HHH: Hate Group Leader Promoted, Sense8 Preps Exit, Peace Corps Fires for HIV?

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The cast of "Sense8"

Does anyone hate the LGBTQ community more than Tony Perkins? His new government job will provide new answers to that question. Plus: The Peace Corps is firing gays who test positive for HIV? And … at last — a look at the finale of Sense8!

The Other Shoe Drops

We told you last week that on National Prayer Day, the Oval Office occupant signed an executive order creating an office to advance “faith based” initiatives.

Now, one of the LGBTQ’s most visible and vocal enemies — Family Research Council president Tony Perkins — has been appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in the congressional record. The Family Research Council has long been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

The commission’s mandate: review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom around the world and recommend policies to Congress, the Secretary of State and to the president. Anyone reading who believes this news could benefit LGBTQ Americans in any way, shape or form is asked to contact us with what has to be the scoop of the century.

Sense8s Cluster

Just over a year ago, Netflix pulled the plug on Sense8 — just as Miguel Ángel Silvestre (who plays Lito the Latino macho movie star) was gracing the cover of our Pride issue.

Fans went apespit over the cancellation, and convinced the platform to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of season two and give the show a proper sendoff.

Now, finally, Netflix has released a new trailer. Are fans happy? They’re ecstatic. And they’re mounting a campaign to petition for the streaming service to return the series to its intended five-year run.

Here’s the preview:

Poz Bias at the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is firing gay men who become HIV positive.

This is the same project JFK launched to become America’s goodwill ambassador to the world — an organization specifically tasked with sharing the United States’ bounty of progress and resources with underdeveloped nations.

One of the men fired is Romany Tin, who spoke with Buzzfeed about his experience. Tin was teaching English at a school in rural Cambodia when he seroconverted and became HIV-positve. When blood tests confirmed he had contracted the virus, he was informed that his position was to be terminated and that he’d be flown home.

“They’re such a progressive organization, but their stigma and knowledge of HIV and how to treat it is very backwards,” Tin told reporters. “I feel very mistreated. I feel angry.”

Tin’s dismissal marks at least the second firing of the year for no clear reason other than becoming HIV+. Two other gay men who used to work for the program told BuzzFeed reports that two other men formerly employed by the program were denied requests for PrEP — the daily pill that protects against HIV infection — by Peace Corps doctors because their sex practices were judged “not risky enough.” One of the same men did manage to have his second request for PrEP approved, and was then threatened with termination for precisely the practices that necessitated his request — having unprotected sex.

Buzzfeed’s investigation led them to a March 8 letter from the Peace Corps explaining that Tin’s “medical separation” was justified. As a result, he lost his stipend and was compelled to have his retrovirals success monitored for three to six months to ensure their effectiveness before he could apply for service in another country entirely. Tin said his Peace Corps health care provider informed him that HIV+ volunteers were not approved to serve in Cambodia.

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Last modified: May 17, 2018