Michael Lavers

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

International AIDS Conference to Be Held Virtually Because of Coronavirus

Organizers of the 2020 International AIDS Conference on Friday announced the event will be held virtually because of the coronavirus. The conference was scheduled to take place in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., from July 6-10. International AIDS [...]

ICE Urged to Release Detainees at Heightened Risk for Coronavirus

Several LGBTQ advocacy groups on Tuesday called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release all detainees in its custody and to close all of its detention centers because of coronavirus. "People in ICE custody are vulnerable to getting [...]

Canada Moves to Ban Conversion Therapy

Lawmakers in Canada on Monday introduced a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country. Attorney General David Lametti and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger introduced the measure that would amend [...]

Va. Nondiscrimination Bill Receives Final Approval

A bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Virginia's nondiscrimination law cleared its final legislative hurdle on Wednesday. Senate Bill 868, which state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced, passed in the Virginia House [...]

Swiss Voters Approve Bill to Ban Anti-Gay Discrimination

Voters in Switzerland on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. Swiss lawmakers in 2018 approved the bill, which added sexual orientation to the country's nondiscrimination law. The Associated [...]

Gavin Grimm Joins ACLU Board

A transgender man who challenged his Virginia school district's bathroom policy has been elected to the American Civil Liberties Union's board of directors. Gavin Grimm on Jan. 3 in a tweet said he has been elected to the board for a one [...]

Colombia Capital's First Lesbian Mayor Sworn In

The first lesbian elected mayor of the Colombian capital of Bogotá took office on Wednesday. Claudia L√≥pez, a former Colombian senator, on Oct. 27 was elected with slightly more than 35 percent of the vote. L√≥pez, who ran on the leftist [...]

US Ambassador to Zambia Who Defended Gay Couple Recalled

The U.S. has recalled its ambassador to Zambia after the country's president sharply criticized him for publicly defending a gay couple sentenced to 15 years in prison under a colonial-era sodomy law. Reuters on Dec. 23 cited sources at [...]

Justin Trudeau Calls for Conversion Therapy Ban in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a ban on so-called conversion therapy in his country. Trudeau in a letter he sent to Attorney General David Lametti on Dec. 13 directed him to work with Diversity, Inclusion and Youth [...]

US ambassador to Zambia 'Horrified' by Gay Couple's 15-year Prison Sentence

The U.S. ambassador to Zambia has sharply criticized the sentencing of two men to 15 years in prison under the country's colonial-era sodomy law. "I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual [...]

Canadian Diplomats Highlight Country's LGBTQ Rights Record

Two Canadian diplomats in the U.S. earlier this month highlighted their country's efforts to promote LGBTQ rights. "We are very much aligned in terms of strongly supporting the rights of LGBTQ persons, both at home and abroad," said Martin Loken, [...]

Costa Rica Campaign Seeks to Bolster Marriage Equality Support

  More than 30 groups have joined a campaign designed to increase support for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Costa Rica. S√≠, Acepto ("Yes I accept" in Spanish) formally launched in August and includes ads that feature LGBTI Costa [...]