Category: arizona

UK HIV Pill; Jan Brewer Troubled by Gay Marriage; Hate Bakery Gets Help


In what’s being called the most exciting development in HIV prevention, there’s a new pill being offered to the UK that’s designed to prevent HIV. The drug has already been in the US and I’ve posted about it on the blog before several times. It’s not all that new.

A landmark trial in England is to be dramatically sped up after it was found taking a single dose of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the drug Truvada, provided unprecedented levels of protection.

 Researchers prescribed the drug to 407 men across the country, and describe it as a big success. A further 138 men waiting to start the couse will now be offered the drug immediately.

You can read the rest here. I’ll post more about this in the future. It’s not without controversy. I would highly suggest reading the comment thread that goes with this article, too. They make valid, honest points that shouldn’t be ignored.

Quote from one of my previous posts, link above:

Unfortunately, I discovered that taking Truvada gave me too many new things to feel. Whatever short-term side effects I could get, I did. Less than a week out, I started to feel a deep sense of fatigue every day around 6 p.m. It was something I could power through and eventually shake, but it made me feel like dropping to the floor and passing out instead of going to the gym or attending movie screenings. I had perpetual muscle soreness, especially in my legs, as if I had squatted way more than I should have the day before. My skin got worse. I developed a disgusting, raised rash on my torso that my dermatologist told me was the result of a nickel allergy (I had been wearing the culprit belt for years). I was gassy.

Jan Brewer Troubled by Gay Marriage

All politics aside, I find Jan Brewer a highly annoying human being just by looking at her. I guess no one’s perfect, and I admit it’s my flaw. In any event, she’s the governor of Arizona and she’s not thrilled that gay marriage has come to her state.

‘It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years,’ Brewer stated.

I find it deeply troubling that she doesn’t understand how these things work. I find it deeply troubling that she doesn’t realize the right for women to vote took the same path as gay marriage and if it had been left up to the voters in more conservative places she might not even be governor because she’s a woman. And I find it highly troubling she thinks that someone with religious beliefs has a right to vote on my life, my civil rights, and my well being based on what’s dictated by their religion that may or may not be one big spectacular fairy tale.

You can read the rest here. I guess we know which side of history she’s going down on.

One comment said this:

 What’s deeply troubling is that politicians such as her WITH an agenda always say it’s the court that issues the order that has the agenda, when in fact the court is simply following the constitution. They become “activist judges” at that point. There’s so many people out there like Brewer that it’s amazing the world can actually function in the face of all of the crap they have flying around.

Hate Bakery Gets Help

We’re living in interesting times because so many are getting financial help for things that may or may not deserve help. Sometimes my jaw literally drops when I see how much money people are willing to hand over to those who may or may not deserve it. In this case it’s interesting because a gay activist is looking to help the anti-gay owners of a bakery that refused to make cakes for gay weddings.

He wrote, ‘The Kleins say the $150,000 fee will bankrupt her family. I’m raising money to help offset that cost. I’ll send whatever we raise along to the Klein family with a message of love and peace. I don’t want them to suffer. But I am also pleading with them and other Christians to stop using the name of Jesus to explain to the LGBT community why we don’t deserve access to the civil rights afforded to heterosexuals through the legal institution of marriage.’ 

Citing his Christian faith, Aaron Klein, said at the time, ‘I didn’t want to be a part of her marriage, which I think is wrong.’

This has obvious received criticism from the LGBTI community and there hasn’t been much money raised. I get the idea; I’m not sure it’s plausible.

You can read the rest here. I guess sometimes some people have to learn the hard way. But I do think it’s interesting that gay Christians are speaking up. Christianity, whether you believe in it or not, is NOT exclusive to straight people.

Too Hard to Handle

by Ryan Field

‘It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years,’ Brewer stated. – See more at:

A landmark trial in England is to be dramatically sped up after it was found taking a single dose of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the drug Truvada, provided unprecedented levels of protection.
Researchers prescribed the drug to 407 men across the country, and describe it as a big success. A further 138 men waiting to start the couse will now be offered the drug immediately.
– See more at:

Putin for Nobel Peace Prize; AZ Senator is Gay; Pope Francis Civil Unions

Putin for Nobel Peace Prize

I know this may sound odd given Putin’s stand on equal rights issues and gay hate laws, and the current situation in the Ukraine. But according to this article he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. At the same time, it’s important to understand a few important things about the nominations first.

In order to secure a spot on the list, essentially all that’s required is for a group or individual who falls under the broad criteria set by the Nobel Committee to formally submit your name and good deeds. The committee then selects from these nominations, but takes no responsibility for the pool of candidates they choose from. This process has resulted in some truly terrible people being proposed over the years, including but not limited to: Joseph Stalin (twice), Adolf Hitler (as a protest), and Rush Limbaugh. Putin was also nominated last year and faced similar criticism as today.

