Why ENDA is Not the Answer

PAUL SCHINDLER |  Gay City News | June 27, 2014

The argument for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act is clear and catches the public’s attention because it is so stunning: in 29 states you can legally be fired for being gay and in 32 — including New York — you are at risk due to your gender identity and expression.

That is an outrage that needs to be remedied. The civil rights protections enjoyed, for example, in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, California, and Oregon should be available to LGBT Americans everywhere.

The problem is that this is not what ENDA would deliver. Civil rights laws generally extend protections to all of life’s significant public activities — including housing, public accommodations, and access to credit, in addition to employment.

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Veterans who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual could benefit from informed mental health services, researcher says

Science Daily | University of Missouri-Columbia | June 26, 2014

In 2011, the United States Military repealed its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented gay and lesbian service members from disclosing their sexual orientation. Current estimates indicate that more than 1 million veterans identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Now, a University of Missouri researcher says these service members and veterans often are marginalized and may benefit from mental health professionals, including social workers, who are informed about the needs of individuals who identify as LGB.

“Identifying as LGB and serving in the military can provide a distinct set of experiences and challenges for individuals,” said Michael Pelts, a doctoral student at the School of Social Work in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. “Within the U.S., identifying as a service member or veteran can marginalize individuals. This is also true for people who identify as LGB. The impact may be compounding. For example, suicide has a high occurrence rate among veterans and even more so among veterans who identify as LGB.”

Pelts said studies show that the majority of LGB service members and veterans who seek mental health care services do so outside of Veterans Affairs.

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National Policy Office – Washington, DC: 202-835-8373

Program and Administrative Office – Tampa, FL: 813-258-5929

For Immediate Release: 6.27.14

Media Contact:  Michael Ruppal, 813.258.5929 MRuppal@TheAIDSInstitute.org




Washington, DC – On June 27th, The AIDS Institute recognizes National HIV Testing Day and reminds individuals to get tested and know their HIV status. To greatly increase knowledge of HIV infection among those who are unaware of their infection is the aim of the 20th annual National HIV Testing Day, and the target of education, advocacy, and other initiatives by The AIDS Institute. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that about 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States and 1 in 6 people with HIV don’t know they have it, making it even more important for individuals to get tested and know their status. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine healthcare and that some people with risk factors get tested more often.

As part of this year’s awareness day, CDC issued Laboratory Testing for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection: Updated Recommendations. The recommendations include the adoption of a new HIV testing algorithm that enables the early detection of acute HIV infection. Acute HIV infection is the period of time immediately following infection.

Many infections are preventable when HIV is identified and treated quickly. The early treatment strategy developed by CDC benefits the near and long-term health and well-being of people recently infected with HIV. “Early treatment is an essential part of the prevention strategy, too,” explained Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. “It works to reduce viral load and the less virus in the body, the less chance that transmission will occur,” he continued. 

Several studies indicate that about 40% percent of HIV transmission to sexual partners might occur in the early stages of infection. Ruppal concluded, “Increased knowledge of HIV infection through testing is therefore important to better protect the individual, the sexual partner, and the community.” 

Thanks to the affordable care act if people have coverage through Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance, in many instances the test will be paid for and the beneficiary will have no out of pocket costs.

The AIDS Institute has issued a Coverage Guide for HIV Testing to help health providers learn how each major payer reimburses for preventive services, including HIV testing.

For more information about National HIV Testing Day, please visit http://hivtest.cdc.gov/.
# # #

The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through research, public policy,  advocacy, and education.


For more information and to become involved, visit www.TheAIDSInstitute.org or write to us at Info@theaidsinstitute.org, and follow The AIDS Institute on Twitter @AIDSAdvocacy and Facebook at www.facebook.com/The-AIDS-Institute.

Rainbow Lounge raid: Five years later

Impact of the raid on a Cowtown gay bar in 2009 continues to be felt in Fort Worth and beyond


TAMMYE NASH  |  Managing Editor | Dallas Voice | June 27, 2014

It was just after midnight on July 28, 2009 — officially, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, the 40th birthday of the modern gay rights movement — when a team of agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and officers with the Fort Worth Police Department went into the newly opened Rainbow Lounge.

