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Trump tweets ‘never forget’ on anniversary of Pulse shooting

President posts image of 49 killed in gay nightclub

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Donald Trump, gay news, Washington Blade

President Donald Trump tweeted “never forget” on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

On the one-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre, President Trump tweeted on Monday an image of the 49 individuals killed at the gay nightclub, urging his followers to “never forget” the victims.

“We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting,” Trump tweeted.

Trump also used the hashtag #OrlandoUnitedDay, which is one of the hashtags used by those remembering the massacre in Orlando, Fla., as well as 49 people killed and 53 wounded on that day.

Trump’s tweet is consistent with remarks he made over his presidential campaign invoking the mass shooting, the deadliest in American history, as evidence of the need to confront Islamic extremism. During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump recalled the shooting and said he’d “protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology.”

But the tweet contrasts with anti-LGBT policy initiatives from Trump over the course of his administration, such as the revocation of Obama-era guidance assuring transgender kids access to school bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, as well as anti-LGBT appointments like U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson.

As similar violence inspired by violent extremism takes place across the globe, Trump has promoted the idea of a travel ban temporarily banning refugees and immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. Courts have enjoined the enforcement of the ban on the basis that it violates due process and freedom of religion and litigation challenging the ban has reached the Supreme Court.

A White House official told the Washington Blade via email the tweet represents Trump’s opposition to violence and commitment to defeating terrorism.

“The president has been clear that he condemns all acts of violence against any American and what happened in Orlando should never happen again,” the official said. “He will always fight against all acts of terrorism against any American.”

In response to a Blade inquiry on the origin of the photo Trump tweeted, the White House official professed to be unaware, but was looking into that.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. lnm3921

    June 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Trump evidently forgot it’s Pride and didn’t even bother to acknowledge it! He had time to speak before the Conservative Faith and Values Conference but no time for GLBT.

    Further, he hasn’t given a thought to those in Chechnya facing oppression and torture. Why isn’t he offering victims amnesty?

    • Don Davenport

      June 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      You must be a happy camper this afternoon with one of your fellow loons shooting up a “GOP baseball practice”. Go to JR’s and have a beer to celebrate.

      • Mark Cichewicz

        June 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm

        Yours is a sick reply to Inm3921. He is O so right about Trump. We’re all under the buss if we voted for him or not. Don Davenport you must be a loger who voted for Trump. Your strips are showing, and it’s so sad you believed Trump’s empty promises.

        • Don Davenport

          June 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm

          You all often blame crimes on republican rhetoric, but when the tables are turned and one of your own commits an act of violence and someone throws your nonsense back at you, then it’s “sick” and mean-spirited.

          P.S. I did not vote for Trump.

          • lnm3921

            June 16, 2017 at 12:17 am

            Most crimes and violence can be traced back to Republican rhetoric so we put the blame on mame rightfully, yet you have tunnel vision over that and only care when it’s not one of your own doing it!

            P.S. Whether you voted for Trump not doesn’t matter since you support him now and his agenda!

          • Don Davenport

            June 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

            Stalin, Mao, Castro, the Islamic ideology committed violence and murdered millions but you and your fellow loons are big supporters of them.

          • lnm3921

            June 17, 2017 at 11:53 pm

            Hitler and his party let alone a long history of Christian extremists ideology committed violence and murdered millions but you are your fellow right-wing fanatics support them!

            GLBT in particular were subjected to centuries of laws that imprisoned them in Europe and America. In Europe, it was a capital offense costing the lives of many by torture such as the pillory!

            Millions died during the AIDS crisis due to Christian conservatives obstructing attention to it because they labeled a gay disease!

          • Don Davenport

            June 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

            Actually Hitler was a great admirer of Islam. He once quoted “The only religion I respect is Islam. The only prophet I admire is the Prophet Muhammad.”

            Also the leader of the Muslim world during WWII raised a division of Muslim fighters for the German war effort (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mkbBudJu1w).

            At any rate here is peace offering that should warm you and your fellow progressive’s hearts.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1cd85bf9e54a906f3f4884dae2ad196ec979b6acc5bce0f4280fea5d2642565d.jpg

            Please ignore the title just as you would the treatment of gays under Islamic law.

