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Rufus Gifford: This Gay Man Is the Face of America to World Leaders

To foreign leaders conducting official business with the U.S., Rufus Gifford is the face of America — or, at least, the first face they see.As chief of protocol at the State Department, Gifford is the first point of contact for those leaders. It’s the second-highest-ranking position in the department — behind only Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It makes Gifford, who is gay, the top-ranked out official at State, and it’s ambassador-level.Ambassador is a position Gifford’s familiar with.
advocate.com

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metro.co.uk
World Cup: Why will players wear the OneLove armband?
Harry Kane will join forces with nine other European captains by wearing a OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar.Same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, which will host the World Cup from November 20.Kane will be joined in wearing the OneLove armband by Wales captain Gareth Bale, and with the captains of France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland.The move comes as part of a season-long OneLove campaign against LGBTQ+ discrimination in football and wider society.Here is what you need to know about OneLove campaign at the Qatar World Cup.The European captains are wearing the OneLove armband to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ discrimination in Qatar, where same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised.Qatari authorities have not given a specific guarantee that LGBTQ+ fans travelling to the country for the tournament will be safe.The Qatar Supreme Committee, the body in charge of organising the World Cup, said: ‘Everyone will be welcome to Qatar in 2022, regardless of their race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.‘We are a relatively conservative society – for example, public displays of affection are not a part of our culture.‘We believe in mutual respect and so whilst everyone is welcome, what we expect in return is for everyone to respect our culture and traditions.’Speaking about the decision to wear the OneLove armband, Kane said: ‘I am honoured to join my fellow national team captains in supporting the important OneLove campaign.‘As captains we may all be competing against each other on the pitch, but we stand together against all forms of discrimination.‘This is even more relevant
advocate.com
8 Countries to Lead LGBTQ-Inclusive Campaign During Qatar World Cup
(CNN) -- Ten European football teams — the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales — will participate in a season-long "OneLove" campaign promoting inclusion and opposing discrimination.Every country except Sweden and Norway has qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and each captain of these eight nations will wear a distinctive OneLove armband — which features a heart containing colors from all backgrounds — during the tournament.The Netherlands FA, which is spearheading the campaign, chose the colors to represent all heritages, backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities; the armband will be worn in Qatar where same-sex relationships are a criminal offense.Sweden and Norway will participate in the initiative during the upcoming Nations League matches, while England will also wear black armbands during both its UEFA Nations League matches to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II."This is an important message which suits the game of football: on the field everybody is equal and this should be the case in every place in society. With the OneLove band we express this message," said Virgil van Dijk, the Netherlands captain."On behalf of the Dutch team I have been wearing this band for quite a while now.
euronews.com
Pride Month: Plight of LGBTQ+ refugees in Sweden highlighted in new billboard campaign
LGBTQ+ if you’ve had to hide it your whole life?A new campaign by West Pride, an annual event held in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, aims to highlight the problems posed by this very question.“Letting an arbitrary process decide if LGBTQ+ refugees are approved asylum or not is inhumane,” says Emma Gunterberg Sachs, General Manager of West Pride.West Pride have teamed up with design company AKQA to create a billboard and social media campaign which highlights the plight of LGBTQ+ refugees caught up in the Swedish immigration system.Each billboard will feature an anonymous refugee and share their story, telling the journeys of six asylum seekers this Pride Month.“Far too many are wrongly sent back to a lifetime of persecution, imprisonment or death. We need to stop this now,” says Gunterberg Sachs.When the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights did a report on LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in 2017, no member state was able to provide official figures on the numbers entering the country.Nations that could provide estimates did so through civil organisations with the Netherlands estimating between 100 -1000 and Denmark given 70.There have been widespread reports of LGBTQ+ refugees from the Middle East and West Africa reaching Europe in the hopes of a better life, only to be asked for proof of their sexuality in the tolerant countries they are going to for sanctuary. West Pride has given their Ambassadors of Pride official roles in an effort to give their asylum claims legitimacy.
euronews.com
LGBTI asylum seekers facing 'double discrimination' across Europe, warns report
The situation for LGBTI asylum seekers in a number of European countries is fraught with difficulties with many facing double discrimination, a new report has warned.They face "specific difficulties and injustice" even in countries that rank high for positive LGBT legislative change, according to an annual review by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).ILGA-Europe says LGBTI asylum seekers face double discrimination in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.In Denmark, activists have documented cases of trans asylum seekers without access to trans-specific healthcare or being harassed, while NGOs in Spain have warned of the underreporting of discrimination and violence that LGBTI asylum seekers endure, and a lack of access to social and healthcare services.Germany was flagged for "the unsafe practice of conducting investigations of asylum seekers in their home countries and outing them".Several countries including France, Malta and Greece were decried for adding nations -- thought by some as being unsafe for LGBTI people -- to their list of "safe countries" that asylum seekers could be sent back to if their applications were unsuccessful.Greece now considers Turkey safe for LGBTI asylum seekers to be sent back to, but ILGA-Europe ranks the country as among the three worst countries in Europe for LGBTI rights and protection.France's Council of State, which acts as a supreme court for administrative justice, ruled in March that LGBTQI+ asylum seekers coming from a country that criminalises or persecutes LGBTQI+ people, should not be automatically given refugee status.Malta and Sweden were meanwhile flagged for new
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