Health - Black AIDS Institute Founder to Get Spirit of Justice Award (AP) The founder and president of the Black AIDS Institute will receive the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders' 2016 Spirit of Justice Award. Phill Wilson was an early voice on HIV in the black community. His activism began when he and his partner were diagnosed with HIV in the early 1980s. He became the AIDS coordinator for the city of Los Angeles. Wilson has also been involved in national and international research efforts, coordinating the International Community Treatment and Science Workshop at five International AIDS Conferences. Wilson will accept the award at the 17th Annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Oct. 28. The Black AIDS Institute, based in Los Angeles, is the only national HIV and AIDS think tank focused exclusively on black people.
Religion - Methodists Elect 1st Openly Gay Bishop In Defiance of Ban (AP) The Western district of the Methodist church has elected an openly gay bishop despite the denomination's ban on same-sex relationships. The Rev. Karen Oliveto was elected late Friday night at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, of the church's Western Jurisdiction. Oliveto is pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. She is the first openly gay bishop in the 12.7 million-member denomination. The United Methodist Church is deeply divided over LGBT rights. Church law says same-gender relationships are "incompatible with Christian teaching." But several regional districts are openly defying the prohibition by appointing gay clergy and allowing same-sex weddings in churches. Some instances have led to trials under the church legal system. Oliveto's election could draw complaints that will prompt a review under church law.
Politics - NCLR Launches Campaign Urging RNC to Reject Support for Conversion Therapy in 2016 Platform (EDGE) The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) calls on the LGBT community and the general public to urge delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention to reject the party's proposed platform and work to end the dangerous and discredited practice of LGBT conversion therapy. Delegates to the convention, which is set to begin Monday, will vote on a platform that includes, among other extreme anti-LGBT provisions, a resolution approving the use of so-called "therapies" that attempt to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Such practices have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization across the country because they are known to lead to extreme depression, substance abuse, and suicide. "Conversion therapy is fraudulent, dangerous, and anti-family," said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. "It is tragic that the RNC would consider endorsing this deadly practice, which has caused so much harm to young people and their families. Parents need accurate, reliable information about how to love and support an LGBT child. This proposal does just the opposite, encouraging families to reject their children and, in so doing, put their lives at risk. These practices destroy families and cause harms that may never be fully healed." NCLR is at the forefront of efforts to protect youth and their families from conversion therapy. In 2014, it launched its #BornPerfect campaign to stop the dangerous practice across the country by 2019 by working to pass laws, fighting in courtrooms and raising awareness. As part of this effort, NCLR has launched a Twitter campaign to urge delegates to help end conversion and reject it as a platform. Learn more about the campaign at www.NCLRights.org/StopHate.
Politics - Full Document View New Jersey GOP group protests party's stance on LGBT community (AP) New Jersey Republican leaders want the Republican National Committee to remove language from its national platform they say discriminates against the LGBT community. The Record reports the Republican State Chairmen's Association made the call this week. The group unanimously urged the RNC and its platform committee to adopt more “neutral'' language that neither supports nor condemns gay marriage. They say the party must show it's inclusive if it hopes to win in New Jersey. The vote was prompted by John Traier, chairman of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization, who has married his same-sex partner. The group's resolution notes the Republican Party has supported LGBT candidates and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. GOP platform committee members last week approved language that opposed same-sex marriage and transgender rights.
Community – Summer Campers Devise Way to Help Orlando Gay Club Victims (AP) The deadly nightclub shooting in Florida has inspired Broadway stars to sing in concerts, record songs and perform a few blocks from the massacre. Now there's an online philanthropic campaign modeled on the ice bucket challenge. Staff and campers at Stagedoor Manor, the powerhouse performing arts summer camp, have made a video of themselves singing the benefit version of "What the World Needs Now is Love" and will donate $10 to the LGBT Center of Greater Orlando each time their original post is shared on Instagram or Twitter until they reach $5,000. "It's more than the money. It's the message of fighting for tolerance and the love," said Cindy Samuelson, who runs the Catskills Mountains camp. "Right now, with everything going on in the world, it's needed more than ever. People need to be tolerant of each other." The camp's 290 kids joined by staffers recorded the song Thursday and hope to challenge some of their famous alumni to do their own recordings. So far, they've tapped actor Erich Bergen of TV's "Madam Secretary," Beanie Feldstein of the film "Neighbors 2" and Samantha Massell from Broadway's "Fiddler on the Roof." "I love that these young theater kids are learning it's not just about 'Put on a good show!' but about how art can help and connect," said Seth Rudetsky, the SiriusXM radio host whose arrangement of "What the World Needs Now is Love" was used by the campers. The effort is part of a push by Broadway performers to reach out to victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jennifer Lopez combining for the benefit single "Love Make the World Go Round."
