Taking Discrimination to Court in India

amfAR | November 20, 2014

Anand Grover served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health from 2008 until July 2014. He remains project direct of the Lawyer’s Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in New Delhi and has led many of the landmark legal efforts that advanced the rights of people living with HIV in India, including the lawsuit that resulted in the temporary decriminalization of homosexuality in 2009. Grover has also successfully argued cases about HIV-related discrimination in the workplace, drug patent laws, and the human rights of all marginalized populations impacted by HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), and sex workers.

TREAT Asia Report: You recently stepped down after six years as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to health. What do you view as the Asia-Pacific region’s most important accomplishments regarding improving access to quality, comprehensive HIV care during that time?

Anand Grover: There have been several achievements. Between 2009 and 2013, there was a 46% increase in overall HIV treatment coverage, which is a huge achievement in such a short period. This was possible largely because there was investment in empowerment of communities affected by HIV, which created an increased demand for services and caused community and civil society participation in decision-making at all levels of policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring of implementation.

Since 2001, there has been a 26% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections in the region; however, certain trends have emerged that are deeply concerning. In the Asia-Pacific, HIV is now mainly concentrated among key vulnerable populations, like MSM and PWID. Countries in the region should focus on HIV prevention and care services for these groups to ensure that HIV is controlled and all those who require treatment get access to it.

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Rise Up councillor plans to take sexual orientation fight to Equal Opportunity Commission

Craig Butt | The Age | November 24, 2014

A Rise Up Australia candidate in the state election who failed to stop a local council from promoting same-sex relationships plans to take her case to the Equal Opportunity Commission, claiming she has been discriminated against.

Casey councillor Rosalie Crestani put forward her motion at a council meeting last Tuesday, but it failed to gain traction and a counter motion re-asserting the council’s existing stance was passed two days later.

In an email sent out to council staff on Monday morning, Cr Crestani wrote that the counter motion was “against the law and I shall be referring the council’s discrimination against heterosexuals in general and against me in particular to the Equal Opportunity Commission”.

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The dangers of gay conversion therapy

Matty Silver | The Age | November 25, 2014

It’s probably difficult to believe there are still people and organisations in Australia and around the world who believe they can “cure” gay people who struggle with same-sex attraction.

Conversion therapists or ex-gay practitioners believe homosexuality is an affliction or disorder that can be fixed by praying and psychotherapy, sometimes referred to as “pray away the gay”.

Reparative or conversion therapies are offered by ex-gay groups whose philosophy is based on the premise that homosexuality is an illness and unnatural. They maintain that people are born straight and only become gay when some trauma interferes with their sexual development

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African LGBTI Group a first to Protest at The Hague

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | November 24, 2014

For the first time, an African LGBTI group will stage a demonstration at The Hague in the Netherlands, to draw attention to complaints arising out of how the Netherlands Immigration authorities treat the claims of  LGBTI Africans seeking asylum in that country.

Out and Proud Diamond Group, an LGBT organization that helps LGBTI asylum seekers has received permission from the Mayor and the police of The Hague to carry out this first ever African LGBTI  demonstration.

The demonstration is set to take place on the  27th Nov 2014 at Den Haag – at the Immigration and Neutralization Department (IND) Office Turfmarkt 147, The Hague.

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The Center San Diego Events

Program Activities: Youth, Seniors, Families, Men, Women, HIV Community and More…

HIV Testing at The Center

Shop for Good!
Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate to The Center! Click on this link to get started.

Miércoles, 6:30pm, Grupo de Apoyo Las Manzanitas

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 11am, Creative Writing

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 9am, Food Bank

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 6pm, LGBT Parents Discuss

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 6:30pm, Guys, Games & Grub

Thursday, Dec. 4, 7pm, Sisters in Support

Monday, Dec. 8, 7:30pm, Annual Wreath Auction

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1pm, 50 & Better Games, Games, Games Group

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 6-7:30pm, LGBT Parents Connect

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 7pm, San Diego FTM Support Group

Saturday, Dec. 13, 5pm, Come Home for the Holidays

Saturday, Dec. 13, 7pm, Hillcrest Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert


Pie in the Sky!

Thursday, Nov. 27, 12 noon, Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Community Dinner

San Diego HIV Health Services Planning Council Seeks New Members

Sunday, Dec. 7, 6pm, GMSR Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Dessert Auction

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The Center San Diego Events

PrEP – Get Educated
How well does PrEP work? The PrEP medication works very well at preventing HIV infection. It is most effective when taken every day. Missing only an occasional dose may not impact how well the medication works but the more days a person misses a dose, the less protective the medication will be for any exposures that occur during that time period. Learn more.

Covered California Open Enrollment Has Begun!
Health insurance gives you the peace of mind to do what you love for as long as you can. Join the over 1 million Californians who now enjoy that peace of mind daily. The San Diego LGBT Community Center has staff on hand who can answer your questions and help you get enrolled in the right health plan. Contact Sarah Merk-Benitez at 619.692.2077 x213 or smerkbenitez@thecentersd.org for more information or to make an appointment to explore your options or enroll in coverage.

Need Help With Energy Bills?
Do you know someone that could use some extra help this holiday season? Please have them visit wecaresd.com to connect with programs and services including SDG&E’s bill discount program!