            Wishing you a happy pride month and Ramadan blessings. Allah Akbar!!

          • lnm3921

            June 19, 2017 at 8:03 pm

            So what? Russia is guilty of abuses and laws that make life miserable for GLBT people there. The legal authorities there ignoring gay bashers and are known to aid them. Further, they do nothing to help with Chechnya. Meanwhile, your fake POTUS casts a blind eye to all of this and actively courts them.
            In addition, your fake POTUS has no issue with Saudi Arabia having laws that impose capital punishment for GLBT! How is he protecting us here? He’s actively courted them to do business deals with the US and said nothing about these abuses.
            You may fool yourself into thinking Trump is doing something by selectively picking a sample of Islamic countries to ban but that is just a political farce!
            You’re a fanatic. Go to Europe and mount a holy crusade for Christendom to march on Islam and stop whining to us about supporting your party or POTUS who do nothing good for us!

          • Don Davenport

            June 21, 2017 at 1:02 am

            You must not be a happy snowflake this morning…http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/politics/georgia-house-results-ossoff-handel/index.html

            Must be the Russians interfering again.

            You and your fellow loons should go out and chant “HEY HEY, HO HO, RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN GEORGIA ELECTIONS HAS GOT TO GO!!”

            Please keep it peaceful. No smashing windows, burning cars or toppling over planters.

          • lnm3921

            June 21, 2017 at 9:11 am

            Again, who cares you right-wing crackpot? It’s a red state who passed a constitutional amendment against marriage equality when it was legal to do so. Russia didn’t have to bother!

            You’re a disgrace and embarrassment to the GLBT movement and community! Tell me when I can read about your lobotomy courtesy of those you support who would classify your sexuality as a mental disorder!

          • Don Davenport

            June 21, 2017 at 1:47 pm

            The Democrats have spent $100’s of millions trying to win back house seats since Trump became president and are 0-5 (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/21/georgia-special-election-gop-boasts-democrats-are-0-5-in-special-house-races.html).

            Just think of what meaningful causes that money could have been used for. It could have been used to fight global warming, err I mean “climate change”, transgender awareness, outreach to two-spirited and Muslim communities, etc.

            Why don’t you and your comrades give a “HEY HEY, HO HO” to the Dems for such a waste of $$$? – HEY HEY, HO HO, FOOLISH DEMOCRATIC WASTING AND SPENDING TO WIN ELECTIONS HAS GOT TO GO!!

            Err come to think of it, maybe some of that money could have been used for research in developing newer protest chants. The “HEY HEY, HO HO” thing is so 1980’s-90’s ;-)

          • lnm3921

            June 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm

            How much money could people have in their pockets if we didn’t waste billions on Trump’s border wall let alone tax cuts for the rich and corporations at the expense of the poor and middle class that only drive up the deficit?

            Keep being smug and assuming you will have control of the White House and Congress forever. I recall you had control during the Bush year’s and since then we’ve had Obama in office and the Dems controlling the Senate. Gloat today and cry tomorrow.

            The seats you won were firmly Republican anyway in particular in South Carolina and Georgia!

            Your support of the anti-LGBT fake POTUS and Party has us remember that:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33172d8335be753546b00cfadab2dc077bb3934d2404161f41ad576d35931580.png
            Can’t wait until your right-wing cronies strap you down and do the following to you except in your case it needs to be an electric cattle prod up your ying yang!
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7086283093058cef733071b590dd57bd1062908670b29f7e14a4b379fd4220b5.jpg

          • Don Davenport

            June 22, 2017 at 10:59 pm

            Electrocution of gay teens is really bad. Honestly and sincerely I shocked to hear about this (npi).

            About the only one I ever knew who wanted to be willingly shocked was Ace Frehley of KISS, (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7DHbCYSu_w4).

            I’m so against this practice that I give a hardy HEY HEY, HO HO, ELECTROCUTION OF GAY TEENS BY MIKE PENCE HAS GOT TO GO!!!

          • lnm3921

            June 23, 2017 at 12:32 am

            Take your act to the new gong show where acts of your quality usually fit in nicely!

      • lnm3921

        June 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        How dare you come to me with this BS after your NC Trump supporter went to shoot people in the DC Pizzeria last year based on fake right-wing news!

