Gay and bisexual men in Massachusetts continue to be the hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic with a significant percentage of new cases appearing among minority men.
That’s according to a new report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that found while the state has had success battling the disease among injection drug users and heterosexual men and women, it has had less success among gay and bisexual men.
More than half of HIV infections between 2004 and 2006 were among gay and bisexual men even though they make up less than 10 percent of the population.
See Report: Gay/bisexual men still bear brunt of AIDS
Boston Herald, United States
An estimated 77,400 people were living with HIV in the UK in 2007 with more than a quarter (28 percent) unaware of their infection, according to figures released this week by the Health Protection Agency.
This compares with the estimated 73,000 previously reported to be living with the infection (2006).
In 2007 there were 7,734 new diagnoses of HIV – a similarly high figure to previous years (7,334 in 2006).
See HIV Diagnoses Among Gay Men Continues to Rise in UK
Gay Wired, CA
She’s not a lawyer or a lawmaker, but few people were more pivotal to the struggle for same-sex marriage in Connecticut than Anne Stanback.
She spent the better part of the past decade forging coalitions, lobbying legislators, raising money and doing the grunt work of community organizing.
“The phrase that comes to mind is either relentlessly gracious or graciously relentless,” said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD, the Boston-based group that successfully sued to bring same-sex marriage to the state.
“Anne never stopped. In this incredibly warm and gracious way, she just kept coming at you … engendering a tremendous amount of respect, whether you agreed with her or not.”See Stanback Perseveres In Efforts Toward Gay Rights
Hartford Courant, United States
I grew up a strong kid, being the third and the youngest child.
Throughout those years, I knew something was awkward in me that I seldom saw among my age group and I tried fighting it.
By now you may have an idea of what I’m talking about.
When we were much younger, I was the defender of the group. I am physically fit and could outrun any boy in my town or give them a tough defensive basketball game or even play a one-o’clock tennis game. I could also intimidate anyone my age, but no one knew I was trembling inside.
One day, I had a fight with a bully and came out the winner. We ended up both hurt and aching. Maybe that’s how I earned the respect of my close friends. I was their hero because I usually sacrificed myself during our childhood games. They all carried those memories with them and some even became my admirers and beaus.
I only had three girlfriends and looking back made me wonder why it ended so soon. Some said I was their ideal guy—good, intelligent and athletic. Still I wasn’t at ease with myself. It took me 29 years to realize, accept and understand that I was gay. I was in denial. This shouldn’t be happening to me. There is no hard and fast rule in being gay. It isn’t like waking up one morning and saying to the world that you’re gay. In my case, it was a gradual process.
A book even mentioned that aromatase deficiency leads to feminist traits among males, a hot subject that most scientists recently linked with homosexuality. When I finally told my friends that I was gay, they said it was a joke. Today, pretty girls flirt with me, and I just let them. It’s up to them to find out. I wrote you not to encourage young people to be like me but to teach them the importance of knowing themselves—to ask for help if they think something is bothering them. A number of kids go into drug addiction. Others commit suicide because they feel “abnormal.”
What’s important is they continue being themselves: that people around them rid themselves of discrimination and homophobia. Gays are equal to everybody—educate not eradicate.
See Answer @ He accepted his being gay after 29 years
Anti-gay marriage groups alarmed at the election of a gay-affirming president are readying their forces and shoring up their defenses to protect the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The Alliance for Marriage Foundation, the group who drafted the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) in Congress, unveiled a new website at www.ProtectDOMA.org on Monday. The online resource gives facts and information about the law that forbids any federal agency from recognizing legal gay marriage. The law also allows states to ignore legal gay marriages performed in another state.
The legislation was authored by then-Republican Georgia Representative Bob Barr and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton in 1996. Proponents argued that without the legislation gay activists would win the right to marry in a single state and foist it upon the rest of the nation. In the mid-1990′s such a state was Hawaii. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in Baehr v. Lewin that it was unconstitutional to refuse gay couples the right to marry. However, the court stayed the ruling and by 1998 the state had passed the first-ever gay marriage ban amendment in the United States, essentially overruling the court’s decision.
See Anti-Gay Marriage Groups Begin Fight For DOMA
On Top Magazine, OH -
Supreme Judicial Court Justice John Greaney retires tomorrow after 19 years on the state’s highest court, unfazed by criticism of its landmark decision legalizing gay marriage.
