TODAY — TRUMP TO MEET WITH PUTIN AT G-20 SUMMIT MEETING, MUST STAND WITH LGBTQ VICTIMS IN CHECHNYA: In a letter to President Donald Trump, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) called on him to address the issue of anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the two leaders’ scheduled meeting at the G-20 summit this week. “It is imperative that you forcefully raise this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when you meet him in Germany at the G-20 summit this week,” writes Griffin. “I urge you to stand with the victims by calling on President Putin to take immediate action to bring the violence to an end and the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes to justice.” The meeting comes as LGBTQ advocates in Russia tell BuzzFeed that the detentions of gay and bisexual men are again being ramped up in Chechnya. Since news first broke in April, more than 100 gay and bisexual men have been arrested and detained without charge. While some have been set free, reports indicate that many remain in detention, where they have been beaten, tortured, and at least three have been killed. HRC has repeatedly called on Secretary Tillerson and President Trump to forcefully condemn the atrocities in Chechnya. More from HRC, Metro Weekly and Washington Blade.
●Former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Daniel Baer penned a powerful oped in The Denver Post about this meeting, writing “Violence ordered, executed, or done with the tacit assent of the Kremlin is one way that Putin reinforces his power. At the same time, violence of political consequence that is not controlled by Putin is necessarily a challenge to him. The rounding up, torture, and killing of gays in Chechnya and Nemtsov’s killing may both be examples of the latter.” Read the full piece from The Denver Post.
TRUMP APPOINTS YET ANOTHER ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST: This time, it’s Bethany Kozma, who will — get this — serve as a senior adviser to the office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Kozma has warped views on gender, and transgender people, once referring to gender identity as “gender confusion.” She also opposes allowing transgender people — including children — to use facilities consistent with their gender identity, and once equated transgender women to “predators.” Now she’ll assume an influential role in an office that has a history of supporting LGBTQ equality. More from Advocate.
FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Ken Ballard is a great dad and ally to his 14-year-old transgender son — and he made sure the Texas Legislature knew how their proposed legislation could harm his family. In a new video shared by Equality Texas, we hear Ballard’s emotional story of loving his son and fighting for his rights, saying “”Was I going to be his bully? Was I going to try and put him back into a box that fit the rules of my world at the time or wait it out and see if it would just pass and go back to the way it’d use to be?” More from UpWorthy.
●OutSmart Magazine shares how a young LGBTQ ally won the election for Pearland, TX School Board.
PAGING GOVERNOR ABBOTT — MOST TEXANS OPPOSE ANTI-TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL: A PRRI survey found that 53 percent of Texans oppose a bill that would prevent transgender people from using facilities consistent with their gender identity; only 33 percent the discriminatory measure. HRC sharply criticized Governor Abbott for calling a special session of the Texas legislature in order to pass just such a bill. More from PRRI.
LAWYERS TO SEEK SCOTUS REVIEW OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION CASE: Lambda Legal wants the high court to determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the case of their client, Jameka Evans, who was allegedly harassed and fired from her job as a hospital security officer due to her sexual orientation. More from The Washington Blade.
WHO WANTS TO COME OUT AS A LESBIAN ON A NATIONAL TV GAME SHOW? HRC Global Innovator Mima Simić is a Croatian writer, cultural critic and LGBTQ rights advocate who famously came out on her country’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, one of the country’s most popular TV shows. The experience, she writes, “was a real break-through, not only for lesbian visibility in Croatia, but for me personally, as it was confirmed to me what a potent space for political activism popular culture was.” Read more from Mima in her piece for The Daily Beast.
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’S GAVIN RUSSOM COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER: In an interview with Pitchfork, the synth and electronics artist shared that she will continue to use the name Gavin. “Over the last year and a half, I went from my trans identity being something I was in touch with and worked through in one way or another, to suddenly this shift where it’s on the front burner. Now it’s time to become a whole person.” More from Pitchfork.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES FACED BY OLDER LGBTQ PEOPLE OF COLOR: Journalist Chandra Thomas Whitfield speaks to Cecelia Hayden Smith, who, as a Black LGBTQ elder, sees firsthand the way economic and health disparities affect those like her. More from NBC.
●A new report from the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Health Network looks at Latinx elders with HIV. More from NBC.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIM OBERGEFELL! Today is Jim Obergefell’s (@JimObergefell) birthday — one of the many brave plaintiffs who helped bring marriage equality to the nation with the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. More on Jim’s journey from HRC.
VIDEO — NORDIC AMBASSADORS DISCUSS LGBTQ EQUALITY: Equality is a fundamental value in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Same-sex marriage is legalized, and same-sex couples are able to adopt children in all five countries. Promoting equal rights abroad is also a central priority for the Nordic countries. Ambassadors from these country spoke to The Huffington Post’s Akbar Shahid Ahmed (@AkbarSAhmed) and Jennifer Bendery (@JBendery) about LGBTQ rights in Nordic countries and challenges to maintaining and expanding those rights. More from HuffPo.
HIV PREVENTION PROGRESS IN EUROPE: The European Parliament passed a resolution that would make PrEP, a once-daily pill that reduces the risk of acquiring HIV, available throughout Europe. More from Gay Times.
NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO APOLOGIZE TO MEN CONVICTED OF SAME-SEX SEXUAL ACTIVITY: The motion reads, “I move that this House apologise to those homosexual New Zealanders who were convicted for consensual adult activity, and recognise the tremendous hurt and suffering those men and their families have gone through, and the continued effects the convictions have had on them.” More from Pink News.
LET’S END THIS WEEK ON A FABULOUS NOTE: After watching RuPaul’s Drag Race together, Mikli Feria Jorge’s (@hiddenmikli) son asked to dress up like the drag queens on the television. The moment — complete with selfies and drag name personas — was captured on Twitter, and has gone viral. More from Twitter.
Meet Ballooni Liteg! (silent e, silent g)
(My drag name, from him, is Cat Astrfi) pic.twitter.com/bPtKfl9jd0
— Mikli Feria Jorge (@hiddenmikli) July 5, 2017
The New York Times shares the story of Bianca Sierra (@Bfromthe_BAYY) and Stephany Mayor (@StefMayor), two Mexican soccer players who moved to Iceland to find acceptance for their relationship; The New York Times interviews Juliana Huxtable, a transgender performance artist creating transgender-inclusive spaces; Curbed DC highlights eight historic LGBTQ sites in the nation’s capital;