        Did you go get a beer at JR’s to celebrate when your fellow right-wing loon shot Gabby Giffords, a Democrat?

        Did you think we forgot any of that?

        Crawl back into your viper pit of shame with the rest of your Trump supporters where you slithered out of! Liberal Moongooses won’t have any of it!

        Your fake POTUS’ nasty demeanor, partisan divisionary tactics and unwanted agenda only flames the status quo. It was never this bad under Obama! I’m sure Trump will only making it worse over time!!!!! He’s a failure!!

        • Don Davenport

          June 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm

          You sound very hateful and bitter. Get off these message boards, take a hot bath and then got outside and shout one of your “HEY HEY, HO HO”chants.

          • lnm3921

            June 16, 2017 at 12:12 am

            Listen to chicken lecture on being hateful and bitter. You’re a hate monger using hysteria over Islam to advance your right-wing agenda all the time!

            Go get an extreme make up over. One that siphons away much of the fat so you can fit into that little black dress and go swishing down P street in your pumps and makeup!!

          • Don Davenport

            June 17, 2017 at 7:23 pm

            If you truly cared about LGBT rights you would care and speak out against how gays are persecuted under Islamic law. But instead you and your fellow loons ally with slick haters and taqiya pushers like Linda Sarsour. She and her co-religionists hate you more than Trump.
            “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”Ibn Kathir on 3:28

            Get a load of this one. A devout Muslim murders 49 and injures scores of others at an Orlando night club, and this incident has brought together members who share the same religion as the shooter and those who are of the same orientation of the victims, whom the shooters religion demands be put to death. https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/6/12/how-pulse-forged-lasting-partnership-between-muslims-and-lgbts

            And you both vowed to ally against a man who vowed to defeat such violence (Wether he does, remains to be seen).

            As they say, “You can’t make this shlt up.”

          • lnm3921

            June 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm

            I can give you many examples of atrocities and laws imposed by Christianity. Even now, they are trying to roll back the clock with religious freedom laws and eliminating the Johnson Amendment to give them tax exempt status to promote ideology and codify it against us!
            Caring about GLBT freedom and rights doesn’t mean giving blind devotion and carte blanche to a political party with a long history of promoting such oppression! You can’t use hysteria to manipulate me into supporting your right-wing agenda and NEVER will! You don’t care about GLBT you only care about your conservative ideology and promoting it!

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National

Venezuelan man with AIDS dies in ICE custody

Pablo Sánchez Gotopo passed away at Miss. hospital on Oct. 1

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Pablo Sanchez Gotopo, who was living with HIV/AIDS, died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in Mississippi on Oct. 1, 2021. (Courtesy photo)

A Venezuelan man with AIDS died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody on Oct. 1.

An ICE press release notes Pablo Sánchez Gotopo, 40, died at Merit Health River Oaks in Flowood, Miss., which is a suburb of Jackson, the state capital. The press release notes the “preliminary cause of death was from complications with acute respiratory failure, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), pneumonia, acute kidney failure, anemia and COVID-19.”

ICE said U.S. Border Patrol took Sánchez into custody near Del Rio, Texas, on May 17. He arrived at the Adams County Detention Center in Natchez, Miss., four days later.

“Upon arrival to an ICE facility, all detainees are medically screened and administered a COVID-19 test by ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) personnel,” said ICE in its press release. “Sánchez’s test results came back negative.”

The press release notes Sánchez on July 28 received another COVID-19 test after he “began showing symptoms of COVID-19.” ICE said he tested negative, but Adams County Detention Center personnel transferred him to a Natchez hospital “for additional advanced medical care.”

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations staff in its New Orleans Field Office, according to the press release, “coordinated with hospital staff to arrange family visitation” after Sánchez’s “health condition deteriorated.” Sánchez was transferred to Merit Health River Oaks on Sept. 25.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases,” says the press release.

Venezuela’s political and economic crises have prompted more than 10,000 people with HIV to leave the country, according to the New York-based Aid for AIDS International.

Activists and health care service providers in Venezuela with whom the Washington Blade has spoken in recent years have said people with HIV/AIDS in the country have died because of a lack of antiretroviral drugs. Andrés Cardona, director of Fundación Ancla, a group in the Colombian city of Medellín that works with migrants and other vulnerable groups, told the Blade last month that many Venezuelans with HIV would have died if they hadn’t come to Colombia.

