Michael Lavers

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade.

Biden Administration Announces Global LGBTQ+ Rights Priorities

State Department spokesperson Ned Price on May 14 said the decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations is one of the five priorities for the Biden administration in its efforts to promote LGBTQ+ rights abroad. "The United States over [...]

Blinken Allows US Embassies to Once Again Fly Pride Flag

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he will once again allow U.S. diplomatic installations to fly the Pride flag. The New York Times and Foreign Policy reported they obtained a cable from Blinken that announced the [...]

Va. House of Delegates Candidate Defends Anti-Transgender Comments

A Virginia House of Delegates candidate on Saturday said transgender servicemembers who undergo sex-reassignment surgery are "unfit for duty." "We have our vice president saying that veterans are not special citizens. They are." said Tim Cox during [...]

Switzerland Expected to Hold Marriage Equality Referendum

A referendum on the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in Switzerland is likely to take place later this year. Lawmakers in the European country last December approved the "Marriage for All" bill. Mannschaft, a Swiss [...]

Putin Formally Bans Same-Sex Marriages in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country. The Associated Press reported upwards of 78 [...]

Controversial State Department Human Rights Commission Disbanded

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced the State Department has officially disbanded a controversial human rights advisory commission that LGBTQ+ activists sharply criticized. "One of the core principles of human rights is that they are [...]

Germany Now Allows Transgender, Intersex Police Officers to Serve Openly

Julia Monro, a spokesperson for the German Association for Trans Identity and Intersex People (Deutsche Gesellschaft f√ºr Transidentit√§t und Intersexualit√§t), in 2017 applied to become a police officer because she wanted to join the [...]

EU Sanctions 2 Chechnya Officials Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Crackdown

The European Union has sanctioned two Chechnya officials over their role in an anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown. The sanctions — published in the EU Official Journal on Monday — apply to Deputy Chechen Prime Minister Abuzaid Vismuradov and Aiub [...]

Atlanta Shootings Leave LGBTQ AAPI Community Reeling

The shootings at three Atlanta-area spas and massage parlors on March 16 have left members of the LGBTQ Asian American and Pacific Islander community deeply shaken and angry. A gunman killed eight people when he opened fire at Young's Asian Massage [...]

Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions

The Vatican on Monday said the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which defends Catholic teachings, in a two-page decree it published on its website said it cannot bless "sin." "It [...]

House Passes Equality Act

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "This long overdue legislation will provide millions of LGBTQ Americans explicit protections from [...]

Brothers who Fled Chechnya Arrested, Returned to Homeland

The State Department has expressed concern over the fate of two brothers from Chechnya who were arrested in Russia and returned to their homeland from which they fled. "We are troubled by reports of two Chechen siblings in the LGBTQI+ community who [...]