National, World News Briefs

Human rights activists protest the World Cup in Moscow

LGBT+ and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is in Moscow to protest the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Tatchell was severely beaten by neo-Nazis in Moscow in 2007 while the police stood by and watched. Speaking from the Russian capital, he said in part:

“I am here in Moscow to call out FIFA over giving the 2018 World Cup to a human-rights-abusing country like Russia and FIFA’s failure to tackle homophobia and racism by football (soccer) leagues, clubs, players, and fans. It’s appalling that this tournament is being held in a country where gay football fans are openly threatened that they will be hunted down, beaten and stabbed. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like that of Vladimir Putin. LGBT+ people suffer state-sanctioned persecution and vigilante violence.”

Also, a Ukrainian artist designed a series of World Cup protest posters ahead of the start of the tournament. Andriy Yermolenko’s red-and-black-themed posters aim at Russia’s alleged crimes and human rights violations at home and around the world. According to, Facebook banned the posters.

TrevorLIVE raises over $2M

On June 11, The Trevor Project hosted its 2018 TrevorLIVE New York gala where it honored Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe; writer/director/producer Greg Berlanti; and McKinsey & Company Managing Partner Dominic Barton. U.S. Olympic medalists Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy hosted the event. The gala raised over $2 million and included performances by singer-songwriter Rita Ora and the cast of Viceland’s My House.

Couple sentenced for fatal torture of an 8-year-old boy

A Southern California mother receives life in prison, and her boyfriend gets the death penalty in the killing of an 8-year-old boy who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay, reported the New York Post. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli sentenced Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre, calling the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez “beyond animalistic.”

Gabriel was repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a cabinet, shot with a BB gun, and once had his teeth knocked out with a bat, the judge said, according to USA Today.

The boy also had a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.

NCLR denounces new limitations on asylum claims

The NCLR issued a statement after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions imposed stringent new limitations on asylum claims brought by those fleeing domestic or gang violence. In part, NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said that the “decision by Attorney General Sessions is an unprincipled setback that overturns years of precedent recognizing that those persecuted by domestic and gang violence are eligible to seek asylum. … This decision will fall hardest on women and LGBT people, who are disproportionately likely to experience these forms of abuse.”

Shanghai Pride turns 10

As the world observes LGBT pride this month, China’s budding LGBT communities are playing their part. This week, the Shanghai Pride festival is celebrating its 10th year with a series of cultural events. Although Shanghai Pride is the first public annual event that honors LGBT pride in mainland China, it excludes “flamboyant parades like in the West,” Inkstone News reported.

Image | Protest poster by Andriy Yermolenko

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