626 posts categorized "Health"

November 18, 2015

PrEP Demo Project: Truvada effective in preventing HIV

Trans Needs Assessment report reveals 'state of emergency'

November 04, 2015

Mayor Bowser expects to back cultural competency bill

I am quoted in this article on the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2015, a hearing on which was held on October 28. My testimony for GLAA is here.

October 15, 2015

Obama administration report denounces 'ex-gay' therapy

The campaign to end this discredited and dangerous practice gathers steam.

D.C. Ryan White Planning Council members ousted

The justification given for this massive purge reads like boilerplate. It raises questions of motive and of cronyism. In the past, there were times when criticism was suppressed because people feared retaliation. What is going on?

October 05, 2015

Gov. Brown signs controversial end-of-life bill

Thank you, Gov. Brown. GLAA's testimony on D.C.'s Death with Dignity Act can be found here.

September 23, 2015

Appeasing the Ignorati


My column this week looks at how the GOP is sinking in brainlessness and bile. Here's an excerpt:

Any sufficiently shameless and ambitious politician knows that a smoothly delivered fabrication on live television impresses millions more than will read the next day's refutations. Take Carly Fiorina (please), the never-quite-senator from California with her bag of imaginary business triumphs, whose numbers shot up after her well-delivered zingers at last week's Republican presidential debate.

Never mind that repeated investigations of Benghazi have turned up no sinister actions by Hillary Clinton. Never mind that several state investigations have turned up no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Carly has to appease the Ignorati (as I dub the right-wing base), so she touts a nonexistent fetus-harvesting video. Just as her $40 million golden parachute cushioned the impact of being sacked by Hewlett Packard, her bump in the polls softened the blow of being called a liar.

The facts don't matter any more. Donald Trump pushes a discredited link between vaccines and autism. Mike Huckabee says the Dred Scott decision remains in effect despite the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. Ben Carson says no Muslim should be president, ignoring the Constitution's Article VI prohibition against religious tests for public office. Marco Rubio dubiously claims North Korea has the capacity to hit America with a nuclear weapon. Jeb Bush says, "My brother kept us safe," as if 9/11 never happened. Bobby Jindal (in the "undercard" debate) raises the specter of an influx of terrorists by falsely saying Obama wants to "short-circuit the vetting process" for Syrian refugees. If one lie flops, you move on to the next.

Read the whole thing here.

September 22, 2015

Ex-Hedge Funder Buys Rights To AIDS Drug, Raises Price 5,455 Percent

This self-satisfied young man needs to be on the lookout for falling pianos, speeding buses, and elevator cars that are not there. Somewhere, one of them has his name on it.

September 21, 2015

#AssistedDying: a missed opportunity in Britain; a chance to be seized in California

September 18, 2015

House votes to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding

The battle is on.

September 17, 2015

Refuting Donald Trump's falsehoods on vaccines

Carly Fiorina's lurid, lying rant on Planned Parenthood

Vox reporter Sarah Kliff refutes lurid Fiorina description of Planned Parenthood video: "Either Fiorina hasn't watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage. Because what she says happens in the Planned Parenthood videos simply does not exist."

September 03, 2015

New rules bar transgender discrimination in health care

No gay men contract HIV in 32 month #PrEP study

I believe the debate is over. PrEP saves lives.

August 30, 2015

Oliver Sacks Dead at 82

Rest in peace. Condolences to his partner Bill Hayes.

August 27, 2015

Gun violence and mental health

My initial reaction to Wednesday's horrific shooting death of a Roanoke television reporter and cameraman during a morning news broadcast, other than shock and sadness, was that we need fewer guns and better mental health care. But I like a friend's comments on Facebook:

There is a really offensive meme going around that says to "like & share if you blame [Vester Flanagan] for the Virginia shooting...not the gun." My response to the people who have posted it and it showed up in my feed:

"I blame every single person who prevents implementation of policies and procedures to keep people like him from having access to guns in the first place. I blame everyone who refuses to recognize the critical need and provide funding and help for people who suffer with mental health issues. Then I blame him. I don't blame the gun."

Mr. Flanagan was sufficiently responsible to know what he was doing...otherwise he would not have had the wherewithal to send a manifesto or liveblog his actions. He could and should have voluntarily walked into any hospital or police station and declared he was in crisis and the tragedy could have been averted.

He plainly was a troubled man. I hope his family tried to get him help. Even so, the system failed everyone in this case...same as it has before...same as it will again. Anyone who claims they are pro-life, pro-family, and a Christian, is anything but if they oppose fixing our laws and our society to prevent tragedies involving guns. It's just that simple. Stop playing along with them and they will lose their power.

Some on the right, I suppose inevitably, are blaming the shooting on #BlackLivesMatter activists, whose advocacy is nonviolent and in protest against state-sanctioned violence against black citizens. The fact that the shooter, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot, was also gay (according to a manifesto posted in his name, purportedly by him) only gives more red meat to the haters.

A few months ago, around LGBT Pride, I announced a policy of apologizing for every crime or calamity that anyone blames on gay people as a class. This of course is ridiculous, unless you are prepared to blame (say) Ted Bundy's serial murders of women on all straight guys. But reason has little to do with scapegoating of minorities, so I wish to apologize for these horrific killings. I am so sorry. What was I thinking. Please forgive me. And fuck you ignorant motherfuckers. Oh, sorry, I was temporarily channeling Samuel L. Jackson.

