This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Ottawa has denounced virulent homophobia in that East African country and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has condemned plans for an anti-gay bill that could potentially include the death penalty for homosexuals. Just hours after The Canadian Press contacted the group to ask a spokesperson about the site, the page in question disappeared from public view. Last October, Baird denounced abuses against gays and lesbians and specifically singled out Uganda in a speech at an international conference in Quebec City. In that speech, Baird shared the story of a Ugandan gay-rights advocate who was bludgeoned to death in his own home. Crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in scripture.
Discrimination against gays & lesbians
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The program, first made public by the nonprofit, Rainbow Railroad, on Facebook on Friday, was prompted by an anti-gay purge in Chechnya that started earlier this year, when law enforcement and security officials arrested gay and bisexual men and beat and tortured them. The executive director of Rainbow Railroad, Kimahli Powell, said his organization had joined with the Canadian government to create a program to expedite the safe passage to Canada of 22 gay men and lesbians. They have been deemed government-assisted refugees. The first among them arrived from a safe house in Russia in June. Nine more are expected to arrive in the coming week, and the program is continuing, with more expected to arrive. Powell said. While the government refused to speak publicly about the program, a person in the government with knowledge of the program confirmed its existence and the number of Chechens who had been granted asylum so far.
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Thirty-one gay and bisexual Chechen men and women have been granted asylum in Canada following a violent crackdown on LGBT people in the Russian republic. They are being brought to Canada as part of an under-the-radar collaboration between human rights groups and the federal government. In April, reports of abductions, detentions, disappearances, torture and deaths targeting gay and bisexual men in Chechnya began making international headlines. The Chechen government denied that security officials had launched an anti-gay purge, saying that gay men "simply don't exist in the republic".
Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. And the answer, so far, is encouraging: That secretariat has since been transferred to the Department of Canadian Heritage and reports to Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger, tapped to be the minister of diversity and inclusion and youth. For its poll during the week of July 26, the PCO included six questions to give the LGBTQ2 Secretariat some information about Canadian attitudes towards minority sexual orientations and gender identities.