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Bay Area Reporter – CA lawmakers take a stand for gay Chechens
September 14, 2017 at 10:32 am

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California legislators adopted a resolution September 11 urging President Donald Trump and Congress to condemn the government-sanctioned persecution, torture, and murder of gay men in the Chechen Republic.

The bipartisan measure, Assembly Joint Resolution 16, authored by gay Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) passed 76-3.

The resolution is sponsored by Equality California.

News of torture of 100 suspected-gay men and the alleged death of three men in Chechnya broke in April.

“LGBT Chechens are being attacked because of who they are and who they love,” Low said in a news release from the California Legislative LGBT Caucus Monday. “We must take action now to condemn the human rights abuses, assist those fleeing persecution, and prevent further violence.”

The resolution also urged Trump and Congress to encourage the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to grant asylum and refugee status for people fleeing persecution due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

EQCA applauded the Legislature’s action, noting California’s influence internationally and its strong protections for LGBT people.

“It is our responsibility to use our prominence as a beacon of hope as parts of the world slide into authoritarianism and bigotry,” Rick Zbur, EQCA executive director, said in the release.

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