The Hanford Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees…
WATCH: PENTAGON STRIKES NEW TONE ON 'DADT', NOW 'PUSHING FOR' LEGISLATIVE REPEAL IN SENATE
Created: Thursday, 18 November 2010 15:14
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell appeared to strike a different tone in recent weeks with regard to its report on the 'DADT' policy and its efforts to work with Congress in sharing that information. Morrell told reports that it is "pushing for and...certainly see the merit in using that as a legislative vehicle to get repeal.” the Wonk Room reports.
Sen. Joe Lieberman said Thursday that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is no longer a question of votes, it’s a question of process.
“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the Defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as "Yes" votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”
Lieberman, an Independent, was flanked by 12 of his Democratic colleagues – a core group that seemed intent on urging their Democratic leadership to allow enough room in the Senate schedule for a debate that would be amenable to Republicans. The senators talked about working over the weekends and Sen. Mark Udall offered to go straight through until Christmas Eve.
Lieberman noted that two items could be negotiated by Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell – the number of amendments to be considered and the amount of time for debate on those amendments.
Full and open debate on the bill could take as many as two weeks but an agreement between Reid and McConnell might also shave that down to just one week. Regardless, given that other bills will also eat up some of the remaining days, providing some sort of open amendment process will likely require that Senators stay past the targeted adjournment date of Dec. 10 until at least Dec. 17.
Lieberman also noted that the NDAA is “several hundred pages long” and chock full of “critically necessary” items for the military.
“How are you going to explain to a soldier or a family that we didn’t authorize the benefits they deserve because we wanted to go home?” he said.
Asked how many amendments would be “fair,” Lieberman responded, “It’s hard to put a number on it now, and that’s what I hope will be negotiated and we’re going to do our best to encourage Sen. Reid to reach out to allow a somewhat larger number [of amendments].”
Lieberman was joined at the press conference by Sens. Barbara Boxer, Roland Burris, Ben Cardin, Chris Coons, Diane Feinstein, Al Franken, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Udall, and Ron Wyden.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said the most interesting development over the past several days is “the determination of a core group of senators to get repeal done this year.”
“With chairman Levin and Sen. Lieberman’s commitment and with the determination of the president and majority leader Reid to work with key Republican senators, we’re alive and we can get this done this year,” Sarvis said.
Earlier in the day, General Carter Ham, co-chair of the Pentagon’s working study, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that upcoming report on repeal is the most thorough he has ever seen on a personnel issue.
“As far as I can tell, this is the most comprehensive assessment of a personnel policy matter that the Department of Defense has conducted,” Ham said.
Sen. John McCain, who vehemently opposes repeal, tried to undercut its credibility by noting that only about 25% of about 400,000 troops had responded to the survey on repeal that forms a portion of the study.
But Ham corrected McCain, saying the total was closer to 28%, a little over 115,000 respondents, and called the survey “statistically sound and analytically rigorous.”
Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat who joined McCain’s successful filibuster against the defense authorization bill in September, seconded Ham’s assertion.
“Having spent five years in the Pentagon; I can't remember a study on this type of issue that has been done with this sort of care,” he said. “So it's going to be a very important study for us to look at and examine.”
Preliminary reports about the study suggest that it concludes repeal poses “minimal risk” even during a time of war.
Ham said he doubted the study would be released before December 1 because they were currently waiting on the military’s service chiefs to review it and provide their assessments, but Sen. Levin urged Ham to make “every effort” to deliver the study early.
Levin said Wednesday that he would be scheduling hearings on the study “during the first few days of December” before Sen. Reid scheduled a vote on the motion to debate the larger defense bill.
Rex Wockner tips us to a major development in next month's appeal of the overturn of Proposition 8 before the Ninth Circuit Court.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Notice of Docket Activity The following transaction was entered on 11/17/2010 Case Name: Kristin Perry, et al v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al Case Number: 10-16696
C-SPAN applied to televise live the case captioned above, scheduled to be heard in San Francisco, on December 6, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. C-SPAN's request to televise live is GRANTED. A maximum of two (2) video cameras will be permitted in the courtroom. C-SPAN will serve as the pool-feed for all media organizations that submit an application.
