Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Issues Groundbreaking Resolution

The Transgender Law Center applauds the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) for passing a groundbreaking resolution recommending ways to address the high rates of HIV/AIDS among transgender communities throughout the United States. Recently made public, the resolution was passed in February.

Another Yin-Yang-Yuan TransGender-Symbol

Another Yin-Yang-Yuan TransGender-Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PACHA’s advice and recommendations are vitally important in assisting the White House to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This resolution is groundbreaking in nature, as it is the first time PACHA has issued a transgender-specific set of recommendations.

“We’re incredibly grateful to PACHA for passing such a strong and compelling resolution,” said Cecilia Chung, Senior Strategist. “These recommendations, if implemented, will meet some of the dire needs of our community, which include data collection, education, and culturally competent prevention and care for transgender people, as our community continues to face extreme violence and discrimination which contribute to a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.”

Some of PACHA’s 15 recommendations include:

  • Relevant Health and Human Services (HHS) operating divisions should dedicate grant funds to projects specifically focusing on transgender health, particularly in the context of HIV prevention and treatment…;
  • The Indian Health Service (IHS) should develop a health services protocol specific to providing culturally and clinically appropriate care for male and female bodied, Two-Spirit individuals, including HIV prevention, education, outreach, and treatment;
  • And The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) should require facilities and providers receiving any federal funding to undertake regular staff trainings on transgender cultural competency.

The report “Injustice at Every Turn” is one of the few studies that has some data about transgender HIV rates. According to the report, the HIV sero-prevelance among transgender women in the U.S. is more than seven times the national average. The PACHA resolution notes that there is a lack of adequate data about transgender HIV risk and infection rates and recommends ways to collect it. It also points out that transgender people are protected from discrimination in the Affordable Care Act and lists ways to ensure agencies are aware of this and have adequate funding in place to care for transgender people.

Transgender Law Center works to educate legislators, policymakers, and advocates about the importance of addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the transgender community, and eliminating discriminatory barriers that transgender people face when attempting to access quality care. The staff has held meetings with personnel from HHC, HRSA, and the CDC to help educate them about the important issues addressed in the PACHA resolution.

Additionally, in collaboration with Lyon-Martin Health Services, Transgender Law Center has spearheaded Project HEALTH: Harnessing Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Transgender Health. Since 2008, Project HEALTH has led a comprehensive effort to improve access to and quality of healthcare for transgender people throughout California, and increasingly in other regions as well. Project HEALTH has trained more than 60 students in professional health programs through a clinical rotation hosted at Lyon-Martin Health Services and provided administrative, cultural, and clinical training to more than 25 community clinics and hospitals. In September, Project HEALTH launched TRANSLINE, an online consultation service for healthcare professionals seeking help caring for transgender patients. The team of leading organizations and practitioners has responded to more than 70 requests since September, with a 100% satisfaction rating.

Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. http://www.transgenderlawcenter.org To learn more contact Mark Snyder,mark@transgenderlawcenter.org, 415.865.0176 ext. 310.

Stand For Marriage Today

 

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Supporters of marriage equality will gather outside the Supreme Court on the first day of hearings: March 26 at 8:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C. Together we will show the nation that we believe all Americans deserve to be treated fairly and equally under the law — no matter who they love.

Wear red, share this graphic as your facebook profile pic:

hrc

 

BREAKING: Supreme Court will hear DOMA discrimination case and Proposition 8 case in 2013

From Freedom To Marry:

By Adam Polaski
Dec 07, 2012 at 03:25 pm

Moments ago, the Supreme Court announced in an order that it has decided to hear the Proposition 8 case and a challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Now, the Court must schedule the cases for oral arguments, which are likely to be heard in the spring of 2013. We should hear final news on rulings in both cases by June of 2013.

Our founder and president Evan Wolfson reflected on the news that the Supreme Court will hear Windsor v. United States, one of the key challenges to DOMA:

By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s  ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that comes with marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities – couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.

With the clock now ticking on a Supreme Court marriage decision in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. With momentum from Election Day victories for the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, the way to maximize our chances of winning in court over the next several months is to win more states and win over more hearts and minds. We can show the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.

He also commented on the Court’s decision to hear the Proposition 8 case, Hollingworth v. Perry:

Gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.

Windsor v. United States dates back to November 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old widowed lesbian from New York who sued the government for the $363,000 in estate taxes that she was forced to pay under DOMA following the death of her late partner Thea Spyer in 2010. Windsor and Spyer were together for more than 40 years and wed in Canada in 2007. Because of DOMA, their marriage was not respected by the federal government.

In June 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones sided with Windsor by ruling DOMA’s Section 3 – which explicitly restricts marriage to different-sex couples – unconstitutional. In October 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld that lower ruling, and the case was subsequently petitioned to be heard by the nation’s highest court.

The Proposition 8 case, Hollingworthy v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown) dates back to March 2009, when the American Foundation for Equal Rights filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Prop 8, which passed in California on November 4, 2008, is a citizens’ initiative that repealed the freedom to marry in the state, overturning a May 2008 decision from the California Supreme Court legalizing marriage for same-sex couples across the state.

