August 19, 2022

U.N. Expert Will Asses Human Rights of LGBT Persons in The U.S.

United Nations Building in New York

GENEVA (16 August 2022) –The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, will visit the United States of America from 16 to 29 August 2022.

“The visit provides an important opportunity to assess the implementation of human rights standards to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse (LGBT) people in the country,” said Madrigal-Borloz.

“During my visit I will assess the progress towards the eradication of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, highlight remaining gaps and challenges and provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders. I will also explore root causes of violence and discrimination, including the impact of social prejudice and intersecting forms of discrimination,” the expert said.

During the visit, the UN expert will engage with Government authorities, human rights defenders and advocates, religious and business leaders, and others.

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, mandated by the Human Rights Council, is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government. He will travel to Washington D.C., Birmingham – Alabama, Miami – Florida, and San Diego - California.

A press conference will be held on 30 August at 11 a.m. local time at the UN Headquarters in New York, to share preliminary findings with the media. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The expert will present his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023. 

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Mr. / Ms. Victor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 1 January 2018. Victor Madrigal-Borloz is the Eleanor Roosevelt senior visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. Until June 2019, he served as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). A member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, Mr Madrigal-Borloz was Rapporteur on Reprisals and oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this, he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica).

His mandate covers all countries and has most recently been renewed by Human Rights Council resolution 41/18

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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For inquiries and media requests, please contact Manon Beury (+41 22 917 11 87 –

UN Human Rights country page: United States of America

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts, please contact Renato Rosario De Souza ( or Dharisha Indraguptha (

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts

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Carl Nassib Tampa Signing An Important Milestone for Gays and NFL

Carl Nassib signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bolsters the undeniable claim that sports have changed, and out gay athletes are welcomed even in the NFL

Carl Nassib signing a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could go down as one of the most important moments in LGBT history.

Coming out publicly as a gay pro athlete takes a ton of courage. It mandates the person — particularly a gay or bi-male athlete — welcomes some form of attention for sharing his true self, which could at times feel a bit overwhelming. Given the very few publicly out gay pro athletes, it can also create some feelings of loneliness.

Yet for me, the importance of Nassib and the Bucs agreeing to work together for the next year goes even beyond that in importance.

This is a team with a new head coach (albeit one who has worked previously with Nassib), a quarterback (Tom Brady) who wasn’t around when Nassib was previously on the team, and a real shot at winning a Super Bowl, who decided that they’d sign him.

No team — just based on publicity and appearance — would cut a player shortly after he came out.

But for a “new” team to go out and sign a player who is already out?


This isn’t to take away from the moment any athlete — Nassib, Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers— came out. Now almost a decade ago, each of them got signed by a team after coming out too. And the moment each of them was signed was rightly heralded as a huge moment.

To be sure, I count Collins signing with the Brooklyn Nets, Rogers winning an MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy, as well as Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, as monumental moments for the history of the LGBT community and their respective leagues. They helped really start the conversation about our gay athletes in men’s pro sports.

This signing of Nassib feels like the beginning of the final chapter of that same conversation, that after this move, people claiming that men’s pro sports broadly hate gay athletes (and yes, this is still a claim) simply have no leg to stand on.

For his part, Nassib and his agent played this perfectly. Athletes can be undermined by a quick signing that gets them into a clubhouse faster (Nassib has essentially been on the market for almost a half-year). But without a great situation or strong financial aspect to a contract, it can go poorly for the athlete.

Nassib played it smart as a veteran with a proven track record, waiting for what feels like a good situation.

As Fox Sports NFL writer Henry McKenna told Alex Reimer on his Sports Kiki podcast this week, while some people were concerned that homophobia was the reason Nassib hadn’t yet signed with a team, the wait was “not too unusual for a guy who’s a former starter to not quite have a deal yet. For example, sometimes they just want a little more money than other teams are willing to give them.”

This news also comes just a few days after another out gay professional athlete — Solomon Bates — signed with the Sioux City Explorers after coming out.

In a matter of the last five days, two different out gay professional athletes have signed with different teams in different states in different sports and different leagues.

Sports. Have. Changed.

It is also of note that those two teams are in states with Republican governors, two Republican Senators, and who each voted for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump twice.

In other words: These are teams representing more-conservative areas who understand their players and fanbases will accept these gay athletes.

