Friday, November 30, 2012

LOCAL EVENT: World AIDS Day On Sat Dec 1st

Newsletter: December 2012

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Big Step Backwards for NV and Gay Marriage

Many of us were disappointed that the Supreme Court decided to not decide anything today.... and while we wait for next week and continue to hope that the Court will either weigh in on DOMA or rule that it doesn't need to rule on Prop 8 (which would therefore lead to the CA court's ruling of Prop 8 being unconstitutional, ie CA would get gay marriage)... we must face some other negative news.

Federal Judge Rules Nevada Can Ban Same-Sex Couples From Marriage


Apparently, "Judge Robert C. Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, found that the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws does not "[prohibit] the People of the State of Nevada from maintaining statutes that reserve the institution of civil marriage to one-man–one-woman relationships."

.... So... that whole equal under the law thing only applies if your fellow state residents decide that you deserve equality.

There is also this little gem: "Homosexuals have not historically been denied the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, or the right to own property," he wrote, in dismissing claims of a history of discrimination"

Le Sigh

For more, click here.

EVENT: Tonight at the Tower Theater

BREAKING: Supreme Court Decision Delayed


The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket.  It did agree to rule on whether taking a human gene out of the body is a process that can be patented.  That case is Association for Molecular Pathology v.Myriad Genetics (docket 12-398), with the grant limited to that issue.  The Justices also agreed to rule on legal protection for makers of generic drugs (Mutual Phamaceutical v. Bartlett, 12-142).

The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday.  Nothing has ruled out the possibility that some actions on same-sex marriage could be announced at that time, although there is no indication that that will occur.  It may be that the Court needs more time to decide what it wants to do next on any of the cases.

If no orders on any of these cases emerge on Monday, the next indication of what the Court may be doing with the issue could come with re-setting them for the private Conference that will be held next Friday.  It is not uncommon, in cases that have some complexity, for the Court to require more than one Conference sitting to decide how to proceed.  Ordinarily, the Court re-schedules cases after releasing opinions; that is now set to happen on Tuesday, with one or more opinions in cases already heard.

Supreme Court Defers on Gay Marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court deferred saying whether it will consider gay marriage for the first time, taking no action on 10 pending appeals touching on the rights of same-sex couples.

The justices, who were scheduled to consider the appeals during a private conference today, released a list of orders that made no mention of the gay-marriage cases while granting review to two other cases. The court will have another conference in a week and may make an announcement after that session.

Read more

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food Giveaways THIS WEEKEND

THIS SATURDAY Dec. 1st, opposite ends of town. / ESTE SABADO 1 DE DECIEMBRE 2012
Bring your: ID & Utility Bill
TRAE SU: ID y Recibo de PG&E
North / Norte Fresno- 8 am - 7886 N. Millbrook (between / dentre medio Alluvial & Nees) 559-446-2550
South / Sur Fresno- 8 am - 1805 California St. (off of/ un lado a Elm Street) 559-264-1048

Gay Marriage Comes to Supreme Court... Maybe

You might have heard by now that tomorrow is going to be a big day in terms of gay marriage and the supreme Court.
You might be wondering: what will the court be deciding? How will it affect us in CA? Is it about DOMA or Prop 8?

Here is a helpful article that answers those questions..... (emphasis mine... happy skimming)

From ABC News.

When the nine Supreme Court justices retreat behind closed doors Friday for their regularly scheduled conference, they will consider the issue of gay marriage and decide whether to take up a case that could ultimately determine whether there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage.

At issue is Proposition 8, the controversial 2008 California ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It passed with 52 percent of the vote.

The Supreme Court could act in a number of ways. Even if it granted the case, it could issue an opinion narrowly tailored to California and, thus, avoid the broader question regarding a fundamental right to same sex marriage. It could decline to take up the appeal, which would mean gay marriages could resume in California.

Court watchers speculate that some of the conservative members of the court who are uncomfortable with a lower court decision that struck down a successful ballot initiative, might have a greater concern with Justice Anthony Kennedy's ultimate vote. While it only takes 4 justices to agree to take a case, it takes 5 to win and Kennedy is seen as a likely swing vote.

"Conservative justices hoping to find an ally in Justice Kennedy may be concerned about his majority opinion in favor of gay rights advocates in two previous cases in 1996 and 2003," professor Margaret Russell of the Santa Clara University School of Law said.

"Kennedy's basic approach in those cases was to protect the individual liberty and choices of gay men and lesbians."

Other justices might vote against taking up the case out of a belief that the issue should be allowed to percolate further at the state level.

Indeed, many gay rights advocates have been working for years to focus their attention to get a consensus at the state level on the issue of gay marriage, rather than go prematurely to the Supreme Court and get a ruling that could galvanize gay marriage foes or, alternatively, shut down legal avenues.

Nine states and the District of Columbia allow (or will soon allow) gay marriage.

Besides the Prop 8 case, called Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Justices Friday will also address several challenges to a federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Such cases do not involve a fundamental right to gay marriage, as the couples involved are already legally married in their state. Instead, at issue is whether legally married same-sex couples (in states that allow gay marriage) can be denied federal benefits, such as Social Security survivor benefits and federal health care, that are available to opposite-sex couples.

The Obama administration decided in 2011 to no longer defend DOMA in court, arguing that it was unconstitutional. Two federal appeals courts have struck down the law.

In court briefs filed with the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. writes about the impact of the law: "Although Section 3 of DOMA does not purport to invalidate same-sex marriages in those States that permit them, it excludes such marriage from recognition for purposes of more than 1,000 federal statutes and programs whose administration turns in part on individuals' marital status."

