Mayor Ed Murray and Generations Aging with Pride host ‘Aging the LGBTQ Way’ June 3

LGBTQ community members are invited to participate in ‘Aging the LGBTQ Way’ on Saturday, June 3, at Seattle City Hall. The forum starts at 10am (arrive at 9:30am to visit the resource fair). Hear Mayor Ed Murray and community leaders. Learn what the Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality and Gender Study can tell us about Seattle. Consider the intersections between sexuality, gender, race, and social justice. Help inform #agefriendlySeattle with your own views about LGBTQ equity, respect, and inclusion; economic and housing security; social and civic engagement; and aging, health, and community services. Lunch and afternoon appetizers are included at no cost. Pre-register at For more info, e-mail or visit Age Friendly Seattle on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet: Aging the LGBTQ Way forum 6/3 Seattle City Hall #agefriendlySeattle @agefriendlySEA RSVP On Faceb

No visas for Chechen refugees Let ’em die, State Department says

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The US State Department has refused to issue visas to Gay Chechens fleeing persecution in their country, according to Russian LGBT activists. The Russian-based organization LGBT Network says about 40 Chechens have escaped the wave of kidnapping, tortures, and murders that swept up more than 100 of their Gay countrymen and are now in hiding in other parts of Russia. They are unable to get the visas that would allow them to leave the country, LGBT Network spokesperson Svetlana Zakharova told BuzzFeed News. In fact, just two Chechens have managed to secure visas and travel to safe countries since the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the campaign against Gay Chechens in April. A ‘handful’ have escaped Russia without visas, Zakharova said. Both the US and the European Union (EU) have expressed diplomatic concern over the anti-Gay persecutions an

FESTIVAL OF RESISTANCE Thousands march on May Day while churches promise sanctuary for immigrants and City Council Trump-proofs Seattle

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Thousands of people marched from Judkins Park to Seattle Center on May 1, while church leaders met at St. Mark’s Cathedral to relaunch the Sanctuary Movement. And at City Hall, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass a city income tax by July 10. Union workers and immigrants joined in a long march – larger than in recent years – through central Seattle. Along the way, marchers paused at some sites to support ongoing struggles. At 12th and Alder, for example, the march stopped to offer solidarity to a ‘pop-up block party’ protesting plans for a new youth detention center. The column then proceeded to Seattle University, where the school administration is stalling a union contract for adjunct professors. Downtown, members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and UNITE HERE (hotel and restaurant employees) lined the march route next to the new Amazon Doppler b

Downright calls on Exxon, BP, plus Shell to stand up for persecuted Gay men in Chechnya

OutRight Activity International is calling on British Oil, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell to take a stand contrary to the kidnapping, detention, torture, and murder of Gay men in Chechnya. All three companies have substantial investment and partnerships with state-owned oil and gas companies in Russia, with ventures worth hundreds of billions of bucks. Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, urges the oil companies to take a endure and said, ‘This is one of the worst homophobic campaigns the world has actually seen. If Russia will not listen to other governments or even the United Nations, it is time to see if we can get money to talk in a language that they will listen to. The arrests and torture of perceived Gay men has to end and the ones involved must be held to account. ‘ Over the past two weeks hundreds of Gay men or those perceived to become Gay have been systematically rounded up by Chechen authorities and positioned

Rainbow Railroad asks Canada for emergency visas to evacuate Chechen Gays

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian human rights group, has asked the Canadian government to issue emergency visas to Chechen Gays so they can flee their country. More than 100 Gay men have reportedly been arrested and tortured by Chechen police in the past month, and the government of Chechnya is said to have at least two secret prisons dedicated to holding and torturing Gay prisoners. Rainbow Railroad was founded in 2006 with the mission of helping LGBT people escape dangerous areas through an international network of safe travel routes. ‘Since we first received initial reports of gay concentration camps being established in Chechnya, Rainbow Railroad immediately reclassified Eastern Europe as a priority region,’ Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell explained. ‘This means we’re expanding our on-the-ground contacts as well as increasing our capacity to identi

Bi Online Hub Lost?

LiveJournal, the online community that was the home of the bi scene online for more than a decade, has ceased to be a safe space for LGBT blogging and communication. Before the web fragmented community to the four wind gusts, for many years from 2000 LiveJournal was your busiest online forum for bi people in the UK. National conference BiCon had […]

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Thank You For The Rainbows

Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag as an LGBT symbol, died recently. He was 65. The banner as invented in 1978 experienced 8 colours: this was reduced in order to six when the cost of the fabric in the pink stripe became very costly, and then indigo was lost as a balancing change so that when the banner was hung from […]

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Ed Murray proclaims Day of Action to support immigrants, refugees

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed March 21 a ‘Day of Action’ in support of immigrants and refugees, calling for comprehensive immigration reform. In an official proclamation, signed by himself and all nine city councilmembers, Murray reaffirmed that ‘Seattle is an inclusive, open, and welcoming city, and we will fight today and every day for the rights and security of our immigrant and refugee communities.’ In a press conference call before issuing the proclamation, Murray and three other mayors – Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; Jorge Elorza of Providence, Rhode Island; and Tom Tait of Anaheim, California – stressed the role city governments play in dealing with immigrants and immigration issues. Day of Action activities are meant to highlight the vital contributions immigrants make to their cities and the nation, the mayors said. They are also urging Congress and the Trump administr

Eurovision bars Russian entry

The host nation for the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine, has barred the Russian contestant from attending the competition titles later this spring. Julia Samoylova, was chosen to represent Russia using the song Flame is Burning, sang in Crimea in 2015 – a year after Russia siezed the particular territory from Ukraine. She is one of more than 100 artists blacklisted just for […]

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Seattle City Council to Congress: Pass the Equality Act for LGBT rights

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution at its March 13 meeting, calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act. The resolution adopted by the City Council states, ‘We find that federal laws that fully prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression are essential to furthering the well-being of the residents of and visitors to Seattle.’ The proposed Equality Act would add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. Currently, individual states are able to deny access to housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and more because of a resident’s sexual orientation or gender identity. While Washington state law protects LGBT rights, other states do not. The Equality Act would set a national standard that prohibits discrimination under the law based on gender identity or expression.