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U.S. Condemns Gambia President's 'Unconscionable' Threat to Cut the Throats of Gay Men

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National Security Advisor Susan Rice has condemned Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's recent pledge to slit the throats of gay men living in the West African nation.

Said Jammeh in a speech last while while on a nationwide agricultural tour:

"If you do it [in The Gambia] I will slit your throat — if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

Said Rice in a statement:

JammehThe recent unconscionable comments by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love. We condemn his comments, and note these threats come amid an alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation in The Gambia. We are deeply concerned about credible reports of torture, suspicious disappearances – including of two American citizens - and arbitrary detention at the government's hands.

In related news, today marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and the White House has released a fact sheet on various U.S. governmental efforts over the years to address LGBT issues both domestic and abroad.  

"Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons," said President Obama in a statement. "Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach."


Tuesday Speed Read: Primary Day, White House Forum on LGBT Rights, Mike Michaud

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MizeurBIG PRIMARY DAY FOR LGBT CANDIDATES:

Ten openly LGBT candidates are running in primary races today, including lesbian State Delegate Heather Mizeur in her bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland and Sean Eldridge, the spouse of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, running for the Democratic nomination to a U.S. House seat. Eldridge is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, but Mizeur is running third against two much better known and well funded state elected officials. Another important primary is that of openly gay U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney. He’s unopposed for the Democratic nomination, but both he and the Republican candidate are also on the Independent Party ballot.

OTHER RACES TO WATCH: Madaleno

Maryland’s Democratic primary offers another interesting match up today: openly gay incumbent State Senator Richard Madaleno against LGBT activist Dana Beyer. The winner of the primary takes the seat because there is no Republican running. First-term incumbent Democratic Delegate Luke Clippinger has four opponents for his Maryland legislative district. And first-term incumbent Democrat Bonnie Cullison has five for her Maryland district. Incumbent Democratic Delegate Maggie McIntosh also has a challenger for her seat in Maryland. Evan Glass is running for re-election as a member of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland, and Byron Macfarlane is running for re-election as register of wills for Howard County, Maryland.

WHITE HOUSE LGBT FORUM: Rice

The White House sent out a press notice after 6 p.m. Monday alerting reporters about a “White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights” today. Those wishing to cover the event had until 10:30 this morning to RSVP. The notice says activists from around the world would be meeting with “the broader human rights community to discuss how to partner with the U.S. government….” National Security Advisor Susan Rice will deliver a keynote which will be webcast live at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

BALDWIN TO TESTIFY:

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is among the eight female senators who will testify before a Congressional hearing this morning on “combating violence and discrimination against women around the world. The hearing will be webcast live beginning at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

MICHAUD HOLDS SHAKY LEAD: Michaud

Openly gay U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat, has a four-point lead in his effort to unseat Maine’s Republican incumbent Governor Paul LePage, but the Portland-Press Herald said its latest poll suggests voters might swing their support to an independent candidate. A victory by Michaud in November would be historic, making him the first openly gay person to be elected governor. The poll conducted June 12-18 shows Michaud with 40 percent, LePage with 36, and independent Eliot Cutler with a mere 15. But the margin of error is 4.3 points and seven percent of those surveyed were undecided. In one-on-one match ups, Cutler leads LePage by 12 points, while Michaud leads by seven. “Poll results suggest that many Mainers will watch to see whether independent Eliot Cutler or Democrat Mike Michaud has the better chance this fall of unseating the governor, then vote strategically,” said the paper.

A NEWS LOW:

The only institutions that the public holds in worse esteem than Congress and “big business” are television news and internet news. A Gallup poll asking 1,027 adults nationally to identify “how much confidence” they have in 17 institutions (“great,” “quite a lot,” “some,” or “very little”) found the greatest confidence for the military (74 percent), “small business” (62 percent), the police (53 percent), and “the church or organized religion” (45 percent). At rock bottom was Congress (7 percent), followed by “television news” (18 percent), “news on the Internet” (19 percent), and “big business” (21 percent).

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


National Security Advisor Susan Rice Urged Ugandan President Not to Sign Anti-Gay Law

RiceNational Security Advisor and and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice tweeted on Sunday evening that she had communicated with Ugandan President Museveni and urged him against signing the anti-gay bill.

Said Rice via Twitter:

"Spoke at length with President Museveni last night to urge him not to sign anti-LGBT bill. #Uganda...Told him it will be huge step backward for Uganda and the world...People everywhere deserve freedom, justice, and equality. No one should be discriminated against for who they are or whom they love....Deeply saddened this decision will put many at risk and stain Uganda's reputation."


George W. Bush Shares His Paintings with Hillary Clinton on Air Force One: PHOTO

Clinton_bush

On the way back from the Mandela memorial, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Attorney General Eric Holder,  National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett were treated to an iPad showing of George W. Bush's paintings.

(White House photo - Pete Souza)


Susan Rice to Replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor

Following the resignation of Tom Donilon as national security advisor, Susan Rice is set to step in, NBC News reports:

RiceRice, currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will be formally introduced in her new role by President Barack Obama at 2 p.m. ET. A White House official says Samantha Power, a former special assistant to the president on the National Security Council, will be nominated to replace Susan Rice as the U.N. ambassador.

The changes are a significant reshuffle of the White House foreign policy team.

Rice has been at the center of a storm over the early accounts of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which later proved to be incorrect.

While her nomination could draw fire from Republicans on Capitol Hill, the national security adviser position is not subject to Senate confirmation.


U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice Records 'International Day Against Homophobia' Message: VIDEO

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Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has posted a video marking today's International Day Against Homophobia.

Says Rice in the clip:

Today, as we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, we rededicate ourselves to a basic but essential truth – that human rights are universal and must be protected for all. Homophobia, sadly, is present in every corner of our world. And, it is a problem we continue to face here in the United States.

At the United Nations, the United States is standing up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and fighting to ensure that their voices are heard and protected. The United States was proud to co-sponsor and adopt an historic resolution at the UN Human Rights Council condemning human rights abuses and violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We will continue to work in every possible arena to protect communities and promote societies in which everyone – especially LGBT youth – can live safely and without fear regardless of who they are or whom they love. We call on all nations and all peoples to join us in ensuring that human rights are universally protected everywhere every day.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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