The Blade has not been able to verify a Venezuelan activist’s claim that Sánchez was gay. It is also not known why Sánchez decided to leave Venezuela and travel to the U.S.

ICE detainee with HIV described Miss. detention center as ‘not safe’

Activists and members of Congress continue to demand ICE release people with HIV/AIDS in their custody amid reports they don’t have adequate access to medications and other necessary medical treatment.

Two trans women with HIV—Victoria Arellano from Mexico and Roxsana Hernández from Honduras—died in ICE custody in 2007 and 2018 respectively. Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, a trans woman with HIV who fled El Salvador, died in 2019, three days after ICE released her from a privately-run detention center.

The Blade in July 2020 interviewed a person with HIV who was in ICE custody at the Adams County Detention Center. The detainee said there was no social distancing at the privately-run facility and personnel were not doing enough to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

“It’s not safe,” they told the Blade.

The entrance to the Adams County Detention Center in Natchez, Miss. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, a Natchez resident who supports ICE detainees and their families, on Wednesday told the Blade that she was able to visit the Adams County Detention Center and other ICE facilities in the Miss Lou Region of Mississippi and Louisiana from November 2019 until the suspension of in-person visitation in March 2020 because of the pandemic.

“Medical neglect and refusal of medical care has always been an issue in the detention center at Adams County,” said Grant-Gibson. “After the facilities were closed to public visitation, those problems increased.”

Grant-Gibson told the Blade she “worked with a number of families and received phone calls from a number of detainees, and I was told again and again that detainees were being refused the opportunity to visit the infirmary.”

“When they did visit the infirmary, they were given virtually no treatment for the issues they were presenting with,” said Grant-Gibson.

ICE in its press release that announced Sánchez’s death said fatalities among its detainees, “statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the national average for the U.S. detained population.” ICE also noted it spends more than $315 million a year “on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.”

“ICE’s Health Service Corps (IHSC) ensures the provision of necessary medical care services as required by ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards and based on the medical needs of the detainee,” notes the ICE press release. “Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment detainees arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay. All ICE detainees receive medical, dental, and mental health intake screening within 12 hours of arriving at each detention facility, a full health assessment within 14 days of entering ICE custody or arrival at a facility, and access to daily sick call and 24-hour emergency care.”

An ICE spokesperson on Wednesday pointed the Blade to its Performance-Based Detention Standards from 2011, which includes policies for the treatment of detainees with HIV/AIDS.

A detainee “may request HIV testing at any time during detention” and ICE detention centers “shall develop a written plan to ensure the highest degree of confidentiality regarding HIV status and medical condition.” The policy also states that “staff training must emphasize the need for confidentiality, and procedures must be in place to limit access to health records to only authorized individuals and only when necessary.”

“The accurate diagnosis and medical management of HIV infection among detainees shall be promoted,” reads the policy. “An HIV diagnosis may be made only by a licensed health care provider, based on a medical history, current clinical evaluation of signs and symptoms and laboratory studies.”

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Report details anti-LGBTQ discrimination, violence in Kenya refugee camp

March 15 attack left gay man dead

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Ugandan refugees, gay news, Washington Blade
The Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya (Photo by the E.U. Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations via Flickr)

A new report released on Wednesday indicates nearly all of the LGBTQ people who live in a Kenya refugee camp have experienced discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration and Rainbow Railroad in May 2021 surveyed 58 LGBTQ asylum seekers who live at the Kakuma refugee camp and the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement that opened in 2016 to help alleviate overcrowding at Kakuma. The groups also interviewed 18 “key informants.”

More than 90 percent of the LGBTQ asylum seekers who spoke with ORAM and Rainbow Railroad said they have been “verbally assaulted.”

Eighty-three percent of them indicated they suffered “physical violence,” with 26 percent of them reporting sexual assault. All of the transgender respondents “reported having experienced physical assault,” with 67 percent of them “reporting sexual assault.”

Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they had been “denied police assistance due to their sexual identity.” Nearly half of the respondents told ORAM and Rainbow Railroad they had to be “relocated from their allocated shelters to alternative accommodation due to the constant abuses directed at them by neighbors.”