As you may recall, the first hearing of Perry Vs. Schwarzenegger was to have been broadcast on YouTube, but Protect Marriage rushed to the Supreme Court to prevent that because they didn't want their witnesses to become national laughingstocks. Let's see if they try that again.
Ha! Remind us never to get into a quarrel with a drunk man from the South!
This news story out of Kentucky is one of the more bizarre stories we've ever heard. A man comes home to find his buddies drunk and then finds himself at the mercy of their will when they pull a knife to his throat.
What happens next is scary, awful and kind of gross.
Check out the report to hear what this guy endured! (above)
Film still of Edith Windsor (left) and Thea Spyer from the documentary film 'Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement.'
Trailblazing gay rights activist Edith Windsor sued the federal government on Monday to reimburse the $350,000 she paid in estate taxes when her wife died.
Windsor, 81, says she should get the same exemption given to married heterosexual couples, which excuses them from paying taxes on a spouse's estate.
Her wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The couple was married in Canada in 2007 after 41 years together.
"In the midst of my grief over the loss of the love of my life, I had to spend countless hours defending our relationship to the federal government," Windsor said.
"While New York State considered us married, the federal government did not, so the government taxed Thea's estate as though we were strangers rather than spouses," she said.
The lawsuit is a direct challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
In her suit in Manhattan Federal Court, Windsor is seeking to have the act declared unconstitutional and have the government refund the $350,000 she paid in estate taxes.
Windsor said the law "effectively imposes a tax on being gay."
"All marriages should be treated equally in the eyes of the law," she said.
"We all deserve to have our marriages be treated equally by the federal government," said her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. "No one should have to go through what Edie had to go through after Thea died, where the federal government treated Edie as if she and Thea were strangers."
Take a look at this year's candidates (listed in alphabetical order) and give them your rating — though TIME's editors who choose the actual Person of the Year reserve the right to disagree
With only two albums under her belt, Lady Gaga has breathed much needed new life into pop music. The 24-year-old star has become an icon by combining dance numbers with performance art to create something that appeals to teenagers and critics alike. This year, she became the first artist to hit the 5 million mark in digital singles sales and the first celebrity to get more than 10 million fans on Facebook; her videos have been watched online more than 1 billion times. But Gaga's true influence lies in her ability to weave fashion, choreography, visual art and a wide variety of pop-based musical styles into one cohesive, compelling performance. She borrows heavily from predecessors such as David Bowie and Andy Warhol, dressing up otherwise common pop songs so that they seem unique. She has been called the next Madonna, but that title isn't really fair. Lady Gaga is not the next anybody. She's just herself, which is more than enough.
So an iPhone, an Android and a Windows Phone 7 Are Put on a Grill… [VIDEO]
Created: Friday, 12 November 2010 20:16
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
Have you ever wondered which smartphone would last the longest when cooked like a hamburger? Us too.
This neat little video of an iPhone 4, an Android G2 and a HTC Surround getting seared and charred has been making the viral video rounds. Each of the phones delivers digital smack talk (“How do you like them apples?!”) before the searing heat puts them out of their misery.
The video is apparently designed to promote the EZGrill disposable grill. They got some help though from Seattle-based Banyan Branch. Not bad for the cost of three phones and a grill.
In case you were wondering, the Android was the first to go, while the iPhone’s temperature protection feature kicked in right on schedule. That makes the Windows Phone 7 the most fire-resistant of the bunch. Check out the video to see the full BBQ action.
This film documents some of the most famous gender-bending depictions on film. Don’t miss interviews by Rocky Horror’s Tim Curry, She’s The Man director Andy Fickman, and narration by world famous drag superstar RuPaul!
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that a controversial law prohibiting homosexuals from openly serving in the armed forces can remain in place while the government appeals a federal judge's decision striking down the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Act.
A gay rights group asked the high court to overturn a stay order from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals keeping the law in effect while that court reviews the case. The petition from the Log Cabin Republicans was presented to Justice Anthony Kennedy who is responsible for handling emergency requests out of the Ninth Circuit.
Kennedy's order simply said, "the application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on November 1, 2010, presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied." The order also noted that Justice Elena Kagan, who until this summer was Solicitor General, didn't take part in the case.
