Health Hub

Gay Surrogacy Bill Passes First Reading In Israel's Knesset


Israel’s surrogacy bill, which aims to grant same-sex couples the right to have children via surrogates, passed its first reading through the Knesset yesterday, reports Pink News.

Although first submitted by Health Minister Yael German, the bill stalled in March following an appeal by housing minister Uri Ariel who argued that the proposed legislation creates “moral and ethical” questions.

However, the bill has now passed its first reading with a majority vote.

German said that the bill “is about the principle of equality, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or the composition of the family unit.”

However, Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism said that the bill is “meant to destroy the nature of family as we know it.”

Nissim Ze'ev of ultra-orthodox party Shas added:

“This is a corrupt bill and only corrupt [politicians] can support it. We are treating the import and export of babies as if we were dealing with frozen meat. This bill is morally depraved.”

In 2008, Ze'ev suggested that gay people belong in rehab along with alcoholics and drug addicts.

CDC Advises Quarantine For Two Male Strippers Potentially Exposed To Ebola - VIDEO


You may have missed: Ebola Hysteria is Going Viral. Don't Fall for These 5 Myths.

After realizing that they sat near Ebola-infected nurse Amber Vinson on an airplane, male strippers Axl Goode and Taylor Cole have elected to put themselves into a self-imposed quarantine at the suggestion of the CDC. The pair of adult performers came into close contact with Vinson on a flight from to Dallas from Cleveland where they had attended Romanticon, an erotic novel convention.

“I had just come back from a book conference and while there I read on how ebola affects the body and what it does when you contract the disease and how terrible it is,” Good told the AP via a Skype interview. “So certainly--a lot of fear, a lot of panic. It took a while for it to hit me. That was pretty scary.”

Banfield_ebolaFor the next 21 days the CDC is asking Goode and Cole to remain within their houses and at least three feet away from anyone. The men are not allowed to board planes or cruise ships, and while the quarantine is currently voluntary, it is likely to be made mandatory.

The reasoning behind Goode and Cole’s quarantine stems from the CDC’s desire to assuage public fears about the threat of an Ebola outbreak within the U.S. Neither of the men reported having come in direct contact with Vinson or being exposed to any of her bodily fluids in the course of their flight. Though the media’s ebola-panic narrative has spooked 40% of American adults into worries about potential infection, the actual mechanics of ebola transmission make it exceedingly difficult to transmit in most circumstances.

Amber Vinson became infected with the virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who began presenting symptoms and eventually died in Dallas, Texas. Duncan, who was visiting his wife and son who live in the U.S., was likely exposed the virus in Liberia while caring for other stricken by the disease. Upon coming to the U.S. and seeking medical attention, Duncan was met with a fair amount of gross negligence due to not having insurance.

By the time the Liberian man had been admitted to a local hospital and administered the experimental drug brincidofovir, far too much time had passed and he died. Vinson’s infection is due to the fact that she had much more consistent and direct contact with Duncan and his soiled clothing.

Watch Goode and Cole's interview with CNN's Ashleigh Banfield about being asked to put themselves into quarantine AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "CDC Advises Quarantine For Two Male Strippers Potentially Exposed To Ebola - VIDEO" »

Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO


A series of reports in The Akron Beacon Journal has detailed decades of abuse and cover-ups by Ohio televangelist Ernest Angley.

Angley, pastor at Grace Cathedral Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has been accused by former church members of performing genital "examinations," encouraging abortions and vasectomies, and arranging a marriage between a congregant and a convicted child molester.

Reporter Bob Dyer said that he had heard rumors about Angley for a long time but it wasn't until July when he received a recording of a church service in which Angley admits to examining the private parts of males that he began looking into the reports.

GraceDuring the July 13th service, addressing accusations that he is gay and has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley said “I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. ...

On the issue of urging men in his congregation to submit to vasectomies, Angley said:

“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years. They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all. And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.”

Kenny Montgomery, a former usher at the church, who like many others interviewed by Dyer who compared Angley with cult leader Jim Jones, said “that place is a textbook cult. I’m really scared for my friends and family that still go there.”

Becky Roadman, who quit the church in 2013, said that members are not allowed to have children, an accusation backed up by another former church member Angelia Oborne:

“My husband and I can’t have children because my husband had a vasectomy. We were looking at getting it reversed, but I’m 35 years old and ... may not be able to have children anymore. And that breaks my heart, because that choice was made for me, because of the brainwashing, the mind control. We weren’t allowed to have children. If you turned up pregnant, it’s almost as if you had sinned.”