Kakuma, which is located in northwest Kenya near the country’s border with Uganda and South Sudan, is one of two refugee camps the U.N. Refugee Agency operates in the East African nation. The other, Dadaab, is located near Kenya’s border with Somalia.

The report notes upwards of 160,000 refugees from South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia and Uganda were living in Kakuma as of January.

Those who responded to the ORAM and Rainbow Railroad survey are from Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Yemen and Ethiopia and all of them have asked for asylum in Kenya. Ninety-four percent of them live in Kakuma, while the remaining six percent live in Kalobeyei.

The report also estimates there are 350 LGBTQ asylum seekers in Kakuma and Kalobeyei. UNHCR in 2020 created Block 13 in Kakuma that is specifically for LGBTQ refugees.

Gay man died after Block 13 attack

Two gay men suffered second-degree burns during an attack on Block 13 on March 15. One of the men died a few weeks later at a hospital in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

Forty-one of the Block 13 residents who participated in the ORAM and Rainbow Railroad survey said that “relocation to a safer place as a priority.” The report also notes some respondents who live outside Block 13 “said that the activism in Block 13 was affecting the overall relationship between LGBTQI+ asylum seekers and service providers in the camp.”

“They expressed concern with some activities conducted as part of their activism,” reads the report. “For example, they alleged that some activists were conducting staged attacks on individuals and false claims of violence to attract media attention as part of their advocacy.”

The report notes “allegations of activity from activists in Block 13 have not been confirmed.” Some of the “key informants” who ORAM and Rainbow Railroad interviewed for their report, however, “observed that LGBTQI+ activists from different countries have been supporting the advocacy in Block 13 without considering the local context and potential negative or unintended consequences.”

“They allege that the advocacy has been antagonizing LGBTQI+ members with other refugees in the camp and service providers,” reads the report. “For example, some of the LGBTQI+ asylum seekers were reported to have deserted their allocated shelters, moved to Block 13 and were persistently demanding new shelters.”

An attack at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya on March 15, 2021, left two gay refugees with second-degree burns. One of these men later died. (Photo courtesy of Gilbert Kagarura)

UNHCR in a statement after the March 15 attack noted Kenya “remains the only country in the region to provide asylum to those fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” even though consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. The ORAM and Rainbow Railroad report acknowledges both points.

“Asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya are not immune to pervasive anti-LGBTQI+ attitudes in the community,” it reads. “As the number of LGBTQI+ asylum seekers and refugees increases rapidly, it is important to understand their unique protection needs and plan for safe and dignified service delivery to meet those needs.”

The report notes more than 70 percent of respondents have gone to Kakuma’s main hospital the International Rescue Committee operates in order to receive HIV/AIDS-related services. More than 85 percent of respondents said they “preferred to seek all other health services beyond HIV and AIDS services at the main hospital, since the facility was friendly and provided a stigma-free environment for the LGBTQI+ community in the camp.”

“Respondents reported traveling long distances in order to visit the main hospital,” reads the report.

The report notes limited access to cardiologists and other specialists at the eight health facilities in the camp that UNHCR partner organizations operates. Roughly a third of respondents also said they have “been stigmatized in some of the health clinics.”

“This included being referred to as shoga (a derogatory Kiswahili term used to refer to homosexuality) either by staff members or other refugees in the waiting room while waiting to see a provider, or some providers just directing them to the main hospital with snide remarks about how they do not entertain LGBTQI+ persons in their facility,” reads the report.

The African Human Rights Coalition, the Refugee Coalition of East Africa and Upper Rift Minorities are among the other groups that work with the camp’s LGBTQ residents.

The report notes only a third of respondents “were actively engaged in economic activity at the time of the study, a majority depended on the food rations distributed in the camp.” It also contains 10 recommendations, which are below, to improve conditions for LGBTQ refugees in Kakuma.

1) The Refugee Affairs Secretariat of Kenya must fast-track refugee status determination of LGBTQ asylum seekers with further support from UNHCR and civil society organizations.

2) The Refugee Affairs Secretariat of Kenya and UNHCR must create more responsive and sensitive protection services for LGBTQ refugees in Kenya.