This also shatters all of the chatter I saw on social media from some corners of the LGBT community claiming that the NFL and its anti-gay forces would prevent Nassib from every playing in the league again. This was always a flat-out untruth, based on old stereotypes and misinformation.

Yet some LGBT people feel the need to cling to old stereotypes of athletes as they remember them in gym class, teasing the gay kids. Athletes have changed, and it’s great to see a team like the Buccaneers acknowledge that by signing Nassib they only help their chance of winning another Lombardi Trophy.

I’ve said for years that if a team can’t handle a gay athlete in the locker room, they should fire their general manager and coaching staff, and find some new team captains — It would be a failure of leadership.

Nassib now walks into a locker room with strong leadership — for example, quarterback Tom Brady — and a coaching staff — head coach Todd Bowles has been in the league for 20 years — with the same.

Is this Stonewall? No.

Yet the NFL is king in America. Football is the most influential cultural institution in the United States, and the NFL is the most powerful extension of the sport.

The Bucs signing Nassib sends a message to every single gay athlete hoping to make it in professional sports that, yes, if they can produce in game-time situations, they can be out and proud and have a career, even for a team with a real shot at the Super Bowl.

And gay fans everywhere — and even LGBT people who couldn’t care less about the NFL — have a powerful reason to cheer for the Bucs this season. If Nassib was able to walk away from his career with a Super Bowl ring... we can only hope.

August 18, 2022

FireDept.EMT in NYC Arrested For Stealing Credit Card from Patient Racked Up $800

FDNY EMT charged with stealing credit card from patient during hospital transport Rose Abuin/New York Daily News/TNS 

Cops have arrested an FDNY EMT caught on video swiping a credit card from a Queen's patient he was transporting to the hospital, police said Wednesday. 

EMT Robert Marshall, 29, allegedly used the stolen card to rack up $800 in purchases before he was arrested Tuesday for grand larceny. 

The first responder was taking the woman to a Queens hospital on Aug. 8 when he was caught on video pocketing the card, according to a police source. 

He was later caught on video using the card at least one store, police said. 

After identifying Marshall as the thief, cops nabbed him while he was off duty, cops said. 

His arraignment in Queens Criminal Court was pending Wednesday. 

A woman who answered the door at Marshall’s apartment in Jamaica, Queens, declined to comment Wednesday. 

The FDNY suspended Marshall without pay for a month upon learning of his arrest, with further discipline being decided following the outcome of the criminal case against him, an FDNY spokeswoman said. 

With Harry Parker 

"Catholic Church Denies Equality to Women Excludes LGBT"SynopSwiss Bishops

On Monday, the Swiss Bishops' Conference published a document for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome reporting the Catholic Church was seen as suffering from clericalism —as well as "denying equality to women" and excluding "people with LGBTQ identity."

"Several official church positions on the role of women in church and society, on sexuality and lifestyles are perceived as pejorative and exclusionary," the Swiss report said according to CNA Deutsch, CNA's German-language news partner.

"The Synodal Assembly of Switzerland, held on May 30, 2022, in Einsiedeln Abbey, finalized the report based on comments and requests for adjustments," the bishops explained. 

"This assembly had the task of combining the reports that emerged from the diocesan phase of the synod into an overall national report."

The document says nothing about the number of participants in the surveys that were to be part of the worldwide synodal process. 

In Germany, the "number of faithful who participated in the survey on the World Synod of Bishops in the dioceses" had been only "in the lowest single-digit percentage," reported CNA Deutsch.

"In Switzerland, the debates and the synodal questionnaires raised awareness of the importance of baptism for the life of the Church," the bishops said. 

"It was emphasized that a synodal church increasingly recognizes 'the royal, priestly and prophetic dignity and vocation' of the baptized."

Two points, in particular, were emphasized, namely "overcoming the experience that many people are excluded from full participation in the life of the church" and a critical examination "of the clericalism that still exists in some places."

The report also said synodality would only succeed once "clericalism is overcome and an understanding of the priesthood increasingly develops as an element that promotes the life of a more synodically oriented church."

On clericalism, the 11-page report said: "Criticism of the exercise of power by ministers is ignited by observations of clerical mentality, abuse of power, ignorance of the realities of life and culture in Switzerland, devaluation of women and rejection of people from the LGBTQ spectrum, retreat into individual identity notions of being a priest, lack of attention to people, disinterest in the poor, etc."

