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04/19/2007


Photos, Video: GetEQUAL Holds ENDA Rally in San Francisco

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Rex Wockner sends us these photos of a rally held late yesterday urging passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act at the federal building in San Francisco.

Pictured below are National Center for Lesbian Rights' Kate Kendell and GetEQUAL's Kip Williams.

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GetEQUAL also posted a message online to send to Pelosi urging her to bring ENDA to a vote immediately. You can sign it here. Pelosi on Monday held a conference call to discuss the status of ENDA and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Read about it here.

Pictured below, Masen Davis, the executive director of the Transgender Law Center.

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In related ENDA news, I mentioned yesterday a press conference that was going to be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. ENDA Now has some excellent coverage of it here.

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Robin McGehee of GetEQUAL, above. Rex's video from the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Photos, Video: GetEQUAL Holds ENDA Rally in San Francisco" »


Mitt Romney Met by Gay Protest at Mormon Bookstore in La Jolla

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Guestblogger Story and photos by REX WOCKNER

A dozen gay people protested an appearance by Mitt Romney at a Mormon bookstore in La Jolla, Calif., yesterday.

They said Romney should apologize for Mormons' having donated "$30 million" to the campaign that led to the passage of Proposition 8, which re-banned same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

"As a national political leader and influential member of the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney could persuade church leaders to end their 15 years of active involvement and massive financial support to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans," said Californians Against Hate, which organized the demonstration.

The protest took place outside a mall that houses the Deseret Book Company, where Romney signed copies of his new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness."

News reporters and photographers were not allowed inside the store. News photographers were instructed to take their pictures through the windows.

Several hundred people waited in line to meet the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate.

Romney is considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election.

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Gay Activists Hold 'Kiss-In' at San Diego's Mormon Temple

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In solidarity with two men who were arrested in early July outside the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City for kissing one another, about 30 San Diegans held a "kiss-in" protest outside the LDS Church in La Jolla.

Rex Wockner has a report on the demonstration. A news report from Fox 5, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Gay Activists Hold 'Kiss-In' at San Diego's Mormon Temple" »


Hildebrand: On Gay Issues, President Obama Will Get 'er Done

Rex Wockner turns in a must-read interview with Steve Hildebrand, who was Barack Obama's openly gay deputy national campaign director.

2 In it, Hildebrand says the president did not read the offensive DOJ brief before it came out, but "he expects much better from his administration" and "he subsequently has read the brief and was not happy at all with both the direction as well as the language that was used."

Hildebrand has communicated directly with the president on the uproar over that document.

"I told him very clearly that many in the gay community across the country are getting very anxious and that folks have felt very hurt by the Justice Department brief—the language that was used in it. He reassured me that he will not disappoint the gay community during his time as president, that the promises he made during the campaign are promises he will fulfill, and he was very forthright about his commitment to equality."

Continue reading "Hildebrand: On Gay Issues, President Obama Will Get 'er Done" »


California HIV Emergency: Large Rally Held in Sacramento

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Guestblogger REX WOCKNER

Schwarzenegger, Legislature may slash HIV funding

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed, and the California Legislature is considering, draconian cuts to all types of HIV-related funding in the near-bankrupt state.

 

Hiv3 In the worst-case scenario, which is still not off the table, slashes to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program could result in thousands of Californians who make less than $41,600 per year losing access to the state-provided drugs that suppress HIV and keep them alive.

In the apparent best-case scenario, not all HIV drugs would be available via ADAP and patients would have to pay part of the cost of the ones they could get. That is problematic because some HIV-positive people have developed resistance to some HIV drugs, and need access to the full arsenal of therapies to stay alive.

Further, the current plan apparently completely eliminates state funding for the tests that determine if a patient is responding to treatment -- such tests as CD4 counts, viral-load measurement and drug-resistance monitoring.

These tests are essentially mandatory in HIV treatment. Doctors use them so they can change a nonresponsive patient's drug combination to another combo that works in that patient -- before the patient's immune system breaks down further and the patient develops a life-threatening opportunistic infection.

Hiv2 The current plan apparently also dramatically slashes funding for education, prevention, counseling and testing programs.

Some 35,000 working- and middle-class Californians who don't make enough money to pay for their own treatment could be adversely or dangerously affected by the possible cuts to ADAP and elimination of monitoring testing.

Gay and HIV advocates have strongly denounced the budget proposals, and a large rally was held at the state Capitol in Sacramento on June 10.

Pictured, lower, SF Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

(photos by Charlie Peer/Outword Magazine)


Bill Clinton Crosses Proposition 8 Picket Line in San Diego

Despitea petition from the Courage Campaign signed by more than 26,500 people calling for him to respect the boycott of Proposition 8 supporter Doug Manchester's Manchester Grand Hyatt, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech there Sunday to the International Franchise Association, the San Diego Union Tribune reports:

Sd1"Before he spoke, about 150 to 200 Proposition 8 opponents and union supporters rallied outside the downtown San Diego hotel. They have called for a boycott of the hotel since July, after owner Doug Manchester donated $125,000 to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California. The complaint of union officials is that Manchester requires more work of maids and other employees than most hotels. 'He's crossing protests by gay and lesbian people and labor,' said Jim Brady, 48, of Hillcrest, who held an American flag during the rally. 'We just can't support this business.' Organizers estimated there were about 200 protesters; San Diego police said about 150."

Rex Wockner also covered the protest. He reports:

Sd2"No representative of the IFA was available to speak to media, and hotel officials said Clinton would not be available to reporters either. The officials prohibited a reporter from accessing the floor on which the convention was taking place. An openly gay hotel spokesman, Kelly Commerford, said "the voters have spoken" on same-sex marriage in California and that the views of Manchester do not represent those of Global Hyatt Corp., which has received high marks on scorecards charting corporations' policies on GLBT issues. Near the demonstration's end, four gay activists entered the hotel in an attempt to deliver to Clinton 30,000 signatures collected by the Courage Campaign urging Clinton to relocate his convention address to a different venue. Courage Campaign Chair Rick Jacobs (right), NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt founder and union activist Cleve Jones (holding petitions), Sara Beth Brooks of the San Diego Equality Campaign (left), and local Pride at Work Co-chair Carlos Marquez were halted just inside the main entrance by hotel staff. The activists requested that Clinton or a representative meet with them to receive the petitions. The hotel staff said they would relay the message, then walked away."

Wockner took the photos here and has many more available at his blog.

Gays Picket Bill Clinton in San Diego [rex wockner]

A local news report broadcast before the planned picket as well as video of Clinton being introduced inside the venue, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bill Clinton Crosses Proposition 8 Picket Line in San Diego" »


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