3) Civil society organizations and their supporters should provide livelihood support and other support to meet the immediate needs of LGBTQ refugees in Kakuma.

4) Governments of resettlement countries must resume and fast track resettlement of LGBTQ refugees from Kenya.

5) UNHCR and civil society organizations must continue to build skills development programs for employability.

6) LGBTQ civil society organizations should work more closely with refugee-led organizations and collectives to build self-protection services.

7) Donor communities should participate in more long-term development programming for LGBTQI+ refugees in Kenya.

8) LGBTQ civil society organizations providing support to refugees in Kenya must coordinate more closely.

9) LGBTQ civil society organizations and refugee-led organizations should continue to advocate for more inclusive human rights in Kenya.

10) Civil society must continue the push for LGBTQ human rights globally, including decriminalization of same sex intimacy.

“This much-needed report underscores the challenges, dangers and complexities of life that LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers face in Kakuma refugee camp,” said ORAM Executive Director Steve Roth in a press release that announced the report’s release. “The refugees themselves have spoken and they want to be heard. UNHCR, governments and civil society organizations must work together to ensure the immediate safety and well-being of this community while also addressing the longer term, durable solutions we recommend in the report.”

Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell added refugee camps cannot “become permanent solutions to crises of forced displacement.”

“The findings of this report confirm a key goal of Rainbow Railroad—to fast track resettlement of LGBTQI+ refugees,” he said. “Rainbow Railroad and civil society partners are ready to provide support to LGBTQI+ persons at risk and assist in further resettlement. Ultimately, we need the UNHCR, the government of Kenya and governments of countries that are destinations for refugees to step up an ensure that LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in the camp are resettled in safer countries.”

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¿Cómo debe quedar redactado el Código de las Familias de Cuba?

Activistas presentan sugerencias para que la nueva ley sea más inclusiva

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Activistas LGBTQ en La Habana (Foto de María Lucía Expósito)

Tremenda Nota es el socio mediático del Washington Blade en Cuba. Esta nota salió en su sitio web el 18 de octubre.

LA HABANA — Varios grupos LGBTIQ+ presentaron propuestas sobre el anteproyecto de Código de las Familias, con el propósito de que sean valoradas por la comisión redactora y sirvan para mejorar la futura ley que debe reconocer el matrimonio igualitario, además de otros derechos.

“Quienes firmamos este documento somos proyectos, iniciativas y activistas de la comunidad LGBTIQ+ cubana. A través del mismo deseamos hacerles llegar nuestras consideraciones sobre el anteproyecto de Código de las Familias, el cual se encuentra actualmente en un proceso de consultas especializadas”, escribieron en la presentación del documento, que está firmado por la Plataforma 11M, el Proyecto AfroAtenAs, la campaña Ahora Sí, la Alianza Afro-Cubana, el grupo Dame la Mano, el Centro Social y Biblioteca Libertaria Abra, y la revista Tremenda Nota.

Los activistas consideraron que el anteproyecto de ley “es un documento avanzado y progresista, no solo con respecto a su antecesor, sino incluso comparado con las legislaciones en otros países del mundo”.

A pesar de eso, opinaron que “faltan algunas cuestiones importantes en este documento para que sea un Código verdaderamente revolucionario y atemperado a la sociedad cubana actual y futura”.

Después de mencionar varios “aspectos positivos”, que los activistas asumen como “innegociables” hicieron minuciosas recomendaciones a los redactores del texto legal, “en ejercicio de nuestro derecho ciudadano a participar en la revisión del Código de Familias”.

Estas observaciones tienen el objetivo de que el proyecto de ley “sea lo más abarcador y flexible posible, de modo que refleje el espíritu y letra de la Constitución de Cuba aprobada en 2019 y refrende los tratados internacionales de protección de la infancia, la mujer y la familia de los que Cuba es signataria”.

Sobre el pasaje relativo a “Derechos de la infancia y la adolescencia en el ámbito familiar”, los activistas recomendaron incluir “la libertad del menor a la libre identidad de género y orientación sexual”.

Para el artículo 61, que define el matrimonio como “la unión voluntariamente concertada de dos personas”, recomendaron “que se tomen en cuenta las relaciones de más de dos personas”.

