LGBT and HIV-Positive Somali Refugees Fear Return Home
Many gay, lesbian, and HIV-positive Somali refugees now fear persecution, jail, and even death sentences upon their return home after fleeing to Kenya to avoid harsh punishmentsharsh punishments under Sharia law.
Next month Kenya will be host to international leaders and groups like the International Organization for Immigration as they discuss the impending repatriation of the over one million Somali refugees still living on Kenyan soil. Meanwhile, refugees like Said Elmi maintain that a return to Somali would only result in deadly persecution for LGBT refugees. After having experienced this harsh treatment firsthand, he insisted that "all gays, lesbians, HIV/AIDS positive people and other minorities will be killed. It will be a massacre."
This reality for marginalized Somali refugees has seemingly been ignored by leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNHCR officials, who show no sign of slowing plans for orderly return of the refugees. While the UN urges a return to the homeland in order to alleviate the overcrowded Kenyan refugee camps, threatened Somali refugees see their homeland as nothing more than "a death chamber for gays and lesbians" while rebel war lords still run the state.
Media Resources: Aljazeera 7/7/13, Standard Digital 6/17/13, BBC News 6/20/13
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .