Jose Pepe Palacios says his mission is to inform the U.S. government and LGBT Americans that at least 89 LGBT people in Honduras, including gay rights advocates, have been murdered since military leaders ousted his country’s elected president in a 2009 coup.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, defended Uganda’s odious”Kill the Gays” bill and other legislation oppressing LGBT people. Last year, the National Catholic Register quoted Turkson as saying that the desire to imprison or execute gays and lesbians was understandable because hatred of gays is so ingrained in Africa: “The intensity of the reaction [to homosexuality] is probably commensurate with tradition.”
Grandparents cannot petition for their grandchildren, either, but my family didn’t see a future for me in the Philippines. They made a decision to send me, alone and without papers, to live with my grandparents. They assumed I would find a woman and get my legal residence through marriage. But I came out as gay in high school, which considerably complicated matters.
VAWA typically gets reauthorized with little fanfare. But Congress failed to do so last year amid House Republican objections to provisions in the Senate bill that expanded protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented immigrant victims of violence.
Three weeks ago, I attended the 25th annual Creating Change Conference as part of a delegation from the University of Pennsylvania’s LGBT center. I was fortunate enough to be a part of their first ever Latino Institute — a full day of workshops focusing specifically on the intersection between a Latin@ and queer identity.