In September, Judge Virginia Phillips said the law was unconstitutional because it infringes on the fundamental rights of gay service members and concluded that the policy does not improve military readiness or unit cohesion. More than 13,000 people have been forced out since the law took effect in 1993.
Judge Phillips then ordered that the military immediately stop enforcing the law but her ruling was enjoined by the Ninth Circuit on November 1. Friday's ruling by the Supreme Court affirms the Ninth Circuit's decision to maintain the status quo while the government appeals the initial judgment invalidating the law.
The Obama Administration has defended the law in every court proceeding even though it has publically voiced its opposition to it and its desire to have Congress repeal the measure. It's unclear what impact the recent election results will have on that pursuit.
Watch full episodes of The View at http://abc.go.com/watch/the-view/SH55... Ricky Martin talks about coming out of the closet.
Could You Date Someone HIV Positive?
Created: Thursday, 11 November 2010 20:34
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
September 22nd, 2010 9:59 pm ET
Last week, I took part in a round table discussion on HIV/AIDS. The range of people varied from professors of prestigious universities to homeless men and women who recently found themselves afflicted with disease. We were debating the myths and stigmas that circle those carrying the virus. AIDS hit the world in full force somewhere around 1980. The alleged first case, came out of Africa in 1978. Once it began to surface among the masses, it was known as the "gay disease". Many of our heterosexual counterparts didn't realize how in fact, it is a disease that can affect ALL people. It has definitely emerged as a disease that has no bias to sexual preference. I remember being in high school and never knowing anyone personally who carried the virus. Three years after graduation that changed.
Currently in my 30's it is commonplace to know someone who is HIV positive. It is apart of our vocabulary like any other disease. The unfortunate thing is so many of us are still afraid to discuss it. People still treat it as the dark secret everyone should hide.
The question arose from our discussion, "Could you date someone HIV positive?" I began to look around the forum and study the faces around the panel. Many seemed to look perplexed, nervous or simply blank. I detached myself from the conversation and pondered the question. "Could you David?"
The biggest problem I foresee with dating someone HIV positive is the lack of knowlege many of us still possess. The risk of contracting the virus should be low because everyone should be practicing safe sex. How many of us ask our sexual partners to surface doctor's records to check STD status'? We hop into bed with little or no thought if their is a possibility that this person is HIV positive or the carrier of any other sexually transmitted disease. Because there is no known cure, we tend to focus on what we preceive as the worst of the evils. Many of us forget that other STD's are out there.
Most staggering is the number of new HIV cases. African American males are the among the highest contractors of the disease. The metropolitan areas of Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City and Chicago have the highest number of new cases, according to the CDC.
HIV is a very sneaky disease. A person can be penetrated and not contract the virus. Because the disease is passed through bodily fluids, such as blood, semen or vaginal fluid. There has to be a point of entry for the virus to incubate. Woman and virginal males are most susceptible. If we are properly taking care of ourselves these numbers do not have to be frightening.
It is pretty simple, if a person with HIV is taking care of themselves he or she can have a productive life as anyone else. He or she must follow the rules of their physician, take their medication( if their viral load needs the support, not all HIV infected people have to take medication), and exercise will aid them in living healthy.
To answer if I could date someone HIV positive? Yes I could, if the individual has been forthright with their status. I don't think a person who is HIV positive should wave their status on a banner. I think it is their responsibility to inform whom they find an interest in. The decision to date someone with a chronic illness can be emotionally taxing. The fear of contracting the disease isn't my fear, it is the possible manifestation of disease. I am a firm believer that choices should not be taken from anyone. Don't lead someone into a situation blind and without options. Overall, If I found a connection with someone is most important. Their HIV status isn't the defining factor. It is so very hard to meet someone you can find a flow with. Whoever you encounter, a plight is surely to come!
Lets face it, not everyone is going to disclose their status. It is the responsibility of each individual to protect themselves. HIV is a regular part of our society and we need to stop pretending that it doesn't exist. Most importantly, labeling and belittling those who are infected has to come to a halt! Persons with the virus can live long and healthy lives like any other person with a disease. Those individuals need our support. We all need to remember that it can become any one of our personal stories.
Live happy and healthy!
Support local and national HIV/AIDS organizations! Here in Atlanta volunteer with organizations like Positive Impact! It is a great organization that works to help to improve the lives of those infected. AID ATLANTA is also a great organization that also offers housing options and medical services.
