Thank you for checking out my blog. To submit comments, click on "COMMENTS" at the end of each post. To email a post to a friend, click the white envelope also at the end of each post. Contact Me

TO ADD YOUR BLOG HERE - Click the "Follow This Blog" on the right.

TO SUBSCRIBE - Click a subscription option on the right.

TO READ PAST POSTINGS - Scroll down to my "Blog Archives" on the right or enter a search word or phrase in the search box above.

August 1, 2008

A Very Promising HIV Discovery

This is very exciting! A new discovery by Dr. Sudhir Paul and Dr. Miguel Escobar of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston may prove to be the most important discovery to date in the battle against the HIV virus.

According to Dr. Paul...

“We have found an innovative way to kill the virus by finding this small region of HIV that is unchangeable,”

Granted, we have had promising new discoveries burst onto the scene before and have sadly watched them ultimately prove unsuccessful. And, because of the insidious ability of the virus to mutate and eventually adapt itself to whatever medications that have been developed so far, we've had to constantly play catch-up by creating new drugs that the virus doesn't recognize.

This new discovery however, sounds like it could prove to be the most promising one yet because of their breakthrough finding of a "constant" within the HIV virus itself. Knowing what that constant is could make future treatment therapies much more effective and possibly even result in a permanent solution regardless of the virus' mutations.

The following video report was made by KMSB-TV in Tucson, Arizona and posted on their website:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'll keep you updated.

July 31, 2008

US Virtually Ignores AIDS In Black Community

When was the last time you saw an AIDS prevention ad that targeted the black community? Can't think of any? That's because just about everyone in this country is virtually ignoring the alarming statistics that were released by the CDC (Center For Disease Control).

According to a Black AIDS Institute Report, AIDS in segments of Black America is as severe as in many African countries, but receives much less attention here. The CDC has said that blacks account for 50 percent of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses “in the United States in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting.”

Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and one of the author’s of the recently published book “Left Behind! Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic” said:

“More Black Americans are infected with HIV than the total populations of people living with HIV in seven of the 15 countries served by PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]. Were Black America a separate country, it would elicit major concern and extensive assistance from the U.S. government. Instead, the national response to AIDS among Black Americans has been lethargic and often neglectful."

The book "Left Behind..." stated that there is:

A clear and startling gap between the U.S. government’s appropriate concern about AIDS overseas, and its ongoing denial of the epidemic at home – despite the fact that, in areas of the United States such as Detroit, Newark, New York, Washington D.C. and the Deep South, HIV levels among segments of the Black community approach those of many severely affected countries in Africa. For example, HIV prevalence among middle-aged Black men in Manhattan is almost as high as overall prevalence in South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV

"Left Behind..." also points out that:

While the U.S. government requires countries receiving PEPFAR support have a national AIDS strategy in place, the United States itself has no strategy for its own epidemic, and was one of 40 countries that failed to fulfill its commitment to report to the Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on its response to AIDS at home. At the same time that the United States has dramatically, and appropriately scaled up funding for AIDS overseas, it has simultaneously cut real spending for domestic HIV prevention and care initiatives – even as HIV caseloads in Black America have risen sharply.

What's wrong with this picture?

My two sources for this posting were: Blackaids.org and an article written by James Withers at 365Gay Blog

July 30, 2008

Massachusetts Will Allow Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 118-35 yesterday to repeal the 1913 law that prohibits the marriage of couples from out-of-state if their own state doesn't allow those unions.

The law was originally intended to prevent interracial couples from coming to the state to marry because they couldn't do it in their own state. It became obsolete when those marriages were declared legal nationwide by a 1967 Supreme Court ruling but it was never officially taken off the books. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared gay marriages legal, the then governor Mitt Romney dug out this bill from forgotten, dust covered files and declared that it applied to gay marriages as well.

By their actions yesterday, the House agreed with the Senate (see my July 15th post) and rebuked Ex-Governor Romney by repealing that discriminatory law. Current Governor Deval Patrick has said all along that he would sign the repeal. It now goes to his desk.

Congratulations to the Massachusetts House and Senate for a job well done!

July 29, 2008

Statewide Campaign To Defeat Prop 102 Is Launched

I just received an email this morning from Equality Arizona announcing the official launch of the Vote NO on Prop 102 Statewide Campaign.

As most of you know, the Arizona Senate, in a disgraceful display of arrogance and a total disregard for their own rules, rammed through Proposition 102 which would ban gay marriages in Arizona (see myJune 28th post). This proposition would amend the State Constitution by adding the following article related to marriage:

Marriage - Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

We have defeated this before but this time they scaled back their language in hopes of duping the voters into voting for it. We can't let that happen! The campaign to defeat this will need all the help it can get so if you want to volunteer, donate money and/or goods and services or just sign up for email notices about the progress of the campaign, go to Vote NO on Prop 102.

If you want to work for the defeat of anti-gay candidates statewide, go to Equality Arizona Volunteer Opportunities

July 28, 2008

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

The Arizona Senate Ethics committee voted 3 to 2 to hold full hearings on Senator Ken Cheuvront's (D-15) complaint that the rules were violated when his and Senator Paula Aboud's (D-28) microphones where turned off to stop debate on the anti-gay marriage amendment. (see my June 28th posting.)