It’s highly unlikely he’ll win.

You can read more here.

AZ Senator is Gay

Arizona state senator, Steve Gallardo, came out today as a result from fallout of the recent vetoed bill that sought to discriminate against gays by allowing business owners to turn gays away legally based on religious beliefs.

‘I am gay, I’m Latino and I’m a senator and it’s OK,’ Gallardo said at a news conference.

Gallardo, 45, had just announced last week his plans to run for congress. He is currently serving his second term in the senate after three terms in the state’s House of Representatives.

I think we’ll be hearing more of this in the coming months and years, from both Democrat and Republican career politicians. Gay is not limited to Democrats only.

You can read more here.

Pope Francis Civil Unions

The Pope has always been careful about what he says regarding gay marriage, however, he recently stated that the church might find civil unions okay. He’s clear about marriage being between one man and one woman, though.

But he went on to say: ‘The secular states uses civil unions to accommodate various arrangements of living together, driven by the need to regulate the economic relationship between people, such as ensuring health care.’

He added: ‘These are pacts of coexistence of various kinds, of which I could not identify the different forms. We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety.’

It’s interesting to hear him speak this way. On the one hand it could be said he’s moving forward and this is good for gays, but on the other it could also be said he’s still looking at gays as second class citizens who don’t deserve the same equal rights in the Catholic religion (or anywhere) as straights. And, unfortunately, that’s just not something I’m willing to accept anymore. I want full equal rights. I don’t want anyone tossing me that proverbial bone anymore. To me this is like you can sit in the middle of the bus now, but you’re still not allowed to sit in the front row. Not good enough.

You can read more here.

Side note: I went through 12 years of Catholic school and was raised Catholic. I’ve been estranged from the church for many years because of their stand on gays.

Extent of AZ SB 1062; Cutting Aid to Uganda; LinkedIn for Publishing

Extent of AZ SB 1062

I’m sure most have heard about Arizona law, SB 1062, but like me most don’t know the extent of this law and how many it could affect. Or what the ramifications could be.

I’m not even going to try to paraphrase all this. It’s something that could be a legal mess if AZ Gov. Jan Brewer doesn’t veto it this week.

Second, SB 1062 does much more than ADF admits. Businesses of course must comply with state and local law. SB 1062 radically expands RFRA’s limit on government action to include action by private parties that are merely complying with the law.

That means that if an employee believes his employer’s compliance with a local law would violate the employee’s religious beliefs, SB 1062 allows the employee to sue the employer.

You can read more here.

The most startling thing about this law for many is that it’s using religion to base a state law in a country with a firm stand that has always separated church and state.

It should be interesting to see what Gov. Brewer does. Aside from everything else, this could be the defining moment in her entire political career.

Cutting Aid to Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed a bill that would allow gays to be jailed for life. As a result, several countries have aggressively stated they will cut AID to Uganda.

Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands have become the first countries to either redirect aid away from the Ugandan Government or freeze aid.

The Netherlands froze $9.6 million in aid to Uganda’s legal system, saying that if Uganda’s courts were to enforce the country’s new harsh laws further criminalizing homosexuality then they did not want to assist that process.

Denmark and Norway have also said they both planned to redirect around $8.5 million in aid, to a combined total of $17 million, away from the Ugandan Government – with that money instead going to Non-Government Organizations and human rights groups in Uganda

US Secretary of State John Kerry stated the US will do a full review now, too.

You can read more here.

LinkedIn for Publishing

I’m usually a big fan of the old phrase never say never these days as so many things continue to change in publishing. I posted a while back on LinkedIn and how I wasn’t a member because I always thought of it as more of a place where people in business, mostly corporate, went to network. However, I recently joined after I got a few requests from other publishing professionals I know…including two agents and several authors. I’m not certain, but this might be the reason why.

LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform to all its members. Last week, the platform was opened to about 25,000 users. More will be added gradually until every member has publishing privileges. Multiple languages will also be supported when the service is fully implemented.

Until recently, the ability to publish articles was reserved for well-known leaders like Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, and Richard Branson. With publishing privileges being opened to all members soon, LinkedIn can become a place where you build your brand and share your expertise too.

I haven’t looked into it much yet, but I will check it down the line and post more.

You can read more here.

Dear Abby on Gays; Gov. Jan Brewer’s Hate Bill; Changing AIDS History

Dear Abby on Gays

A straight couple in Florida moved to a new neighborhood, found out two couples in the neighborhood were gay, and refused to invite them to neighborhood social gatherings because they didn’t approve of their “lifestyle.” As a result, the straight couple found themselves being excluded by the entire neighborhood and they sent Dear Abby a letter asking for her thoughts and she responded in a priceless way.