Your response has been amazing and within 24 hours, 30,364 people have responded, including 5,801 veterans and their families.
Also today, much of the long-awaited Pentagon study on implementing a repeal of DADT has been leaked, with the Washington post reporting Pentagon sources saying the study found the impact of its repeal to “be positive, mixed or nonexistent.”
A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1.
More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.
Certainly these findings aren’t unexpected, but do serve to confirm what military leaders, Senators, and servicemembers have been saying all along: That the time to repeal DADT is now. Though opponents of the repeal will certainly attempt to mis-categorize isolated responses from the study, supporters of DADT’s repeal can now add the weight of a 370 page study, from the frank opinions of nearly 550,000 active duty or reservist servicemembers and their spouses, to their ever growing list of supporters.
Elsewhere, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network released this video, highlighting the sacrifice of all our servicemembers this Veterans Day. Can you tell which ones are gay?
We couldn’t either.
An Anti-Bullying Message From the NOH8 Campaign
Created: Thursday, 11 November 2010 16:12
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
Familiar faces join the NOH8 Campaign ( www.noh8campaign.com ) to remind everyone that bullying often starts with a joke! Don't be a bystander! Take Action!
Child Abuse Rate At Zero Percent In Lesbian Households, New Report Finds
Created: Wednesday, 10 November 2010 14:56
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
First Posted: 11-10-10 01:30 PM | Updated: 11-10-10 01:59 PM
Los Angeles, CA -- The Williams Institute, a research center on sexual orientation law and public policy at UCLA School of Law, has announced new findings from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families (now in its 24th year). In an article published today in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were asked about sexual abuse, sexual orientation, and sexual behavior.
The paper found that none of the 78 NLLFS adolescents reports having ever been physically or sexually abused by a parent or other caregiver. This contrasts with 26 percent of American adolescents who report parent or caregiver physical abuse and 8.3 percent who report sexual abuse.
According to the authors, "the absence of child abuse in lesbian mother families is particularly noteworthy, because victimization of children is pervasive and its consequences can be devastating. To the extent that our findings are replicated by other researchers, these reports from adolescents with lesbian mothers have implications for healthcare professionals, policymakers, social service agencies, and child protection experts who seek family models in which violence does not occur."
On sexual orientation, 2.8 percent of the NLLFS adolescents identified as predominantly to exclusively homosexual.
The study was conducted by Nanette Gartrell, M.D., Henny Bos, Ph.D. (University of Amsterdam), and Naomi Goldberg, M.P.P. (Williams Institute). Principal investigator Nanette Gartrell, M.D., is a 2010 Williams Distinguished Scholar, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF, and affiliated with the University of Amsterdam.
Criminalizing HIV Nondisclosure: Effective HIV-Prevention Method or Fanning the Flames of the Pandemic?
By Bob Frascino, M.D.
October 31, 2010
In my last blog entry, "A Telling Tale of Trick or Treat," I mentioned a gaggle of horned-up hotties in a Jacuzzi who might very well wind up exchanging bodily fluids prior to exchanging detailed medical information, such as HIV status. I discussed some of the reasons disclosure is such a thorny issue: rejection, stigma, possible dissemination of confidential information, etc. So what could happen to those hotties if they chose not to disclose -- or to delay disclosure until mutual trust was established with a partner?
Well, that would depend on what state or country the hot hot tub of hotties was located. In Iowa, an HIVer who had an undetectable viral load was sentenced to 25 years in prison following a one-time sexual encounter during which he used a condom! WOWZA! An HIV-positive woman in Georgia was given eight years for failing to disclose her viral status even though her HIV status had been published on the front page of the local newspaper (how's that for disclosure?!) and two witnesses testified her sexual partner was well aware of her HIV-positive status.
Please note these prosecutions are not for HIV transmission, but rather for failure to disclose one's HIV-positive status prior to intimate contact between consenting adults who both agreed to do the unsafe dance with no pants.
Making matters even worse, criminalization of HIV has now expanded beyond the boudoir (whoa! did I really say boudoir?) into far distant realms. For example, an HIV-positive guy in Texas is now serving 35 years for spitting at a police officer, and a positively charged Michigan man was charged under that state's anti-terrorism statute with possession of a "biological weapon" following an altercation with a neighbor! So HIV is now linked to bioterrorism in the eyes of Lady Justice? OMG!
