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News Roundup
2004-05-01

This article shared 4857 times since Sat May 1, 2004
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A groundbreaking series of ads are increasing HIV/AIDS awareness in the Filipino community in Suburban Cook County and surrounding collar counties. Strategically placed in Chicago area Filipino newspapers, the campaign's slogan is simple yet effective: 'Safe ka ba?' (Are you safe?) Some taboos inherent in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) cultures can make it difficult to educate and survey the community. Within the Filipino community itself, strong Catholic beliefs can present a major barrier to having an open dialogue among friends or family about HIV. Such issues conceal the true impact of HIV/AIDS in the AAPI community. For AAPIs, Filipinos have the highest percentage (45%) of AIDS cases among all HIV+ AAPIs in the United States, according to 'Profile of Asian Pacific communities' in 1999 by V.R. Randall. In addition to the men, HIV+ AAPI women are more likely than any other group of women to report that they did not know how they became infected with HIV. Call (773) 878-0761.

Brazil has decided to withdraw its motion on integrating sexual orientation into the United Nations stance on human rights, reports Gay.com . The country first introduced the resolution at last year's UN Commission on Human Rights, but it was delayed until this year's meeting.

LLEGO—the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization—honored civil-rights activist Jorge Mursuli, Florida state director of People for the American Way, and Verizon Communications during LLEGO's National Dinner April 24. www.llego.org .

Monday, May 3, 1:303:30 p.m., is a forum, The Intersection of MSM, Race & Culture: Their Impact on Health Service Delivery, at The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, 2020 W. Harrison. Speakers: Lora Branch, Director Office of LGBT Health, Chicago Department of Public Health; David Munar, Associate Director Policy & Communications AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Chris Bell, Activist and Author; and Redrick Taylor, Volunteer, the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center. E-mail jimberlypickett@aol.com .

Spain will legalize gay and lesbian marriages and grant

equal rights to gay couples, incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said recently, according to Reuters. 'Zapatero, whose Socialist party swept to a surprise victory in general elections last month just three days after train bombs which killed 191 people, made legalizing gay unions one of his campaign pledges,' Reuters said.

One week into the murder trial of Newark, Calif., teen, Gwen Araujo, defense attorneys are trying to blame the victim by focusing the jury on Araujo's conduct. Trying to deflect attention from the actions of their clients, defense

attorneys raised questions about what Araujo was wearing on the night of the murder, whether she 'deceived' her attackers, and whether revelation of her transgender status caused at least one defendant to become upset 'beyond reason.' 'The defense attorneys are so desperate in this case that they are presenting 1974 arguments in 2004,' said Julie Dorf, Director of Philanthropic Services at San Francisco's Horizons Foundation. Dorf, who helped start the Gwen Araujo Memorial Fund at the Foundation added, 'We reject the use of an updated 'gay panic' defense in the form of some kind of 'trans panic' defense. Our society has learned to stop blaming the victims of violence for the conduct of their attackers.'

'One reason the defense lawyers think they can get away with these arguments is because of pervasively negative stereotypes about transgender women,' said Christopher Daley, Co-Director of the Transgender Law Center. 'Clearly, like all transgender people, Gwen wasn't deceiving anyone when she dressed like and presented herself as the young woman that she truly was. And just like transgender people in any other context—work, housing, school, etc.—she was under no obligation to disclose her gender identity to anyone—including the defendants.'

Univisión's talk show Casos de Familia recently aired a segment

that provoked outrage among gay-rights groups, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 'The March 25 program featured a religious group claiming to cure gay people, with host Judith Grace González-Hincks posing questions such as, 'Would it be that all [gays] have been abused, hence their sexual preference?'' the paper said. GLAAD and other groups have attacked the show. Pizza Hut has asked Univision to stop airing their ads during this show.

PUNKS (2001, executive produced by Tracy Edmonds and husband Babyface) writer, director and producer Patrik-Ian Polk has begun production on a new series entitled Noah's Arc. Described as Sex and the City meets Queer As Folk and together crashing into Soul Food, Arc is a 'cool, hip, fresh and fun peak into the lives of four Black gay men living in Los Angeles,' producers said. With this latest project, Polk is out to set the record straight (so to speak) that not all gay people are white. The first season of Noah's Arc will be available for purchase as a DVD beginning Tuesday, June 22. 'After the recent boom in gay television ... I really noticed the complete unwillingness of producers to feature positive Black gay and lesbian characters in television and film,' said Polk. See www.noahsarc.net .


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