To his credit, I think, Ethics Committee Chairman Jay Tibshraeny (R-21) sided with the only two democrats on the committee. I hope his vote was motivated by an honest desire to seek the truth. He will work out details and then schedule the start of those hearings when all 5 members can be present and the necessary witnesses can be lined up.

I'll keep you posted.


An anonymous reader just sent me this video link. It's a streaming video so I can't post it directly but if you go to


you'll be able to see the part of that session when the microphones were turned off, the chairman going right to another Senator who called the question on the amendment proposal, all the while, you can clearly hear several voices in the background calling for a point of order. This is the worst kind of government misconduct and resulted in ramrodding the proposal through the Senate! Check it out.

My thanks and gratitude to "Anonymous."

Church Shooting Caused By Anti-Liberal and Anti-Gay Hatred

Yesterday morning at about 10:15, James D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell, TN walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and opened fire. At the time, the church was putting on a children's production of the musical "Annie." There were about 200 people in the audience and about 25 children involved in the production.

Church members quickly wrestled Adkisson to the floor but not before he was able to shoot seven people, killing two and sending five others to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Today, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV revealed that Adkisson left behind a four-page letter in which Adkisson described his feelings and motives. According to Chief Owen;

"Adkisson apparently acted alone and chose the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because of recent publicity about activities there that Adkisson considered liberal."

The church has a long history of not only being an open, loving and tolerant environment but also working for desegregation, women's rights and gay rights since the 1950s. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel:

It appears that (the) church had received some publicity regarding its liberal stance,” the chief said. The church has a “gays welcome” sign and regularly runs announcements in the News Sentinel about meetings of the Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays meetings at the church.

According to Out & About Newspaper (which is a Tennessee GLBT publication):

Owen said a four-page letter written by Jim David Adkisson, 58, stated that his reasons for the attack were for “lack of being able to obtain a job and frustration over that and his stated hatred for the liberal movement,” Owen said. “We recovered a four-page letter in which he describes his feelings and the reasons he claims he committed these offenses.”

A reporter asked the police chief “does that mean he was talking about targeting gays in particular or just liberals in general?”

“Both,” the chief responded. “Liberals in general, as well as gays.”

Owen said his department was investigating the shooting as a hate crime and that federal authorities had been asked to assist.

The two church members who died were Linda Kraeger, 61 and Greg McKendry, 60. According to witnesses, Mr. McKendry (who was an usher and church board member) immediately and intentionally positioned himself between Adkisson and everyone else in an attempt to save as many lives as possible.

My sources for this story are: Box Turtle Bulletin, CNN News, Out & About Newspaper and Knoxville News Sentinel

July 27, 2008

Significant Change To Wording Of Proposition 8

The Advocate announced today that the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, has significantly changed the wording of Proposition 8 (the anti-gay marriage amendment). The change could help defeat the amendment in the November election.

According to The Advocate,

The original wording of the November ballot initiative read, "[Proposition 8] amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The new language says that the initiative "Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry." It further explains that banning gay marriage could prevent the state from gaining tens of millions of dollars in potential sales tax revenue.

Some activists think the language change, which spells out the removal of the right for same-sex couples to marry, could help to defeat the measure, according to Waymon Hudson at Bilerico.com. He notes that some polls have shown that changing the language to denote the removal of rights can add up to 10 percentage points to the "no" votes.

In light of the fact that the most recent poll of likely voters (see my July 18th posting) showed a slim majority of 51% opposed to Prop 8, this could be enough to assure its defeat. And, of course, deal a heavy blow to this latest homophobic and discriminatory attempt by the religious right to wipe out our rights.

Wouldn't it be great if the Arizona Secretary Of State, Jan Brewer, would do the same here. Our polls show that even though most Arizonians oppose gay marriage, an even larger majority don't want to see the state constitution changed. This kind of wording could have a substantial effect here as well.

If you would like to express your feelings on this to our Secretary Of State go to: azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm)
I sent the following message through that link:

Aside from the anti-citizen rights immorality of Proposition 107, the Fiscal Impact Statement, as it appears on your sight, is a gross misdirection of the truth of the impact of this amendment on the Arizona economy.

Clearly, there can easily be a dramatic increase in health care costs (via AHCCCSS and other state provided programs) due to the loss of medical insurances already provided to various city, state, county and private business employees throughout the state. It also doesn't take into consideration the tax base and human resource losses of graduate students and highly specialized/higher income business, government and university employees (or even businesses themselves) going to other states that are more tolerant of individual rights and freedoms.

To allow the legislature to make a blanket statement that "Proposition 107 is not projected to have a state cost" is not in the best interest of all Arizonans. Or, even more importantly, in the interest of full and honest disclosure.

As Secretary of State you have an obligation to make sure that all "official" statements regarding propositions put before the voters are true and accurate. Please exercise that right.

To read the Advocate story go to: advocate.com)