You can help Freedom to Marry create the climate for pro-marriage decisions in both the Prop 8 trial and the DOMA trial. Tell us that you’re on the Right Side of History by DONATING TODAY. 

Yeah, I left the donation link in for a reason….
Help if you can.
~G

That We May Never Forget

…that the pain, suffering, secrecy and martyrdom of the brave queer people before us are the reason that we have lives filled with less fear today.

From Jesus In Love Blog:

Harvey Milk of San Francisco 
By Brother Robert Lentz, OFM. Copyright 1987
Courtesy of www.trinitystores.com (800.699.4482)

Pioneering gay rights activist Harvey Milk (1930-1978) was assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978 (34 years ago today). Milk is the first and most famous openly gay male elected official in California, and perhaps the world. He became the public face of the LGBT rights movement, and his reputation has continued to grow since his death. He has been called a martyr for GLBT rights.

“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door in the country,” Milk said. Two bullets did enter his brain, and his vision of GLBT people living openly is also coming true.

Milk has received many honors for his visionary courage and commitment to equality. He is the only openly gay person in the United States to have an official state holiday in his name. Harvey Milk Day is celebrated in California on Milk’s birthday, May 22. The bill establishing Harvey Milk Day was signed in to law in fall 2009, and the holiday was celebrated for the first time this year. State employees still have to work on Harvey Milk Day, but California public schools are encouraged to teach suitable commemorative lessons about the gay rights activist.

In 2009 Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and inducted into the California Hall of Fame. He was included in the Time “100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century” for being “a symbol of what gays can accomplish and the dangers they face in doing so.”

He is the subject of two Oscar-winning movies, “Milk” (2008) and “The Times of Harvey Milk” (1984), as well as the book “The Mayor of Castro Street” by Randy Shilts.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 after three unsuccessful efforts to run for office. He served only 11 months before he was killed, but in that short time he was responsible for passing a tough gay-rights law.

Haunted by the sense that he would be killed for political reasons, Milk recorded tapes to be played in the event of his assassination. His message, recorded nine days before his death, included this powerful statement:

“I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that’s what this is all about. It’s not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power — it’s about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope.”

Shots fired by conservative fellow supervisor Dan White cut Milk’s life short. More than 30 years later, the hope and the movement for GLBT rights are more alive than ever.

The Harvey Milk icon painted by Robert Lentz (pictured above) was hailed as a “national gay treasure” by gay author/activist Toby Johnson. Milk holds a candle and wears an armband with a pink triangle, the Nazi symbol for gay men, expressing solidarity with all who were tortured or killed because of their sexuality.

It is one of 10 Lentz icons that sparked a major controversy in 2005. Critics accused Lentz of glorifying sin and creating propaganda for a progressive sociopolitical agenda, and he temporarily gave away the copyright for the controversial images to his distributor, Trinity Stores. All 10 are now displayed there as a collection titled “Images That Challenge.”
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This post is part of the GLBT Saints series at the Jesus in Love Blog. Saints and holy people of special interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and our allies are covered on appropriate dates throughout the year.

Get your Tickets to “8”

Click for larger image

Call the Bozeman Public Library for free tickets: 406.582.2426

 

 

 

 

Bozeman Public Library Foundation Announces Reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Play “8”

The Library Foundation Joins Nationwide Productions of Landmark Marriage Equality Play by Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of Milk & J. Edgar

The Bozeman Library Foundation with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only reading of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

The Bozeman production is brought to the community thanks to author, director, and curator Gregory Hinton and his OUTWest programming. The Bozeman Library Foundation hosts the evening performance, starting with a reception from 6:30pm, the reading at 7:30pm in the Library’s mezzanine, followed by an informal discussion. Tickets are free and open to the public, but must be reserved in advance, as space is limited. Please call 582-2425 to secure your seat.

Hinton also was responsible for the “Beyond Brokeback: A Staged Reading with Music,” which premiered in Montana at the Bozeman Library in October 2011.

“The Bozeman Library is proud to be a partner on these two significant pieces of work,” said Paula K. Beswick, foundation director for the Library Foundation. “A public library’s role is to provide equal and open access to information to help inform, educate, and enlighten. It does this not only through its materials, but also through meaningful programs, such as ‘8’.”

This is truly a community program with local celebrity readers from all walks of life (see below) and support from the Pride Foundation, AIDS Outreach, MT Human Rights Network, and Nova Café. The Bozeman Public Library is in good company with the previous premieres from coast to coast.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.

“8” had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The West Coast premiere reading of “8” featured an all-star cast led by Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker; and Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee George Clooney and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Martin Sheen as Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies and Theodore B. Olson.  The benefit reading was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black. “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue, and understanding. Hinton shares a common goal with his OUTWest programs, but his focus is on museums, universities, and public libraries.

For more information about the performance at the Bozeman Public Library, please call Paula Beswick at 582-2426 or director@bozemanlibraryfoundation.org. To learn more about “8” visit: www.8theplay.com or find it on Facebook.

