2014’s Lesson: Take Action. Lives Depend on It.

December has been a terrible month for human rights—from the U.S. Senate’s report confirming the use of torture, to the slaughter of Pakastani school children, to two grand jury decisions not to indict police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Overall, 2014 has been an extremely troubling year. Some human rights … Continue reading 2014’s Lesson: Take Action. Lives Depend on It.

Moving Forward: Four Steps and Six Strategies for Promoting LGBTI Rights Around the World

While viewers across the United States watched the Olympic closing ceremonies, Jason Collins became the first publicly gay male athlete to compete in a major North American professional sports league as he took to the basketball court in Los Angeles. NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games over the past two weeks dedicated less than two … Continue reading Moving Forward: Four Steps and Six Strategies for Promoting LGBTI Rights Around the World

The Wild East: Vigilante Violence against LGBTI Russians

When I was in high school, U.S.-Soviet "space bridges" were popular: a studio audience of Americans would connect up live with a studio audience in the USSR, and they'd pose each other questions with assistance from celebrity hosts like Phil Donahue and Vladimir Pozner. In July 1986, during a "women to women" space bridge between … Continue reading The Wild East: Vigilante Violence against LGBTI Russians

Locking the Iron Closet: Russia’s Propaganda Law Isolates Vulnerable LGBTI Youth

Update: Great news! A district court in Nizhni Tagil acquitted Elena Klimova on charges of violating Russia's "gay propaganda" law, according to a report this morning from Deti-404. In the court hearing, Klimova's attorney, Maria Kozlovskaya, presented an expert opinion that Deti-404 does not contain information that "promotes non-traditional sexual relations," and that in fact … Continue reading Locking the Iron Closet: Russia’s Propaganda Law Isolates Vulnerable LGBTI Youth

Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law: How U.S. Extremists Are Fueling the Fight Against LGBTI Rights

On June 30, 2013, just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decisions in favor of marriage equality in Windsor and Perry, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Federal Law 135, which bans propaganda to minors about "non-traditional sexual relations." For several years, opponents of marriage equality in the United States have … Continue reading Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law: How U.S. Extremists Are Fueling the Fight Against LGBTI Rights

Out in the Cold: LGBT Visibility at Olympics Key to Ending Homophobia

Last summer I spent a few days in Moscow to watch the Rugby Sevens World Cup. The tournament was held in the main stadium for the 1980 Summer Olympics—a stadium where U.S. Olympians never competed, due to a boycott over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The stadium has seen better days; during a downpour, large … Continue reading Out in the Cold: LGBT Visibility at Olympics Key to Ending Homophobia