Replied the columnist: ‘I sure would. The first thing I’d like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person’s sexual orientation isn’t a “lifestyle choice.” Gay people don’t choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can’t change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.’

After the lesson on sexual orientation, Dear Abby offered this observation: ‘I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.’

You can read the rest here.

Tony and I would have welcomed them to the neighborhood. But then, Tony and I have also experienced this kind of discrimination before (previous post on that here) when we lived in a town house community about ten miles from where we live now in New Hope, PA. As a result of that discrimination we moved to a better location, a bigger private home, our home is worth more now than the town house would ever be, and those same people that discriminated against us fifteen years ago are still living there and the odds are they’ll die there.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s Hate Bill

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, is dealing with what some think is a bit of a conundrum. In short, there are some law makers in Arizona who want to enforce a highly discriminatory bill that would allow business owners to turn away gays based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. And everyone is waiting to see which side of history Gov. Brewer will take.

The conservative governor is already feeling pressure from the business community to veto the bill passed late Thursday. A prominent Phoenix group believes it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration crackdown law, SB1070. Opponents also pointed out that the legislation would serve as a major distraction as Arizona prepares to host the Super Bowl next year.

I don’t have any strong political comments here. I have always believed that ALL politicians will do what’s in their own best interest. But if Gov. Brewer does not veto the bill and a law like this that discriminates against gays and their families (that’s right, families are part of this, too…I don’t know one straight person with a gay family member who doesn’t feel strongly about this) is enforced, I think those who refuse gays based on religious beliefs should be forced, legally, to post a large sign in their window stating this up front. In other words, I want to know where these religious business owners stand without question. The straight members in my family and my straight friends also want to know where these religious business owners stand so they know, and so they don’t have to patronize them. If this is what they want, turn them into public examples.

As public opinion begins to shift almost everywhere, it’s interesting to see something like this happen. I guess some people didn’t learn from the civil rights movement, and they don’t know how poorly they are going to look fifty years from now.

What’s even more interesting is that I don’t know one single gay business owner who would discriminate against anyone based on that person’s religious beliefs. Maybe there are some. But I’ve never met one.

You can read more here.

Changing AIDS History

I have always believed that we’ve never really been given all the facts about AIDS. I remember reading about a group in Beverly Hills, CA, that worked hard to disabuse many concepts about AIDS during the 1980’s and was constantly silenced…or ignored completely. And this next article I’m linking to talks about how drugs like Bactrim were allegedly kept from the public at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Bactrim is the most effective anti-biotic used to fight off PCP, a deadly pneumonia that is usually what winds up killing those with AIDS.

I point to Dr. Fauci in particular, because he was, and remains today, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the head of the federal government’s AIDS research program. In 1987, pioneering AIDS activist Michael Callen begged Fauci for help in promoting the use of Bactrim as PCP prophylaxis and issuing interim guidelines urging physicians to prophylax those patients deemed at high risk for PCP.

The article gets complicated at times, but it’s worth reading if you don’t know anything about AIDS and you’re curious.

Here’s the link.

Are Engagement Rings Anti-Feminist; TransAmerica Reality TV; Gay Superdads

Are Engagement Rings Anti-Feminist

When I read the following article about a young straight man getting stuck with a $10,000 engagement ring, I couldn’t help thinking in terms of gay marriage and gay relationships. I think that with most gay couples at this point in time, at least from what I’m hearing with friends and from what I’m doing with Tony, we are all equals in our relationships, at least when it comes to rings. In other words, I’m not buying Tony a $10,000.00 engagement ring, and he’s not buying one for me either. We’ve had rings already for a long time. But if we didn’t have them we would buy wedding rings or engagement rings for both of us, and not just one huge ridiculously expensive ring for just one in the relationship.

I’m sure there are gay couples who might think differently somewhere (especially if one is much, much older than the other…those younger second husbands of gay mid-life crisis relationships make out like bandits), but this is what I’ve always known in the circles where I travel. This all gets into a more complicated area, and how in this case there is no gender power in most gay relationships…or gay romances…but I’ll save that for another post.

In any event, in this article a young man who was engaged to a young woman came home one day and found she’d left him, canceled the wedding plans, and decided she wasn’t ready to get married. No problem there. We all have the right to change our minds. Good thing she realized it before they got married. However, as is the case in most of the straight relationships I know, the young man was left holding a $10,000.00 engagement ring that he’d purchased for her with his life savings. And these rings are not investments, at least not unless you have the Hope Diamond or there’s some significant storied famed that comes with the ring. The retail mark up with jewelry is a crime.

When he tried to sell the ring he’d spent most his life savings on, he found that he could only get a third of the original price.

“The offer was staggeringly low,” Opperman says on his website. “Rather than get mad I decided to break even.”