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“8” Bozeman Public Library CAST LIST

Clerk                                                                 Susan Gregory, director, Bozeman Public Library
Broadcast Journalist                                        E.J. Porth, active community member
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker                     Jack Kligerman, retired English Professor
Theodore B. Olson (Plaintiffs’ attorney)     Sherman Hall, community actor
David Boies (Plaintiffs’ attorney)                  Alan Kesselheim, author

Charles J. Cooper (Proponents’ attorney)   George Cole, retired Yellowstone Public Radio

Jeff Zarrillo (Plaintiff)                                     Jamee Greer, community member & activist
Paul Katami (Plaintiff)                                    Greg Smith, director, AIDS Outreach
Sandy Stier (Plaintiff)                                       Laura Prindiville, active community member
Kris Perry (Plaintiff)                                         Denise Malloy, author
Elliott (Kris & Sandy’s son)                            TBA
Spencer (Kris & Sandy’s son)                         TBA
Dr. Nancy Cott (Plaintiffs’ witness)              Cindy Christin, children’s librarian

Maggie Gallagher (Marriage equality opponent)   Beth Boyson, reference librarian
Dr. Ilan Meyer (Plaintiffs’ witness)                 Jim Madden, active community member
Ryan Kendall (Plaintiffs’ witness)                   Riley Pittenger, active community member
Dr. Gregory Herek (Plaintiffs’ witness)          Andy Allen, active community member
Dr. Gary Segura (Plaintiffs’ witness)               Jan Krieger, middle school teacher
Dr. William Tam (Prop. 8 proponent)            Scott Blackwell, librarian
David Blankenhorn (Proponents’ witness)    Geoff Stephens, active community member
Evan Wolfson (Marriage equality advocate)  Tom Zuzulock, high school teacher

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ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality for all Americans.
www.AFER.org

ABOUT BROADWAY IMPACT
Broadway Impact is the only grassroots organization of the theatre community and its fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Tony Award-nominees Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) and Gavin Creel (HAIR) and Production Coordinator Jenny Kanelos founded the organization in direct response to the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008. Currently, Broadway Impact, in partnership with AFER, licenses and coordinates readings of Dustin Lance Black’s “8” at regional, community and university theaters around the world. Broadway Impact was the recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Campaign Community Award and proudly operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

 www.broadwayimpact.com

 

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Proposition 8 Key Dates:

Date                                                    Event
November 4, 2008                          Prop. 8 Passes
May 26, 2009                                  AFER Attorneys Announced: Theodore B. Olson and David Boies

January 11-27, 2010                     Perry v. Schwarzenegger District Court Trial
June 16, 2010                                  Closing Arguments
August 4, 2010                                District Court Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
December 6, 2010                          9th Circuit Oral Arguments re: Appeal by Prop. 8 Proponents

June 14, 2011                                 Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment Denied
September 6, 2011                         California Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Proponents’ Standing

September 19, 2011                       Broadway Premiere of “8”

September 19, 2011                       District Court Orders Release of Trial Video

November 17, 2011                        California Supreme Court Advisory Opinion re: Proponents’ Standing

December 8, 2011                           9th Circuit Hearing re: Release of Trial Videotapes and Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment

February 7, 2012                             9th Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling That Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional

March 3, 2012                                 Los Angeles Premiere of “8”

HRC: Romney Gave 10k To Prop 8

From LGBT/POV:

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

A number of politicos jumped on GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney for the casual way he offered to make a $10,000 bet with rival Rick Perry during a debate, saying it clearly illustrated out “out of touch” Romney was with regular folks for whom $10,000 is a lot of money. And certainly, $10,000 was a lot of money during the Prop 8 fight in California – which the Human Rights Campaign and its project NOM Exposed revealed was the amount Romney gave to the National Organization for Marriage when the antigay group emerged as a leading proponent for the Prop 8 ballot initiative that successfully stripped marriage rights from same sex couples in California. NOM has been working hard to keep the names of its donors private.

Scott Wooledge at the Huffington Post has more, finding the contribution cited “in the Oct. 28, 2008 edition of Deseret News reporting on Mitt Romney’s $10,000 donation to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). We since have come to learn that NOM circulated some nefarious memos to convince donors that their cause was strategically planned.”

HRC’s Fred Sainz says:

The aide quoted in The Deseret News that gets Romney into campaign disclosure problems is none other than Eric Fehrnstrom, the same trusted aide who infamously compared the general election to an “Etch A Sketch.” The NYT has a great profile of Fehrnstrom here.

It also bears mentioning, that Robert George, the chairman emeritus of NOM and the author of two federal marriage amendments, sits on the editorial board of the Deseret News. You will remember that Mr. George was appointed this week by Speaker Boehner to the U.S. Commission for International Freedom.

It’s not that surprising, but in the era where “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ended with barely a whimper, State Legislatures enacted marriage equality, and Republicans have backed off the gay marriage issue, Romney’s anti-equality contributions should be noted.

Did anyone notice a Log Cabin Republican response to Romney’s contribution?

I didn’t either.

Full story here.