Because the government refuses to defend the law in court, Republican Speaker John Boehner of Ohio moved to intervene and appointed the U.S. House of Representatives Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to do so.

Paul D. Clement serves as BLAG's lawyer and stresses that DOMA was enacted with strong majorities in both houses of Congress and was signed into law in 2006 by President Bill Clinton. In court briefs, Clement writes that DOMA was not meant to invalidate any marriages, but "simply asserts the federal government's right as separate sovereign to provide its own definition which governs only federal programs and funding."

Kenji Yoshino, a professor at New York University School of Law, believes that the court is more likely to take up one of the DOMA cases than the Prop 8 case. "I think the court is almost certain to take the DOMA cases, as they involve lower courts striking down a federal statute rather than a state law, as is the case in the Prop 8 case," he says.

"The DOMA case also asks the court for less, in that it does not affect the marriage law in any state. Rather it returns the Congress to its traditional posture of deferring to state definitions of marriage."


GCV will keep you updated!

The President on World AIDS Day

Courtesy The White House



On World AIDS Day, more than 30 years after the first cases of this tragic illness were reported, we join the global community once more in standing with the millions of people who live with HIV/AIDS worldwide. We also recommit to preventing the spread of this disease, fighting the stigma associated with infection, and ending this pandemic once and for all.

In 2010, my Administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, our Nation's first comprehensive plan to fight the domestic epidemic. The Strategy aims to reduce new infections, increase access to care, reduce health disparities, and achieve a more coordinated national response to HIV/AIDS here in the United States. To meet these goals, we are advancing HIV/AIDS education; connecting stakeholders throughout the public, private, and non-profit sectors; and investing in promising research that can improve clinical outcomes and reduce the risk of transmission. Moving forward, we must continue to focus on populations with the highest HIV disparities -- including gay men, and African American and Latino communities -- and scale up effective, evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat HIV. We are also implementing the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to HIV testing and will ensure that all Americans, including those living with HIV/AIDS, have access to health insurance beginning in 2014.

These actions are bringing us closer to an AIDS-free generation at home and abroad -- a goal that, while ambitious, is within sight. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we are on track to meet the HIV prevention and treatment targets I set last year. We are working with partners at home and abroad to reduce new infections in adults, help people with HIV/AIDS live longer, prevent mother-to-child transmission, and support the global effort to eliminate new infections in children by 2015. And thanks to bipartisan action to lift the entry ban on persons living with HIV, we were proud to welcome leaders from around the world to the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

Creating an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility. It requires commitment from partner countries, coupled with support from donors, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations, and multilateral institutions. We stand at a tipping point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and working together, we can realize our historic opportunity to bring that fight to an end.

Today, we reflect on the strides we have taken toward overcoming HIV/AIDS, honor those who have made our progress possible, and keep in our thoughts all those who have known the devastating consequences of this illness. The road toward an AIDS-free generation is long -- but as we mark this important observance, let us also remember that if we move forward every day with the same passion, persistence, and drive that has brought us this far, we can reach our goal. We can beat this disease. On World AIDS Day, in memory of those no longer with us and in solidarity with all who carry on the fight, let us pledge to make that vision a reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2012, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


VIDEO: Michigan Teacher Suspended for Playing Pro Gay Song

Fox 2 News Headlines

World AIDS Day 2012

December 1st marks the 24th annual recognition of World AIDS Day, a campaign designed to increase awareness of the worldwide toll of HIV/AIDS, reduce prejudice and HIV/AIDS-related stigma, and improve education about this disease. This year’s theme is Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation. Consistent with the first goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy – to minimize new HIV infections – the California Department of Public Health, Center for Infectious Diseases, Office of AIDS (OA) embraces the 2012 theme of World AIDS Day and joins in this worldwide effort to implement strategies that will prevent new HIV infections and provide adequate and effective care/treatment and support services for those who are already infected with HIV/AIDS.

Since 1983, over 200,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in California. Of these, almost half have succumbed to the virus and another two-thirds of the over 110,000 Californians currently living with HIV infection have been diagnosed with AIDS.

However, people with HIV are increasingly living longer and healthier lives due to improved medical treatment and care, causing the death rate from HIV/AIDS to significantly decrease and the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS to steadily increase every year. While the overall number of new infections each year has been decreasing, 4,864 individuals were newly diagnosed with HIV infection in California in the last year. So, there is still work to do.

OA has set three goals that are especially relevant to Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation. The first is to identify individuals with HIV infection, which will occur through HIV testing in non-medical community settings and opt-out HIV testing in medical settings. The second is linkage to and retention/re-engagement in care for individuals who know they are HIV-infected, as well as a comprehensive assessment of prevention needs for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) in care and non-care settings. And the third is to reduce viral load for individuals and the community, a scientific strategy shown to reduce new infections. These three goals will be achieved in a variety of ways, such as through the use of surveillance data; distributing condoms at targeted venues such as bathhouses, bars and clubs by LHJs (local health jurisdictions); and supporting syringe services programs that serve high-risk individuals, among others.

OA continues to support the goals of the World AIDS Day campaign to eventually eliminate all new HIV infections. OA would also like to recognize the efforts of providers, across the spectrum of prevention, detection, care/treatment and support services, who work to combat this disease.

In recognition of World AIDS Day and toll of HIV/AIDS internationally and specifically within California among those who have been infected and/or affected by this disease, OA urges all persons to become more aware of the risks of HIV and to get tested, and if positive, to seek medical and other support services. 

Click HIV Service Referral Network to find a HIV test site and medical facility near you.