Got Wreaths?
Wreath Auction 2014The 11th Annual Wreath Auction will be held on Monday, Dec. 8 at Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage – and we can’t have a wreath auction without wreaths! So we’re asking all you creative types (individual, organization, circle of friends) to make wreaths to be auctioned off to raise money for the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund. The only requirements are that they be festive and that any greenery be artificial (no fire hazards, y’all). Wreaths can be dropped off at The Center or Martinis Above Fourth, where we will applaud your creativity and generosity. Then join us on Dec. 8 and place your bids! For more information, contact Ian Johnson at ijohnson@thecentersd.org.

Follow Us!
Be sure to follow The Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more #LGBT news around the world, special events, news from The Center, and happenings around the community! Find us on Instagram and Twitter at @LGBTCenter and on Facebook at facebook.com/At.The.Center.

Spotlight Events…

Tuesday Nov. 25, 1pm, Senior Food Bank
Food BankThe Senior Food Bank Program provides food and nutrition education to eligible low-income seniors 60 years or older once a month.  Eligible applicants can enroll in the program by applying in person at our site on the day of the event or call the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at 866.350.3663. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website or contact LaRue Fields at seniors@thecentersd.org or 619.692.2077 x205.

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 7:30pm, Young Men’s Discussion Group
Youth CircleConnect to The Center and the community. Join other 18-35 year olds to talk about relationships, sexual health, activism, community building and more. The young men’s group meets at The Center on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm. For more information, contact Aaron Heier at 619.692.2077 x211, or aheier@thecentersd.org.

Monday, Dec. 1, 4pm, Dr. A. Brad Truax Award Ceremony
AIDS ribbon candlesThe Dr. A Brad Truax Award Ceremony and Reception was created to honor the memory of Dr. Truax and his contributions to the HIV/AIDS effort in San Diego. The award is given annually to recognize the outstanding overall contributions made by a person involved in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our community. The Awards Ceremony is a free event that will include light refreshments and feature artwork created by local HIV-positive artists. After the award ceremony and reception, attendees will join in a candle-lit walk to the Tree of Life Lighting Ceremony at the Village Hillcrest, which begins at 6pm.

In the News…

New report seeks to improve LGBT health care

Remembering Leslie Feinberg

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West Palm Beach City Commissioners Vote to Support Marriage Equality

Media Release
West Palm Beach City Commissioners
Vote to Support Marriage Equality  

(West Palm Beach, Florida) — At this evening’s meeting, West Palm Beach City Commissioners joined the statewide marriage equality debate by unanimously voting to sign on to court briefs opposing Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex-marriage. The action was taken at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local non-profit organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The first brief, initially filed by the cities of Miami Beach and Orlando in June, argues that in addition to bringing legal, financial and psychological harm to families, marriage inequality makes it difficult for the governments to recruit talented employees and hurts tourism.

Similar briefs in two additional marriage equality cases are set to be filed next month

“There should be no room in the Florida Constitution for the discriminatory marriage ban,” said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President Rand Hoch.  “By signing on to the brief, the West Palm Beach City Commission is acknowledging that the marriage ban is harmful to Floridians and is detrimental to the efficiency and effectiveness of West Palm Beach as a public employer.”

Today’s vote puts the city on the opposite side of a legal battle in which Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi continues to defend the marriage ban in several pending appeals in state and federal courts.

While several state attorneys general across the nation have declined to spend taxpayer dollars to defend the marriage bans which have been declared unconstitutional, Bondi remains steadfast in her efforts to use public funds to preserve the state’s discriminatory ban on same-sex marriages.

Palm Beach, Broward and Orange Counties, the cities of Gainesville, St. Petersburg, Tampa and Wilton Manors and the Village of Biscayne Park have already joined the cities of Miami Beach and Orlando in signing on to the initial brief.

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Hagel urged to act on military’s transgender ban before departure

| Metro Weekly | November 24, 2014


Chuck Hagel - Credit: DoD Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt


Chuck Hagel is facing renewed calls to order a review of the military’s longstanding ban on transgender service following the announcement he will step down as secretary of defense.

On Monday, President Barack Obama announced at the White House that Hagel would resign as defense secretary after nearly two years in the post.  According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, Obama and Hagel arrived together at the decision that Hagel should resign after concluding a different defense secretary might be better suited to meet current challenges. He will stay on as defense secretary until his successor is nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

A former senator from Nebraska critical of the Iraq war, Hagel is the only Republican member of Obama’s national security team and, as a Vietnam veteran, is the first former enlisted combat soldier to serve as defense secretary.

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KKK leader Frank Ancona tells Anonymous his group ‘is all about stopping violence’

 | Raw Story | November 24, 2014

Alex Poucher, a self-professed member of the collective Anonymous, sat down with Frank Ancona, leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, to discuss threats allegedly made by Ancona against both Anonymous and other protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

According to the letter attributed to Ancona, the Klan decided that if Anonymous wanted “war, we will give you war, not online, but on the streets, we will hunt you down and tear those masks from your face. You’ll be strung up next to the chimps. On display for the whole world to see. The Klan is to be feared, not threatened. Turn away, or face the consequences.”

This alleged threat was in response to Anonymous taking control of the Klan’s official Twitter account and revealing the identities of KKK members living in and around Ferguson.

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Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel ‘pushed out’ by Obama

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