In another section, the report also cites minority votes. These are mainly aimed at "questioning the need for a synodal culture for the Catholic Church, not changing the role of priests and the current hierarchical shape of the Church, limiting the influence of lay men and women in the Church, and more preservation and promotion of traditional forms of liturgy, especially the 'extraordinary form.'"

Pope Francis announced a Synod on Synodality in March 2020 to "provide an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term."

The process to prepare the synod started with consultations at the diocesan level in October 2021. A continental phase is scheduled to commence in March 2023, according to the Synod on Synodality's website. The final and universal phase will begin with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission," at the Vatican in October 2023.

AC Wimmer is founding Editor-in-Chief of CNA Deutsch. A former senior executive with public broadcaster SBS and graduate of the University of Melbourne and Monash University (Australia), he has worked as TV reporter, broadcaster and print journalist across the world. Before joining EWTN News, the Australian with Bavarian roots served as Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Munich.

Why LGBT Are Leaving Texas in Droves?



Finding new laws limiting LGBTQ+ rights intolerable, some Austinites are now leaving the state.

The big picture: There are still vastly more people moving to Austin — and Texas generally — than leaving it, but interviews conducted by Axios suggest a new wave of migration may take hold as people desperate or well-off enough aim for states they deem more welcoming.

Catch up quick: Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year ordered state agencies to investigate the parents of transgender kids for child abuse for pursuing gender-affirming care.

  • Last year, he signed into law a measure that forces public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth.

By the numbers: About 1.8 million Texans identify as LGBT, per an analysis of census data by the Public Policy Institute of California that studied only those four identities.

What they're saying: "All the legislation with trans kids in schools, that was our moment of knowing the Texas we grew up in really was no longer safe," said Ava Cole, who moved with her wife, a software engineer, and 2 1/2-year-old child to Asheville, North Carolina, in May. 

  • Cole says she's "very attached" to her identity as a Texan — family lore holds that her ancestors arrived in the Lone Star State in the early 19th Century — but in North Carolina, where a Republican legislature faces off against a Democratic governor, she said, "there's a still a fair fight."
  • Plus: "Liberal Austin has always felt a little like a joke to me," says Cole. "It's not queer. There's not a queer neighborhood."

Writer Katie Haab says she and her husband, who works in the tech industry — they can both work remotely, are poised to move to New York or Massachusetts out of concern for their 6-year-old, who was assigned female at birth and recently explained to his parents that he's a boy.

  • "I'm an activist and I like to make change, so there's some guilt leaving," Haab told Axios."But there is legislation against my child's body, his actual, physical body." 
  • "I don't feel like my child is safe in Texas. We're not going to stay. I don't feel defeat, I feel rage."

"Sometimes I waver about leaving Texas, because I Iove so many of my friends here, and it's going to be hard to start over from scratch," says Axios Austin reader Allison M. "But when I start thinking about my son, and possibly grandchildren, then Texas seems impossible."

Meanwhile: While it's hard to pinpoint how many people are leaving Texas because of the new laws, GoFundMe has pages like "Help Chloe Escape Texas." 

Worth noting: Bob McCranie, a Dallas-based realtor who is gay, has created a real estate service called Flee Texas to aid LGBTQ+ Texans. 

  • "If you feel the need to leave the jurisdiction of Texas, let us help you sell your property here and connect you with an LGBTQIA or ally agent in a better location of your choice," the website reads.
  • "Almost every LGBTQ person I'm having dinner with or talking to or whatever has in the back of their mind, 'What's my plan B? How do I get out of here?'" McCranie told KXAN. "This is turning, and some of the people are responding, 'Well, we should all just stay and fight.' A lot of us have fought for — for me, 17 years. It's just everybody's thinking about, 'Where do I go next?'"

Between the lines: As state lawmakers passed laws limiting LGBTQ+ rights, suburbs around Austin — Round Rock, Bastrop and Pflugerville — celebrated their first Pride festivals, earlier this summer. 

Flashback: A report this year by Out Leadership found that Texas trails nearly all states when it comes to offering an inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ workers.

The bottom line: The sorting of like-minded Americans that has materialized at bowling alleys, churches and in neighborhoods is repeating itself on the state level, driven by stark differences in state laws and deepening political and cultural divides.

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