitsky Act named in honor of the eponymous Russian lawyer who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after authorities arrested him following his investigation into a $230 million tax fraud scheme before last December’s deadline passed.

Members of Spectrum Human Rights last month gathered in Dupont Circle to protest Mizulina and other Russian and Ukrainian lawmakers.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

National

DOJ urged to investigate threats against providers of transition-related care

Boston-area hospital forced to evacuate in August

Published

on

A coalition of major health organizations are calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigation threats against providers of gender transition-related medical care for youth, asserting ongoing hostility, including bomb threats and threats of personal violence.

The letter, dated Oct. 3, says medical providers are facing threats for providing “evidence-based health care” to youth, which has meant care for gender transitions, such as hormones, puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery. The targets of these threats, the letter says, are children’s hospitals, academic health systems and physicians across the country.

“These coordinated attacks threaten federally protected rights to health care for patients and their families,” the letter says. “The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions.”

The letter has an organizational signature from American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association, listing no names as representatives. According to the letter, the group represent 270,000 physicians and medical students and CHA represents more than 220 children’s hospitals across the country.

Major health organizations call on the U.S. Justice Department to take action weeks after Boston Children’s Hospital was forced to evacuate over a bomb threat. Authorities later arrested a woman charged with making the after she reportedly phoned in the threat and called the staff “sickos.”

The threats, the letter says, have had significant impact on providers and services to patients, including a new mother being prevented from being with her preterm infant because of a bomb threat; the need for increased security at children’s hospitals; and staffers facing “increased threats via social media – including to their personal accounts.”

A statement from organizations accompanying the letter urges social media companies — including Twitter, TikTok and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram — to “do more to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation.”

Jack Resneck, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement accompanying the letter “individuals in all workplaces have the right to a safe environment, out of harm’s way and free of intimidation or reprisal.”

“As physicians, we condemn groups that promote hate-motivated intolerance and toxic misinformation that can lead to grave real-world violence and extremism and jeopardize patients’ health outcomes,” Resneck said.

The Washington Blade has placed a call in with the Justice Department seeking comment on the letter and the American Medical Association seeking comment on why the letter has organizational signatures as opposed to signatures from any of their representatives.

Continue Reading

Virginia

Youngkin makes additional appointments to Va. LGBTQ+ Advisory Board

Governor plans to revise transgender, nonbinary student guidelines

Published

on

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday announced the appointment of three people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Youngkin named Kerry Flynn, Jason Geske and Collin J. Hite to the board.

Casey Flores, the president of Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond, in July resigned from the board before his tenure was to begin. The resignation came amid growing criticism over a series of anti-LGBTQ and misogynist comments he made against Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), among others.

Youngkin last month announced he plans to revise the Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students. Thousands of high school students across Virginia on Sept. 27 walked out of class in protest of the planned revision.

Continue Reading

National

Survey shows 72% of Utah residents back same-sex marriage

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah said he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality

Published

on

The results of a poll run by the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Desert News found 72% of Utah’s residents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights as cis-gender marriages.

“For a state that less than 20 years ago passed laws and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, there has been a seismic shift in opinion,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey also found that 23% of those surveyed disagreed, while 5% expressed that they don’t know.

The poll shows Utahns are aligned with the nation as a whole on the issue. A Gallup poll in May found 71% of Americans say they support legal same-sex marriage, a new high.

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told the Desert News that he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality.

“Utah is a pro-family state, and we recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes. When we see loving, committed couples joining in matrimony, our natural impulse is to support and encourage that love. This gives me great hope for the future,” he said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular