Report: Chechnya authorities arrest more than 100 gay men

From The Washington Blade:

by Maximilian Sycamore
April 4, 2017

A Russian newspaper is reporting there has been a “prophylactic sweep” of men “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such” by authorities in Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta on Saturday reported more than 100 men in the semi-autonomous Russian republic have been arrested. At least three of these arrests have reportedly resulted in murder.

“What is happening to gay men in Chechnya is a horrific violation of human rights and the rule of law,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord in a statement.

He added Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should “publicly condemn these actions.”

“The United States cannot stand idly by while innocent people are being rounded up, detained, and murdered by authorities,” said Gaylord.

The Washington Blade has reached out to the State Department for comment.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Russian government, said “the Kremlin knows” about the situation, but “it is a question of law enforcement agencies.”

“It is not the Kremlin’s agenda,” he said.

The Chechen government appears to have taken a similar stance on the situation.

“It’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic,” said Ali Karimov, a spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, in a statement to RIA Novosti, a Russian government news agency.

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How the Texas Bathroom Bill Could Cost It the 2018 Final Four

From Fortune:

Jeff Bukhari
Apr 03, 2017

San Antonio may have a Texas-sized problem on its hands.

The city is scheduled to host college basketball’s Final Four next year, but if state legislators pass a bill that would restrict access to bathrooms for the transgendered community, the NCAA could pull the plug on the climax of March Madness.

The NCAA is a dedicated anti-discrimination organization and has taken a hard line on the issue in the past. After North Carolina passed a similar measure restricting bathroom use last year, the association pulled first- and second-round games of this year’s tournament out of Greensboro, costing the city an estimated $14.5 million, according to the city’s visitors center.

San Antonio would have to contend with a much bigger loss in revenue because it would lose out on the biggest spectacle college basketball has to offer, as opposed to some early-round games. The city last hosted the Final Four in 2008, which brought an extra $47 million to the area.

Complete article at:

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