The Mexican House of Representatives voted Tuesday to amend rules governing social security benefits for gay and lesbian couples, the Associated Press reports.
In a 232 to 58 vote, the House voted for a rule change with the Social Security Institute, which provides benefits to both private and government employees. The Senate has yet to vote on the measure.
In August, the Mexico Supreme Court upheld a law legalizing marriage equality in Mexico City. Unions performed in the Mexican capital must also be recognized in all 31 Mexican states, the court ruled, though no state is required to sanction gay marriages performed outside the Mexico City.
Jane Lynch Praises 'Glee's' Gay Inclusiveness As Darren Criss Arrives
Created: Tuesday, 09 November 2010 20:48
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
BY ON TOP MAGAZINE STAFF PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 08, 2010
Emmy-winning Jane Lynch has praised the Fox musical comedy Glee for its gay inclusiveness as Darren Criss arrives.
Criss' character of Blaine, a gay student from a rival glee club named the Dalton Academy Warblers, debuts in Tuesday's episode.
The addition was lauded by Lynch, who plays the role of sharp-tongued coach Sue Sylvester.
“Anytime you can make kids, especially out in the far reaches, where maybe they're not embraced for having a particular sexual orientation, to give them role models, and hope [is good],” she told OnTheRedCarpet.com as she walked the red carpet of the BAFTA Britannia Awards.
She added that she loves the show's message of unconditional love.
“To see this idealized world, where people stick up for each other, and they are as strong as their weakest link. If someone's being made fun of, they rally behind, and I love that,” she said.
Bloggers have suggested that Criss could play Chris Colfer's boyfriend on the hit show. Michael Ausiello, however, suggested that Glee showmaster Ryan Murphy might be keeping his options open.
“Blaine … will maintain a strictly platonic friendship with McKinley High's most out and proud pupil,” the Hollywood insider wrote. “But could that change as the season progresses? Yes, it could.”
Criss became an Internet star playing the lead in the University of Michigan's production of A Very Potter Musical, a musical spoof that went viral on the net. He also appeared in last year's short-lived ABC drama Eastwick. (Video of Criss performing Teenage Dream from Tuesday's episode is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
[for some of you heading to LA this weekend for those who visit often ;-) be sure to check out this great event, my boy Dj Derek Monteiro will be mixing with Erika Jayne, thanks ^joe sosa]
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) invites you to journey to an exotic private estate in Bel Air for the 13th Annual GLAAD Tidings – Escape to Paradisepresented by Bud Light, OUT Traveler, and Rokk Vodka!
Enjoy a tropical holiday soiree with delicious island cuisine and cocktails, celebrity guests, and live entertainment. Get your holiday shopping started with over 100 silent auction items and enter to win your very own getaway!
Journey with us on our Escape to Paradise!
A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY
SPECIAL CELEBRITY GUESTS
Jensen Atwood Noah's Arc
Candis Cayne Nip/Tuck
Rib Hillis Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Mike Manning The Real World - D.C.
JD Ordonez The Real World - Brooklyn
Jenni Pulos Flipping Out
Darryl Stephens Noah's Arc
Eduardo Xol Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Sunday, November 14, 2010 5:30pm- 9:30pm
Private Estate: Bel Air, California
(Parking Instructions: Please drive directly to the intersection of Beverly Glen Blvd. and Bainbridge Ave. There will be a sign at the corner and an attendant to direct guest parking. A shuttle will take guests to and from the event.)
So apparently the star kicker of a Missouri High School Football team decided to wear pink cleats to his game last month.
Coy Sheppard wore the cleats because it was breast cancer awareness month & he was following in the foot steps of his NFL heroes who also wore pink cleats last month.
We've learned that the cleats were a gift from the boys great grandmother who was simply trying to honor members of their family who had passed away from breast cancer. We think the coach was homophobic & simply just afraid of the color pink. The boy begged to be back on the team & promised never to wear the cleats again but the apology was not acceptable to the A**hole of a coach. Due to being kicked off the team Coy Sheppard won't have enough credits to graduate this June. He is now suing the school!