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  WINDY CITY TIMES

National Roundup
by Andrew Davis
2006-12-06

This article shared 2137 times since Wed Dec 6, 2006
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New reports show that one in 10 gay men in London is now infected with HIV, and one in 25 across the United Kingdom ( U.K. ) is carrying the virus, according to GayNZ.com . Almost 8,000 people were diagnosed with HIV last year, increasing the number of people living with the virus to around 70,000 in the U.K.

To mark World AIDS Day, Human Rights Campaign released its third annual World AIDS Day report card, which added a new category—combatting AIDS-related stigma and discrimination—in its assessments of the Bush administration's response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The grades for this year were an F for prevention; a D for care and treatment; an F for research; a C in fighting the global AIDS pandemic; and an F in fighting stigma.

During World AIDS Day, the National Minority Health Month Foundation has announced that it wants the U.S. Senate to pass the new three-year compromise of the Ryan White CARE Act. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ( HELP ) Committee has released the details of a proposed bipartisan, three-year compromise reauthorization for those in regions where HIV/AIDS is considered a crisis.

Also on World AIDS Day, the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses and Friends for Life issued a call to action to other spiritual leaders to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to a press release. More than 20 organizations representing faith, civil and public health leadership from the Mid-South area of the U.S. sponsored this call.

Michael Kopper, 41, the gay former Enron Corp. executive who became the first to plead guilty to financial crimes among the company's top management, has been sentenced to 37 months in prison and two years probation, The New York Blade reported. Kopper and his domestic partner, William Dodson, stole about $16.5 million from Enron and its shareholders. However, Dodson has been allowed to keep $9 million in stolen funds—probably because the U.S. and Texas do not recognize same-sex relationships. ( Married spouses of executives have had to return money. )

Advertisements connected with the United Church of Christ ( UCC ) will take to the Internet as the denominaton launches its most ambitious online advertising campaign to date, according to UCC News. Recently, the UCC's executive council approved a $50,000 Web-based ad buy for late November through early January.

Richard Burns marked 20 years as executive director of The LGBT Center in New York with a Nov. 28 celebration at the facility. Among those who attended were Harvey Fierstein, Billie Jean King and Urvashi Vaid.

Bonnie Bleskachek, the nation's first openly lesbian big-city fire chief, will step down from her post in Minneapolis amidst firefighter lawsuits accusing her of harassment and discrimination, according to the Associated Press. Three female firefighters have sued, alleging various acts of discrimination and sexual harassment. ( Two of the lawsuits were settled. ) Then, a male firefighter sued, alleging he was denied promotions because he is male and heterosexual.

The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, planned to offer live Webcasts ( on www.courts.state.md.us/coappeals/ ) of its oral arguments in a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban on Dec. 4, according to an item in The Advocate. This was the first high-profile case to employ this Web-based technology and was expected to draw a large number of viewers.

The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, has stepped down because he thinks the group has resisted his efforts to broaden its agenda to include reducing poverty and fighting global warming, The New York Times reported. Over the last few years, Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., has been perceived as trying to expand the agenda of conservative Christian activists from issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Two groups of people—constitutional scholars and senior military officers—have filed separate briefs asking the First District Court of Appeals to overturn the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ( DADT ) statute, according to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network press releases. Cook v. Rumsfeld, filed on behalf of 12 war veterans who were dismissed under DADT, has been appealed to the First Circuit following an April District Court decision granting the government's motion to dismiss the case.

The Los Angeles Roman Catholic archdiocese, the nation's largest, has agreed to pay approximately $60 million to settle 45 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests, CNN reported. The settlement involved 22 priests and was the largest settlement the archdiocese had reached.

Out in the Mountains, Vermont's free monthly newspaper for the state's LGBT audience, will fold after 21 years of publishing, according to the Seven Days Web site. Burlington-based Mountain Pride Media board president Brian Cote said that the decision to stop printing the publication was emotional but necessary.

On Dec. 2, former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds was memorialized as a peacemaker and environmentalist, Advocate.com reported. The packed memorial service at Boston's John F. Kennedy Library and Museum featured his favored choral music and stories about his life. Studds, who became the first openly gay congressman in 1983, died at age 69 on Oct.14.

On National Meth Awareness Day ( Nov. 30 ) , The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association ( GLMA ) released a report that contradicts the perception that addiction to crystal meth is untreatable, according to a GLMA press release. The report, entitled Breaking the Grip: Treating Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction Among Gay and Bisexual Men, lists specific treatment strategies identified as useful by clinicians and researchers. The full report is available at www.glma.org/breakingthegrip.

A single justice from Massachusetts' highest court listened to arguments in a lawsuit spearheaded by outgoing governor Mitt Romney that seeks to override the legislature and let voters decide whether to ban same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment, The Boston Globe reported.

'Out and Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers' is a report that offers an unprecedented snapshot of the concerns of LGBT baby boomers in the U.S., according to asaging.org . Among the report's findings are that 27 percent of the respondents are very concerned about discrimination as they age and that 60 percent of female LGBT boomers fear outliving their retirement income. The full report is at www.asaging.org/lgain.

A recent study of HIV treatment has found that patients who temporarily stop taking their powerful medicines more than double their risk of dying, PlanetOut reported. The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, involved nearly 5,500 patients in 33 countries.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling awarding custody to Patricia Jones ( a lesbian mother ) because she would provide a better home than her ex-partner, Ellen Boring ( the children's biological parent ) , according to a Lambda Legal press release. Jones and Boring, who were partners for 14 years, had twins before ending their relationship in 2001. Jones eventually filed for primary physical custody of the children.

Former porn actor Marcus Allen, whose real name is Timothy Boham, appeared in a Denver County court on first-degree murder charges, The Rocky Mountain News reported. Boham, 25, was arrested Nov. 16 near the Mexican border in Arizona for the murder of Michael Kelso, a gay Denver businessman.

Ryan Thoreson, a gay North Dakota resident, is a Rhodes scholar for 2007, Advocate.com reported. The Harvard University student was one of 15 regional finalists interviewed for the honor. Thoreson, who majors in government as well as women, gender and sexuality studies, will use the scholarship to study social anthropology for two years at Oxford University in England beginning next October. Past Rhodes scholars include Kris Kristofferson and George Stephanopoulos.


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