Daily archives for December 2nd, 2011

Getting To Zero For World’s AIDS Day 2011

 

By Frances Lee, The Smart Show 

Yesterday was the 23rd annual World’s Aids Day with the theme ‘Getting To Zero’ in hope of eliminating the disease by the year 2015.
I was surprised to see Barack Obama speak during this event and even more surprised to hear his shoutout to former president Bush for his ‘bold leadership on this issue’.
“I believe that history will record the President’s Emergancy Plan for Relief as one of his greatest (or greater?) legacies. And that program even more ambitious than leading advocates thought was possible at the time has saved thousands and thousands and thousands of lives,” said Obama during ‘The Beginning of the End’ even. “If you could imagine we were talking about the real possibility of an AIDS free generation, but thats why we are here.”
President Obama spoke of about the declining deaths and rate of infection of AIDS around the world yet America’s rate has held steady for the past decade.
“When new infections increase by black gay men increase by 50% in three years, we need to do more to show their lives matter,” Obama said. “When Latino’s are dying sooner than other groups and black women feel forgotten when they account for most of the new cases amongst women, than we’ve got to do more.”
Currently there are 1.2 million Americans living with HIV today yet there is still no vaccine or cure for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
In 1987, after decades of silence among doctors and HIV patients, President Reagan finally said the words AIDS in public during a speach on why the government should not provide sex education information.

On April 2, 1987, Reagan said: “How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let’s be honest with ourselves, AIDS information can not be what some call ‘value neutral.’ After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don’t medicine and morality teach the same lessons.”
AIDS awareness has come quite a bit since the 80’s considering sex-ed wasn’t allowed in school.
1987 AIDS Commercial from Australia
Please view the AIDS commercial clip from 1987 to see how far we have come.

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BREAKING: Anti-LGBT Amendment Stripped from Defense Bill

Russell Amendment removed from NDAA after lawmakers received more than 342,000 petition signatures from AMPA and other national organizations

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised reports that an amendment was removed from the annual defense bill that could have funded anti-LGBT discrimination.

“Taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people is wrong -- plain and simple,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “The fact that the defense spending bill was being used in an attempt to fund discrimination against minorities is disturbing. Thousands of LGBT service members put their lives on the line for our nation, and they and their families should never face discrimination here at home simply because of who they are or whom they love. We are pleased that in the end, lawmakers removed the discriminatory measure and fairness and equality seem to have prevailed.”

Known as the Russell Amendment, the measure in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could have allowed taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, single mothers, LGBT people, and religious minorities in religiously-affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities.

As reported by the Washington Blade, “During a background briefing with reporters on Tuesday, an aide said the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers in conference committee lacks the language Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted in the House version of the bill.”

On November 15, AMPA joined more than a dozen national organizations in delivering more than 342,000 petition signatures to Congress in opposition to the amendment. The petitions were delivered to the Washington offices of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

The petitions were part of a coordinated advocacy effort from the American Military Partner Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other national organizations.

The Russell Amendment could have allowed for an individual:
To be fired for marrying a same-sex partner — or denied benefits afforded to other married couples
To be fired for being transgender
To be fired for being a woman taking birth control
To be fired for being a single mother or
To be refused a job interview if they don’t practice the “right” religion
The Russell Amendment was previously adopted in the dead of night — over bipartisan opposition — without a hearing and with almost no debate. The House Rules Committee then prevented the full chamber from being able to vote on a bipartisan amendment to remove the discriminatory provision from the defense bill.

The American Military Partner Association is the nation’s largest organization of LGBT military spouses, families, and allies. With more than 50,000 members and supporters throughout the country and around the world, AMPA is committed to education, advocacy, and support for our “modern military families.”
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“As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom.” : Lyn Nofziger - [Franklyn C. Nofziger] Press Secretary for President Reagan ... See MoreSee Less

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