The article goes on to discuss how young men who have been taken this way, and left holding an item that had been marked up tens times its worth, can get back something so they aren’t at a staggering loss. And there’s an emotional investment here, too, that can’t be ignored. If a guy is willing to part with his life savings to buy a tiny little hunk of metal with a clear stone, he’s definitely in love and he’s willing to do anything.

And I can’t help thinking how counter-productive this is to feminism and all the things we hear about these days when it comes to equal rights for women. It just seems to me there’s a double standard when the man is expected to spend thousands of dollars on an engagement ring and he doesn’t receive something of equal value in return. In the same respect, this tradition of engagement rings is just as antiquated as the tradition of the bride’s family paying for the wedding.

TransAmerica Reality TV

From the producers of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, comes a new reality show that might be titled TransAmerica

According to a press release sent to the Huffington Post, Doron Ofir Casting is seeking “beautiful,” “dynamic” and “fashionable” transgender women to take part in a new reality series that will explore the personal and public lives of modern day women who self-identify as trans. “TransAmerica” hopes to redefine stereotypes by exploring the complex world of dating and careers for transgender women, in an effort to both entertain and educate audiences.

You can read more here. I hope they do this right, in the sense that it’s not something that resembles a carnival or sideshow, like TV producers tend to do with anything LGBT, especially with the T part. There are a lot of misconceptions about transgender people out there, and I would hate to see anything that would only promote more misconceptions. I also think there is a hidden aspect that’s rarely discussed often. More straight men out there who aren’t willing to admit it find transgender women highly attractive. If that weren’t the case, the transgender adult entertainment industry wouldn’t be doing so well.

I wish we would see more of this in LGBT romance.

Gay Superdads

This is truly one of the nicest pieces I’ve read in a long time. A gay couple in Arizona, a state like Pennsylvania that doesn’t allow legal same-sex marriage, is adopting fourteen kids.

Despite living in a state where gay marriage is still prohibited, the longtime foster parents have successfully cleared several legal hurdles on their way to adopting a family that requires a 15-seat van just to go to the park, reports.

The Hams’ journey began back in 2003, when the Phoenix couple took in Michael, then 5, a victim of abuse who was living in a group home.

This is another example of real life heroes who often go unnoticed.

You can read more here. The article goes on to explain one of those things that many people consider real life coincidences, or twists of fate. I’ve been studying metaphysics for a long, long time, and I don’t believe there are any accidents.


Tim Mooney Gay Marriage Enemy Flip Flops; West Virginia Gays Speak

Tim Mooney Gay Marriage Enemy Flip Flops

This is one I haven’t been following, but I thought it was interesting because Tim Mooney seems to have always been against gay marriage. And now more than a few advocates for gay marriage are questioning his motives.

Mooney is a republican strategist, he’s worked in anti-gay marriage campaigns in Utah, and he’s always been on record as a supporter of those who are against gay marriage.

In an odd move, he’s now behind an effort to not only legalize gay marriage in Florida and Arizona, but he’s supposedly behind the groups called Equal Marriage Florida and Equal marriage Arizona. He allegedly started these movements after hooking up with libertarian, Gary Johnson, who has always been for gay marriage. But many are still questioning Mooney’s motives. Some are even saying he’s pushing gay marriage in states like FL and AZ that aren’t ready for it.

But most gay rights advocates said they see it differently. Marc Solomon, the national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, a leading advocacy group devoted to legalizing same-sex marriage, is among the dozens of veteran gay rights advocates who have expressed skepticism about Mooney’s strategy.

“We want to be involved in every kind of marriage campaign that results in a victory,” Solomon said. “From our vantage point, the first step is to demonstrate a clear pathway to victory.”

You can read more here. Maybe I’m too cynical, but Mooney is a strategist, not a clergyman. There’s also an old saying in politics that only the amateurs remain mad. His morals are in his bank and whoever endorses him is going to sway his opinions in the direction that benefits him the most. People may not like to hear his, but that’s how the world works and life is not all hope and peace. And if the flip flop happens to be support of gay marriage in this particular case with Mooney, which I hope it is (speaking pragmatically), he can wave the rainbow flag as high as he wants. No one gets anywhere in politics without sacrificing something. They all flip flop. Or, maybe he has a gay nephew.

West Virginia Gays Speak

In an attempt to gain equality for West Virginia gay couples, Lambda Legal of WV is putting out a call to all gay WV couples to tell their own personal stories. It’s in the form of a digital question and answer, with room for comments.

We need couples who are willing to come forward publicly and share stories about their love and commitment, along with their real world struggles as a result of having their government treat them as legal strangers.

If this were PA, I would be doing it there, and here on this blog. So for all you in WV, this might be your chance to help in the fight for equality and make history in your own way. We’ve never been more connected than we are now, and your voices are as important as the people fighting on the front lines.

You can get there from here.