What ostensibly started as a bar check quickly became a bar raid. More than a dozen patrons were detained and taken outside the club for questioning. Seven were handcuffed and arrested for public intoxication and other charges. And as horrified patrons looked on, a young man named Chad Gibson was thrown to the floor and handcuffed.

Witnesses inside the bar — including activist and Q Cinema founder Todd Camp and an accountant named Tom Anable who was there checking receipts for the bar’s owners — said that TABC agents’ assault on Gibson was unprovoked. They said the agents grabbed the intoxicated man and slammed him facedown on the floor, banging his head on the edge of a raised platform near the back of the bar, before handcuffing him and taking him outside. Agents said that Gibson stumbled and fell of his own accord outside the bar, hitting his head on the concrete sidewalk.

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Obama TPP trade officials got hefty bonuses from Big Banks as “reward” for joining govt

Gauis Publius

I’m convinced the best investigative reporter in the country is Lee Fang. Witness the following.

TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement still in negotiation, is a NAFTA-like treaty — it will have the legal force of a treaty — that ties the hands of any government that signs it in their dealings with big money corporations (and small ones too).

It includes a NAFTA-style trade dispute court, also legally binding, in which corps can sue cities, states, counties and nations for lost future and potential profit resulting from, for example, environmental regulations, or anything else covered by the treaty.

Declaration of Ilan H. Meyer, in the case of Bayev v. Russia

Ilan H. Meyer | Williams Institute | May 2014

russia-mapA statement submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Bayev v. Russia, a case challenging the Russian law banning “homosexual propaganda.” Lesbians and gays living in Russia are at greater risk of being exposed to violence, harassment, and other violations of basic human rights because of the law. Daily stigmas and prejudicial incidents can lead to increased rates of mental and physical disorders. The model of minority stress describes the relationship between social stressors, mental disorders and health disparities which the law can trigger.

Click here for the full statement.

A $300 Billion Example of How Corporations Control Our Government

Carl Gibson | Reader Supported News | June 27, 2014

n a real democracy, like the constitutional republic in which we supposedly live, the people choose representatives through the election process to vote for their interests in government. In an oligarchy, like the one in which we actually live, corporations buy representatives through the election process to secure benefits for themselves and rig the game further in their favor. Here’s one $300 billion example. This infographic by Luke Keohane of Move to Amend lays it all out in detail:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) sits on the Senate committees on foreign relations, armed services, and homeland security. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sits on the Senate subcommittee for defense appropriations. Collectively, these four committees are responsible for funding arms sales and foreign aid, the continued maintenance and development of the military, oversight for government contracts, and the allocation of the budget for the defense department. Through these four committees, $300 billion in taxpayer dollars, which is roughly $2000 per taxpayer, went to private military contractors in 2013.

These defense contractors were able to secure lavish contracts only through their extensive lobbying efforts, like hiring expensive lawyers with existing connections in government. The Hogan Lovell law firm, where Chief Justice John Roberts previously worked before joining the Supreme Court, explicitly boasts on its website about its expertise in helping corporate clients worm their way through the regulatory system.

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Now That They’ve Lost the Culture Wars, Will Hard-Core Homophobes Turn to Violence?

John Gallagher | Queerty | June 27, 2014

The signs of defeat for opponents of LGBT people are everywhere. Marriage equality is the most obvious, but corporate America, the entertainment industry and even mainstream religions have all accepted lesbian and gay people as part of the nation’s fabric. (Whether the acceptance goes far enough is another question. It still doesn’t for transgender people.)

The number of people who think homosexuality is abnormal is dwindling, as society rapidly moves toward acceptance. Even evangelicals are moving away from the red-meat homophobia that characterized the Christian right of the 1980s and 1990s.

But there will always be a hard-core few whose beliefs lead them to oppose LGBT rights as a hideous violation of God’s law. In the face of defeat, how are they likely to respond?

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