National – Happy and Healthy: New Options for LGBT Senior Living (EDGE) Earlier this month, the New York chapter of SAGE -- Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders -- announced the development of New York City's first senior housing, with services designed specifically for the LGBT community. Their Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences will together provide nearly 230 units of housing, as well as comprehensive, culturally competent services to older LGBT adults. It's all part of a movement that's sweeping the nation. "LGBT older people face a housing crisis. These groundbreaking developments are an important step toward combating that crisis in New York City by providing not only affordable and welcoming housing, but also on-site services pioneered through SAGE's network of LGBT senior centers," said Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE. The Ingersoll complex, located in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, will feature 145 units, making it the nation's largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the nation. But it's far from the only one. The NYC units were built on precedents of LGBT-inclusive senior housing in California, Philadelphia and Chicago. These residences are made possible through partnerships with local government and developmental partners. SAGE launched a National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative in 2015, in response to evidence of widespread discrimination against LGBT people in senior housing. When paired with services, these residences keep LGBTs from being forced back into the closet as they age.
Health - Antibiotic Resistance Threatens Gonorrhea Treatment (EDGE) CDC currently recommends a combination gonorrhea treatment with two antibiotics -- an oral dose of azithromycin and single shot of ceftriaxone. Findings released from CDC's surveillance system for monitoring the threat of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea show that the percentage of gonorrhea isolates with decreased susceptibility to azithromycin, an indicator of emerging resistance, increased more than 400 percent between 2013 and 2014 (from 0.6 percent to 2.5 percent of gonorrhea isolates). This is a distressing sign that the future of current treatment options may be in jeopardy and underscores the importance of the federal government's Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Action Plan. "The confluence of emerging drug resistance and very limited alternative options for treatment creates a perfect storm for future gonorrhea treatment failure in the U.S.," said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention. "History shows us that bacteria will find a way to outlast the antibiotics we're using to treat it. We are running just one step ahead in order to preserve the remaining treatment option for as long as possible." The combination therapy currently recommended by CDC still works. To date, no treatment failures have been reported in the United States. But signs of emerging resistance to azithromycin suggests that this drug will be next in the long line of antibiotics to which gonorrhea bacteria have become resistant -- a list that includes penicillin, tetracycline, and fluoroquinolones. Because of gonorrhea's ability to outsmart the antibiotics used to treat it, CDC has been closely monitoring early warning signs of resistance not only to azithromycin but also to cephalosporins, the class of antibiotics that includes ceftriaxone.
Education - LGBT History Lessons Heading for California Classrooms (AP) In second grade, California students will learn about families with two moms or two dads. Two years later, while studying how immigrants have shaped the Golden State, they will hear how New York native Harvey Milk became a pioneering gay politician in San Francisco. The State Board of Education unanimously approved those changes in classroom instruction Thursday to comply with the nation's first law requiring public schools to include prominent gay Americans and LGBT rights milestones in history classes. The updates are part of a broader overhaul of California's history and social science curriculum. During four hours of public testimony, dozens of speakers criticized the way the framework discusses Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Japan's use of "comfort women" during World War II, but no one objected to the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Allyson Chiu, who just finished 11th grade at Cupertino High School, said the revisions would make LGBT students more comfortable. She and seven others spoke in favor of how the guidelines address gay issues. "My classmates can solve quadratic equations or cite the elements on the periodic table. They can't tell you who Harvey Milk was or the significance of the Stonewall Riots," Chiu said. The changes satisfy legislation passed five years ago that added LGBT Americans and people with disabilities to the list of social and ethnic groups whose contributions schools are supposed to teach and must appear in K-8 textbooks. The law also prohibited classroom materials that reflect adversely on gays or particular religions. Conservative opponents argued that it should be up to parents to decide how and at what age to broach sexual orientation with their children and made two unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law.