Oborne added that many church members have been forced into having abortions.

Former member Greg Mulkey said that Angley doesn’t want his congregation to have children “because it would take their time and money away from [the church]. He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach.”

Mulkey added that male members were often forced to have vasectomies.

Watch Bob Dyer discuss the allegations against Angley, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

Continue reading "Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO" »

Watch What Happens When Some Guy on an Airplane Jokes About Having Ebola: VIDEO



Not funny.

Fear about Ebola — warranted or not — is definitely ramping up.

The overall death toll stands around 3,865. Nearly all of the deaths have taken place in West Africa, which is several months into the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Two recent deaths in the United States and Spain have raised concerns that — despite repeated assurances by public health authorities — the outbreak could spread overseas.

Much of the anxiety has come since the death of Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man flew to Dallas on Sept. 20 while infected with Ebola. He had no symptoms but had been in direct contact with an infected woman back in Liberia. He died on Oct. 8.

Since Duncan's case came to light, airports in the United States have announced new screening measures. But that's not reassuring everyone. At LaGuardia International Airport, workers who clean airplane cabins have gone on strike, afraid that they could come into contact without bodily fluids carrying the disease.

And it's in this climate of anxiety, misinformation, and human error that the above video appears. It was filmed on an Oct. 8 flight from Philadelphia, Penn. to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. While in flight, an American passenger apparently sneezed or coughed and then joked about having recently been in Africa.

Of course, the guy hadn't been in Africa and didn't have Ebola. Here, in shaky smartphone video form, are the incredible repercussions of it all.


Continue reading "Watch What Happens When Some Guy on an Airplane Jokes About Having Ebola: VIDEO" »

NYC Councilman Corey Johnson Introduces Groundbreaking Transgender Birth Certificate Legislation


A bill introduced yesterday by New York City councilman and LGBT rights activist Corey Johnson aims to change the law under which transgender people wishing to change sex on their birth certificate must prove that they have had “corrective surgery,” reports Capital New York.

The Department of Health will propose new regulations mirroring Johnson's legislation.

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday that will make it easier for transgender Californians to obtain a birth certificate with sex and name alterations

New York City law currently requires anyone wishing to change their birth certificate to undergo surgery. However, under the proposed change, transgender people would only be required to provide a signed form from a physician, a doctoral level psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, licensed master social worker, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, marriage family therapist, mental health counsellor or a midwife.

According to advocates, although New York City in 1971 became the first municipality to permit changes to a birth certificate for transgender people, the policy has not been updated and now stands as too restrictive.

Johnson - a former political editor for Towleroad - said that the change is a human rights issue and is necessary “because transgender people currently do not have accurate documents to be able to access basic things like a driver's license that matches who they are.”

Michael Silverman, Executive Director of Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said:

“We applaud both of these efforts to help transgender people born in New York City update their birth certificates to match who they truly are. These proposed policy changes reflect modern medical standards for transgender health care.

"A birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification. Yet New York City’s existing policy makes it all but impossible for transgender people to get birth certificates that reflect their true identities. It requires surgical procedures that most transgender people have not undergone, either because of discriminatory health insurance exclusions that make such procedures unaffordable, or because such procedures are medically inappropriate for some people.”

GLAD Sues Walmart on Behalf of Employee Denied Health Coverage For Same-Sex Partner


Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed a charge of discrimination on behalf of Jacqueline Cote [right], a Walmart employee in Swansea, Massachusetts who was denied spousal health insurance for her wife, reports The Rainbow Times.

Cote’s wife, Diana Smithson is currently battling ovarian cancer.

According to GLAD, Walmart’s refusal of health insurance for Smithson violates both state and federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.

Between 2006 and 2012, Cote attempted to add Smithson to her insurance. However, when she entered her spouse’s gender as “female,” Walmart’s online system would stop her from proceeding further.  When she called the retailer’s home office to investigate further, she was told that Walmart did not offer health insurance coverage to same-sex spouses.

By the time Walmart announced that it would change its policy in 2013, Cote and Smithson had racked up medical bills of more than $100,000.

Janson Wu, senior staff attorney at GLAD, said “all that Jackie wanted was to be treated like all other Walmart employees and to take care of her spouse. Instead, Walmart chose to discriminate against its gay and lesbian employees.”


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