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Marco Rubio comes to the defense of gay men in Chechnya in a fiery speech.

'We should never, ever tolerate human rights violations against any person for their political views, their religious beliefs, or their sexual orientation.'

Marco Rubio comes to the defense of gay men in Chechnya in a fiery speech.

Marco Rubio surprised everyone when he took a stand for LGBTQ rights.

On April 24, 2017, the Florida Republican — who's been panned by human rights groups in the U.S. for his anti-LGBTQ stances on various issues, including marriage equality and same-sex adoption — used his time on the Senate floor to blast Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov for the republic's heinous acts against gay and bisexual men.

The speech makes Rubio the first senator (Republican or otherwise) to use the spotlight of the Senate floor to call out the inexcusable violations of human rights in Chechnya, which is part of the Russian federation.


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

A Russian newspaper reported earlier this month that Chechnya law enforcement had quietly detained at least 100 men with "nontraditional" sexual orientations and has since starved, tortured, and even killed multiple victims.

“Unfortunately this is not a new reality for those living under the brutal tyranny of the Chechen leader, who, by the way, happens to be a loyal ally of Vladimir Putin," Rubio told his fellow senators.

Rubio continued:

"There have been reports in the past of similar abuses, although these reports seem to be the most brutal and should provoke anger in all of us. We should never, ever tolerate human rights violations against any person for their political views, their religious beliefs, or their sexual orientation.”

Since the first explosive report from a Moscow newspaper covering the abuses went viral, more disturbing information has trickled out of Chechnya. Several prisons have been created explicitly to detain gay and bisexual men, authorities refuse to publicly acknowledge LGBTQ people even exist in their republic, and one British leader alleged he's heard that Chechen authorities hope to "eliminate" its gay population by the end of May.

“The United States and other responsible nations should do more to ensure that all people are protected, and those who harm them are held responsible," Rubio concluded. "We should use our voice on the global stage to call attention to these horrifying acts and to ensure that they are condemned in an appropriate way, and ultimately in the hopes that they will be stopped.”

Watch a clip of Rubio's speech below:

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via msleja / TikTok

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