The 69-year-old Greaney wrote a concurring opinion in the 4-3 ruling in 2003, arguing that simple decency required allowing gays to marry.
In conjunction with a new film about slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, items belonging to the gay rights pioneer — including the suit he was wearing when he was killed — are being exhibited.
Reporting from San Francisco — The sight may be a little shocking, Paul Boneberg warned a visitor. And it was.
There, removed from tissue-paper wrappings in a storage box, were the wingtip shoes, striped suit and white shirt that gay activist and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk wore Nov. 27, 1978, the day he was assassinated. Dark bloodstains remained visible around the shirt collar, and small holes — from bullets — could be seen in the suit’s blue and gray material.
The suit has been preserved 30 years for a purpose, explained Boneberg, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, which owns it. “It’s an iconic reference to what occurred, that this was a real man who bled real blood,” he said.
Now the clothing and many other Milk-related items in scholarly and library archives in San Francisco are about to get more attention — as are re-creations of them in the new film biography “Milk,” which stars Sean Penn as the nation’s first openly gay man elected to a major political office.
The movie’s director, Gus Van Sant, and his team did extensive research at the historical society to accurately portray Milk’s life, his possessions, his political career and his slaying at age 48. In addition to the evocative suit, they studied Milk’s campaign posters, his round dining room table — a replica of which is featured in the film — and photos of the early days of gay liberation in the city’s Castro district.
The filmmakers also dug into a large trove of Milk’s papers, love letters and photos at the San Francisco Public Library. In addition, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black interviewed surviving friends and examined their memorabilia.
See On film and in exhibits, a full picture of Harvey Milk
Los Angeles Times, CA
MESA, Ariz. — Supporters of gay marriage were out in force when Mormons lit their massive Christmas displays on the grounds of the Mesa Temple.
They were upset with Mormons’ opposition to same-sex marriage and the passage of state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage in Arizona, California and Florida in the Nov. 4 election.
The Mormon church urged members to donate money and vote for the gay marriage bans.
”They’re shining their light, we’re shining ours,” said Bobby Parker, an organizer and gay Mesa Mormon.
Many members of the gay, lesbian and transgender community view Mormon votes and dollars as the deciding factor behind the passage of Proposition 102 in Arizona and Proposition 8 in California.
See Gay marriage backers protest at LDS display
Salt Lake Tribune, United States -
Compared with straight men, gay men are more likely to be left-handed, to be the younger siblings of older brothers, and to have hair that whorls in a counterclockwise direction.
Researchers are finding common biological traits among gay men, feeding a growing consensus that sexual orientation is an inborn combination of genetic and environmental factors that largely decide a person’s sexual attractions before they are born.
Such findings — including a highly anticipated study this winter — would further inform the debate over whether homosexuality is innate or a choice, an undercurrent of the recent Proposition 8 campaign in which television commercials warned that “schools would begin teaching second-graders that boys could marry boys,” suggesting homosexuality would then spread.
Some scientists say the political and moral debate over same-sex marriage frequently strayed from established scientific evidence, including comments by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that homosexuality is “a choice” and “a decision.”
Until 2007, CNN polls had found that a majority of Americans believed gay people could change their sexual orientation if they chose to; it was only last year that a majority for the first time said homosexuality was an inborn trait. Christian groups such as Exodus International argue “that homosexuals who desire to change can do so.” One prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Spitzer of Columbia University, ound controversial evidence that therapy can cause some gay people to change to a heterosexual orientation, although the study concluded that a “complete change” was uncommon.
While sexual behavior may be chosen, the preponderance of researchers say attraction is dictated by biology, with no demonstrated contribution from social factors such as parenting or other factors after birth.
See Growing research suggests being gay is not ‘a choice’
San Jose Mercury News, USA
Attorneys representing one of three gay men charged with obstruction of justice in the murder of Washington attorney Robert Wone are denouncing police and prosecutors for allegedly spreading “speculation, innuendo, assumptions, and irrelevant inflammatory comments” linking the men to the murder.
The comments came in a motion the attorneys filed Tuesday to request the release of defendant Dylan Ward on his own recognizance. It came the same day that Katherine Wone, Robert Wone’s widow, filed a $20 million wrongful death suit against Ward and co-defendants Joseph Price and Victor Zaborsky.