Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EVENT: "8" the Play in Visalia



8, the play, which has played here in Fresno, is now due for two performances in Visalia, on November 2nd and November 3rd. Don't miss the Visalia production of this very important play focusing on the Prop 8 case in California...


8 is a docudrama depicting both sides of the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. Using transcripts from the trial in Federal District Court and interviews with those involved including the plaintiffs, Dustin Lance Black chronicles the fight for marriage equality, which began when the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER) challenged the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

The Visalia Players are supporting AFER’s efforts through two fund-raising performances of 8 on November 2 and 3. Director Corey Ralston is very excited about the opportunity to bring 8 to the Ice House stage. Marriage equality is an issue dear to Ralston’s heart. “For so many years, marriage was not an option, and now it is so near we can almost taste it.”

Interest in 8 varies among cast members, but Wyleen Luoma, who portrays Charles Cooper – Republican Lawyer of the Year in 2010, presented a unique scenario. Luoma has seen the show performed and believes that Cooper’s role was not given the characterization it deserves. While Cooper’s political persuasions are very different from Luoma’s, she believes that “his role in the trial deserves humanity and dignity.”

Read more about the Visalia production HERE

EVENT: AIDS Walk Fresno

Gay Central Valley will be walking with FCC Diversity Club for the Fresno AIDS Walk. We encourage other groups to participate and to donate to the cause. Visit www.fresnoaidswalk.org.


Focus Group November 13th


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

LOCAL EVENT: Transgender Day Of Remembrance

The Issue of the Criminalization of HIV Status


There are 35 states in the United States that attach some form of criminalization to those with HIV as opposed to all other STD's. These statutes have to do with those with HIV being forthcoming about their HIV status prior to engaging in sexual activity. Of course, these laws don't deal well with the reality of HIV status, as in when was your last test, are you in a window period, etc. 

Another thing the laws don't care to address is personal responsibility. If you're ready to believe the HIV or other status of someone you're about to engage in sexual activity with, you're taking a big risk, regardless of what you're told. Be personally responsible and protect yourself regardless...

Louisiana and Iowa are only two of 35 states with criminal statutes that apply solely to those with HIV. Other sexually transmitted infections can, if untreated, cause serious harm or death, but only HIV gets these special criminal statutes. There is no evidence showing these statutes reduce HIV transmission, and there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates how they are making the epidemic worse.

A recent survey of over 2,000 people with HIV in the U.S. conducted by the Sero Project, reveals these consequences. Nearly a quarter of respondents knew at least one person who was afraid to take an HIV test for fear of prosecution if they tested positive. Nearly half believe that such fears are reasonable. 

The survey paints a dismal picture of a disabling legal environment for people with HIV in the U.S. Over 60 percent of people with HIV don't know whether or not their state has an HIV-specific disclosure statute; nearly half don't know what behaviors put them in legal jeopardy, and 38 percent personally fear being falsely accused of not disclosing their HIV status. If facing charges, nearly 80 percent are uncertain they would get a fair hearing in court.

These criminal statutes were intended to reduce HIV transmission by making people afraid to not disclose their status. Our findings suggest the opposite effect: many people at risk may prefer to not get tested for HIV, rather than risk being accused of non-disclosure if they tested positive.
 
These new HIV laws are, by some standards, having the opposite effect of what's intended...

These criminal statutes were intended to reduce HIV transmission by making people afraid to not disclose their status. Our findings suggest the opposite effect: many people at risk may prefer to not get tested for HIV, rather than risk being accused of non-disclosure if they tested positive. 

These statutes heighten the already-pervasive stigma around HIV, while doing nothing to facilitate disclosure. In fact, when we asked 200 people with HIV what motivates them to disclose their HIV status to a sex partner, most cited basic moral or ethical reasons like honesty or a desire to protect their partner. Less than 1 percent cited the law as a primary motivation for disclosure.

Read more HERE

Nov 20th Set As Date To Review Prop 8 & DOMA

Courtesy AFER...

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will consider whether to grant review in AFER’s federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.
The Justices will meet to discuss AFER’s case, along with several challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), at their private Conference scheduled for Tuesday, November 20.
The Court is expected to either:

  • Grant review of our Prop. 8 challenge, at which point AFER’s legal team, led by distinguished attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, will submit written briefs and present oral arguments by April 2013. A final decision on Prop. 8 and marriage equality is expected by June 2013.
  • Deny review, making permanent the landmark federal appeals court ruling that found Prop. 8 UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Marriage equality will be restored in California.
The Court is expected to release an Order List with its decisions on cases it has granted or denied review from its November 20 Conference
by Monday, November 26.  Though AFER is hopeful that we will hear something from the Justices by that day, the Court does not have an
obligation to set a timeline for making a decision on granting or denying review.




Read More HERE

Friday, October 26, 2012

EVENT: World AIDS Day 2012



Hate Crime in Queens



Lou Rispoli, described by friends as the heart and soul of the gay community in Sunnyside, Queens, where he has lived for more than 30 years, was attacked by two men with whom he was seen walking at 2 a.m. on October 20 outside 41-00 43rd Avenue. He was hit in the head with a blunt object with such force that neighbors who heard the assault but did not see it thought he had been shot.


Rispoli has been removed from life support and is now in hospice care at Elmhurst Hospital.
“He will not survive, and this will be a homicide,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, fighting back tears, at an October 25 press conference.

Van Bramer, who is gay and represents Sunnyside, said the assault on Rispoli, whom he knew as a friend and someone who worked on his 2009 campaign, “is a tragedy for our neighborhood and our city.”

The victim is 62 years old.


Friday, October 19, 2012

VIDEO: Honey Boo Boo's Gay Uncle for Spirit Day

VIDEO: David's Change of Mind On Gay Marriage

GCV Fundraiser SATURDAY @The Phoenix

Today is SPIRIT DAY - Go Purple

Spirit Day is annual day in October when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Learn more. Here are some easy ways to get involved now!
You can now take part in Spirit Day right from your phone! GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services have launched the "Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services" app for iPhone and Android. The app provides users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
For more information about Spirit Day and ways you can participate... CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boy Scout Molestation Files Released


The Boy Scouts, who have recently doubled down on their dedication to bar homosexuals from participating in their organization, are now facing a media disaster. So called "perversion files" that have been kept secret for decades are now being ordered to be released. 

The files outline over 1,250 cases of molestation which the Boy Scout organization knew about and kept secret in order to "protect the good name and good works of Scouting".

The files document sex abuse allegations across the country, from a small town in the Adirondacks to downtown Los Angeles.
At a news conference Thursday, Portland attorney Kelly Clark blasted the Boy Scouts for their continuing legal battles to try to keep the full trove of files secret.

"You do not keep secrets hidden about dangers to children," said Clark, who in 2010 won a landmark lawsuit against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.



Read more HERE