The Vatican - Pope Francis strongly implied that Donald Trump is un-Christian in a February 8 sermon, while Trump advisor Steve Bannon has been working with traditionalist Catholic clergy to undermine the pontiff. “In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges,’ the pope said in his weekly catechism lesson. “To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say 'you will pay for that.' Never. That is not a Christian gesture. An offense you overcome with forgiveness. To live in peace with everyone.” Francis has used the 'bridge not walls' theme before. Last year, after visiting the US-Mexican border, the pope replied to a question about Trump by saying that anyone who wants to build a wall instead of a bridge is “not Christian.”
Washington, D.C. - Donald Trump executive orders suspending the US Refugee Admissions Program and banning people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen from entering the US will have devastating consequences for thousands of LGBT refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria. According to an HRC study, titled “Helping LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Age of ISIL,” the jihadi group “continues to actively target and execute Gay men,” leaving them no option but to try to escape to countries like the United States.
Mogadishu, Somalia – Reuters reports that the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab shot a man and a teenager in southern Somalia on January 10, saying the man and the 15-year-old had been seen having gay sex, a senior al Shabaab official said. According to Reuters hundreds of civilians gathered in a field in the town of Buale to watch them being shot, the second time al Shabaab has killed men accused of homosexuality, the official said, without giving details of the previous killing. Homosexuality and gay sex is outlawed in most of Africa's 54 states and can be punishable by imprisonment.
Austin, TX - Organizers are expecting between 10,000 and 15,000 people to converge on the Texas State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 21 for the 2017 Women’s March on Austin. The event is “a sister march” to the national Women’s March on Washington, D.C., being held the same day to support the rights of women and other minorities as the country’s liberal and progressive populations brace themselves for the presidency of Donald Trump. The marches in D.C. and Austin — and cities in at least 41 U.S. states and 15 foreign countries — take place the day after Trump’s inauguration.
Washington, D.C. – The Human Rights campaign has released its third annual report assessing how state legislation affects LGBT equality, and marked Pennsylvania as “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality,” the lowest ranking. The other categories were from lowest to highest were “Solidifying Equality,” “Building Equality, and “Working Toward Innovative Equality.” Maryland was ranked as “Building Equality,” the second best ranking. New Jersey and Delaware were among seven states that are “Solidifying Equality.”
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