The US Senate on Wednesday voted narrowly in favor of reinstating the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules. Though the vote on the measure has been expected for months, its outcome had been uncertain going into the vote. Fifty senators previously declared their support for it — one shy of the majority needed to pass it.
In the end, three Republicans joined with all 47 Democrats and two Democratic-leaning senators to back the measure.
Earlier in the day, the measure overcame a procedural hurdle, portending its eventual outcome. The same three Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined with their colleagues across the aisle to pass a motion to proceed with a final vote. Collins had previously said she supported the underlying measure.
The next step is to get it approved by the House and signed by President Trump, Internet service providers would have to continue following rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.
Finally, four months after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a nearly bipartisan resolution in June condemning the violence and persecution against gay men in Chechnya, last night, the U.S. Senate adopted the resolution by voice vote.
S. Res. 211 “calls on Chechen officials to immediately cease the abduction, detention, and torture of individuals on the basis of their actual or suspected sexual orientation, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.” It also calls on the U.S. government to “continue to condemn the violence and persecution in Chechnya,” something that President Trump and Secretary Tillerson have failed to do publicly
For three months, the Canadian federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program. About a third of those who were being sheltered in Russian safe houses – are now in Toronto and other Canadian cities
Sources estimate that Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained, tortured and in some cases have murdered more than 100 gay men in secret prisons including the recent revelation that Russian pop-singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was arrested, tortured and then murdered for being gay. His body at the writing of this post has still not been found.
Other than the long awaited U.S .resolution America has done nothing to help save the persecuted gay men of Chechnya.
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