El anteproyecto plantea la posibilidad de una “autorización judicial excepcional” para que personas menores de 18 años puedan casarse. Los activistas, en cambio, sugieren eliminar esa opción, ateniéndose a normas internacionales.

Una de las novedades del nuevo Código de las Familias es la “gestación solidaria”, que la ley autorizará a personas “unidas por vínculos familiares”. Los grupos LGBTIQ+ piensan que la opción debe existir también para personas “afectivamente cercanas”.

También recomendaron que se añada una definición de “gestación solidaria” y se incluyan principios que protejan a las gestantes de cualquier presión o violencia.

“La gestante contará con un asesor legal independiente al de las personas comitentes”, proponen añadir al texto.

Sobre la “responsabilidad parental”, el concepto que sustituye a la “patria potestad” tradicional, los activistas señalaron que los padres deben “proteger” la “libre determinación” de la “identidad de género y orientación sexual”.

En este punto, también recomendaron garantizar “los conocimientos y garantías materiales para el libre ejercicio de su sexualidad sin discriminaciones”.

También propusieron que “los derechos y responsabilidades parentales para con la/el menor no se vean afectados cuando alguno de los padres o las madres lleve a cabo un proceso de transición de género”.

Por último, sugirieron que “en cuanto a los menores bajo la tutela del Estado se les respete y proteja su libre determinación en cuanto a la identidad de género y orientación sexual velando siempre por el interés superior del menor”.

“Esperamos que estas consideraciones y sugerencias sean tomadas en cuenta para la redacción final del anteproyecto que será presentado próximamente a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular”, concluyeron.

Activistas se reúnen con la Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas en Santa Clara

La publicación Entre Diversidades informó que el pasado 12 de octubre un grupo de activistas LGBTIQ+ se reunió en Santa Clara, al centro de Cuba, con funcionarios de la Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas en esa ciudad.

En el intercambio participó el promotor cultural Ramón Silverio, el fundador del centro El Mejunje, considerado un lugar icónico para la comunidad LGBTIQ+ en Cuba.

Estos activistas también hicieron recomendaciones sobre el futuro Código de las Familias y el programa de educación sexual establecido por el Ministerio de Educación, que fue postergado en septiembre, probablemente tras la presión de grupos fundamentalistas cristianos.

Los activistas reclamaron “una educación (escolar y comunitaria) que realmente contemple la diversidad en todo su espectro” y en ese sentido se declararon inconformes con el aplazamiento del programa de educación sexual.

También pidieron espacio en los medios de comunicación para visibilizar a la comunidad LGBTIQ+.

Celebraron la adopción del matrimonio igualitario en el anteproyecto de Código de las Familias, pero solicitaron “que se garanticen los derechos de la comunidad trans en toda su pluralidad”.

Según los activistas, el Estado debe garantizar a las personas trans “cambio de identidad en el carnet, tratamiento hormonal y apoyo en la reasignación de sexo”.

“Además se hace necesaria una estrategia respecto al uso de baños públicos para esta comunidad”, añadieron.

Lo mismo que las organizaciones independientes, señalaron que se garanticen derechos a las “infancias trans”.

Aprovecharon para denunciar la violencia policial contra personas LGBTIQ+.

“Se debe garantizar la protección por parte de los agentes de seguridad ante cualquier acto de discriminación y odio. Se debe abarcar desde un comentario homofóbico hasta la violencia física contra cualquier miembro de la comunidad. Por esta razón, son necesarias leyes que juzguen justamente a quienes nos agraden”, dice la nota de Entre Diversidades.

Los activistas denunciaron “el papel que han jugado las instituciones estatales en la marginación de la comunidad LGBTIQ+”.

“Para demostrar una verdadera voluntad política de cambio, es necesario que estas instituciones apoyen el trabajo de los activistas, ya que estas son las que tienen los medios. También es necesario que de dichas instituciones salgan iniciativas inclusivas y que aporten a la creación de una Cuba verdaderamente diversa”, dijeron.

Por último, alertaron sobre “el ascenso de los fundamentalistas religiosos a puestos directivos y de poder, como universidades y hospitales”. Consideraron que “esto puede poner en peligro los derechos alcanzados hasta al momento y la concreción de las luchas futuras, como la aprobación del Código de las Familias”.

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