Seriously, we need to do something about the proliferation and glorification of guns in this country. Due to a second fatal shooting Wednesday, you couldn't bring up "the shooting" without clarifying which one you meant.

As another friend said last evening, in response to a colleague who snarkily suggested it is "peak assimilation" when a deranged shooter announces he's gay:

The fact he was gay, and his complaints around such, are irrelevant. He was severely mentally ill. If he'd been told they were out of his favorite cone at Dairy Queen, he'd have imagined some slight that was worthy of massacre.

Yes. Let's address the problem, not exploit it to score cheap points on social media.

August 21, 2015

Illinois becomes fifth state protect youth from conversion therapy

Congrats to our colleagues in Illinois, and welcome to the club!

Scott Walker, translated

August 20, 2015

President Carter discusses his cancer

A remarkable display of grace by our 39th president.

August 15, 2015

Cost of treating transgender troops called negligible

Stars and Stripes reports. Another anti-trans myth collapses under scrutiny.

Chris Christie Laughs About Veto of Trans Birth Certificate Bill

Gov. Christie thinks the rights of trans people are laughable. What is laughable is that this smug bully is the governor of a state, much less a presidential candidate. But the rights of our transgender brothers and sisters are no laughing matter. The legal denial of trans people's existence is cruel, pointless, and must stop.

Our friend Andy Bowen at Garden State Equality comments:

Hey Governor Chris Christie: 33 trans women have been murdered in the US in the last two years. Our survival is ‪#‎nolaughingmatter‬

August 06, 2015

The truth about government spending on women's health

August 04, 2015

Sen. Warren slams attack on Planned Parenthood

Elizabeth Warren Standing Strong in Support of Planned Parenthood

Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren crush it on the Senate floor during the debate to defund Planned Parenthood: “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”

Posted by AlterNet on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A bracing speech in defense of women's healthcare and reproductive freedom.

(Hat tip: Ernest Hopkins)

August 03, 2015

Planned Parenthood defunding bill fails first test vote in Senate

The Republicans' war on women's reproductive health and freedom is not over, but their bluster and doctored videos do not give them the votes they need. I stand with my sisters.

More here.

July 31, 2015

Obama unveils new HIV strategy

July 28, 2015

ICYMI: Senate appropriations bill emerges without D.C. riders

July 16, 2015

ESPYs honor brave girl and her dad with Perseverance Award

Devon Still of the Bengals and his daughter Leah, who is battling cancer, were honored last night at the ESPYs.

July 14, 2015

GLAA at the witness table

Here I am, testifying at the July 10 hearing on the Death with Dignity Act. My hair looks less gray in my mirror in the morning.

Rev. Cedric Harmon testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Our friend Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, who was on the steering committee for D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, and is co-director of Many Voices, testified on July 10 in support of the Death with Dignity Act of 2015. Thanks to him.

July 13, 2015

End criminalization of HIV status

GLAA has long agreed with the National Center for Lesbian Rights on this issue. Criminalizing HIV status is insanely counterproductive.

Obama signs work-around to Hobby Lobby ruling

We'll see how this goes.

July 10, 2015

GLAA testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Today at a hearing of the D.C. Council Committee on Health and Human Services, I will testify for GLAA in support of Councilmember Mary Cheh's Death with Dignity Act. I will be accompanied by former GLAA president Craig Howell, who drafted our testimony. Here's a passage from the ending:

The Humanist magazine reported last December that Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu publicly "declared himself in favor of assisted dying should he ever find himself terminally ill or in a situation of unbearable suffering." Stephen Hawking, probably the most famous differently-abled person in the world, has said he too might one day want to exercise his right to die: "To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity."

The openly gay retired Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, writes, "There is nothing innately good about allowing 'nature' to take its course in a prolonged and painful journey to an inevitable death. It doesn't make you a better person because you endured the indignity and trauma of it."

Contrary to Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, this legislation is not based on a "eugenic philosophy" but on compassion and respect. We urge its passage.

The bill is based on a 1997 Oregon statute, and includes appropriate safeguards to prevent coercion or other abuses. The experience in Oregon and other right-to-die states should allay concerns in this regard. Read GLAA's testimony here.

D.C. cracks down on synthetic drugs

Well this is disturbing. NBC4 reports:

In one week in D.C., police say, a woman abandoned a baby in a stroller alongside a busy D.C. street -- and a young man who had been in college just a year ago stabbed a passenger on a Metro train 30 to 40 times.

The two crimes were tied together by the drug police believe the suspects may have been using: synthetic marijuana....

Mayor Muriel Bowser will sign into law the "Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015" Friday at noon.

June 30, 2015

SCOTUS allows Texas abortion clinics to remain open

Some good news, if temporary, on the reproductive choice front.

June 25, 2015

SPLC Wins Fraud Suit Against New Jersey 'Ex-Gay' Torture Group

'Etched into American law for a genereration'

CAP: ACA decision saves lives and affirms the rule of law

Right wing cries Apocalypse over ACA ruling

Good for some laughs.

#SCOTUS upholds ACA subsidies 6-3

OPM to ban trans-exclusion in federal health plans

What? The Obama administration is working to advance transgender equality? Outrageous! Interrupt the president at the Pride Month reception!

Dear GetEqual: If you can't get some manners, get a frigging clue.