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Marriage Equality and HIV: Reflections of a Man Getting Married

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

By the time this blog post is published, I will be a happily married man. On August 9th, I will be tying the knot with my partner of 10 years, John Hatchett. While our wedding ceremony will take place at the Borough Hall without much pomp or pageantry, getting married to John is one of the best things that could ever happen to me.

On the eve of such a joyful occasion, I want to dedicate this post to all those gay men and women who died without the benefit of having their relationships legally recognized, as well as those left behind. As well as to the survivors who, in many cases, lost everything they owned and were denied the protections and benefits granted to heterosexual widows and widowers.

My fiance and I are both over 40 years of age, and we are both long-term survivors of HIV. Many of our close friends are people who have been personally impacted by HIV/AIDS in different ways. For us, marriage equality is much more than a contract or a “status symbol”; it is reassurance that we, as a gay couple with HIV, can pursue happiness just like anyone else, without fearing the future.

Authored By Daniel Leyva – See the Full Story at the Center for Hispanic Health Equity

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Kansas, USA: Bill Would Quarantine HIV Positive Citizens

Friday, March 29th, 2013

bloodIn a throw-back to the early years of the AIDS crisis and accompanying hysteria, Kansas wants to quarantine HIV positive people. Think Progress reports:

Kansas House Bill 2183 was originally created to serve first responders who might be at risk of contracting HIV through their work. But the Kansas Department of Health and Environment rewrote the language in the bill, broadly deregulating when isolation can take place and opening up the possibility that HIV positive people could be quarantined. Activists fear this oversight could be used to openly discriminate. “Our state’s health department is willing to roll back a 25-year old civil rights protection,” Thomas Witt, the Executive Director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, told ThinkProgress. “LGBT Kansans are already subject to harassment and legal discrimination, and removing the existing HIV quarantine exemption from law leaves vulnerable Kansans at risk of discriminatory, unfair treatment by local officials.”

How regressive can you get? So far, Kansas wins the GOP race to the bottom. Although North Dakota, with its repressive new abortion laws, is a close second.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kansas.

NY: State Senator Says Marriage Equality Will Lead to HIV Epidemic

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Senator Sam TrombleyWhile the debate over marriage equality continues to rage in Albany, one legislator from Clinton County, New York, fears that an HIV epidemic will break out in the Empire State if gay couples are allowed to marry.

Sam Trombley (R), while at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Clinton County legislature, voiced that he couldn’t understand why the health department focused on tobacco and smoking, but not homosexuality.

“I’m surprised the health department has not come out against this because we are going to have an HIV epidemic if this passes,” Trombley said. Then, he attacked the very idea of homosexual relationships, saying that the idea “blew his mind.” “You don’t see two male dogs sleeping in the same dog house together,” said Trombley.

Full Story from LGBTQ Nation

Click here for gay marriage resources in New York.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

Could Marriage Equality Help Curb HIV in China?

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

AS HIV/AIDS becomes more prevalent among the gay population on the mainland, some experts have joined the gay community in calling for the legal recognition of same-sex marriage as a means of curbing the infection.

Although the rate of HIV infection is 0.05 per cent nationwide, gay men have been the hardest hit by the sexually transmitted disease, experts warned ahead of this year’s World AIDS Day, which fell on Wednesday.

In some cities, nearly one out of five is HIV positive in the gay community, experts said.

Full Story from The Straits Times

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

PinkSixty News 11/26/10: Gay Wedding Announcement, HIV in the Philippines

Friday, November 26th, 2010

A gay couple are challenging the wedding announcement policy of The Dallas Morning News. Mark Read and Dante Walkup made news recently when an official in Washington DC – via digital application Skype – married them.

HIV infections are on the rise in the Philippines, bucking the worldwide trend reported by the UN that infection is declining. There have been 500 more infections there in this year than in 2009 already.

Full Story from Pink News

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

PinkSixty News 11/24/10: HIV, Polish Activist, DADT Discharges

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

HIV infections and AIDS deaths worldwide have finally started to fall, according to a new report from UN AIDS. There were 3.1 million new infections last year compared to 2.6 million in 1999.

A leading Polish gay activist has claimed he was beaten by police. Robert Biedron was arrested while protesting at a march in Warsaw by right wing groups. He denies claims he attacked a police officer.

Full Story from Pink News

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

Belgium: Catholic Archbishop Calls AIDS “Inherent Justice” For Gay Behavior

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium sparked an uproar on Friday after the release of a new translation of a book in which he says the AIDS epidemic is a “sort of inherent justice” resulting from the “mistreatment of the profound nature of human love”.

Coming just weeks after a report that detailed the abuse of hundreds of children by Catholic priests over several decades in Belgium, the comments of Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard has plunged the Church into a fresh controversy.

Political leaders, media, medical institutions and gay rights campaigners have all lined up to denounce his words. Advertisement: Story continues below
“This statement is far removed from Christian charity,” Senator Wouter Beke, chairman of the governing Christian Democratic and Flemish party, which traditionally has close links to the Church.

Full Story from smh.com.au

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

UK: Government Likely to Lift Ban on Gay Blood Donors

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

The chances that Britain will soon end its lifetime ban on gay men giving blood have increased with the election of a Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition Government, as the leaders of both parties oppose the ban.

Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron told Attitude magazine in February that he was persuaded by the evidence that it was time for a change in policy. “It sounds perfectly logical and sensible to make the change,” Cameron said. “Logic would dictate that it’s time to change.”

Before the election the Conservatives also promised they would “consider” extending full marriage rights to same-sex couples, while offering people in civil partnerships the same tax breaks as married couples.

Full Story from SSO

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

US: FDA to Reconsider Gay Blood Donation Ban in June

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

When Mark Shields started his job at the American Red Cross in Madison, Wisconsin, he rolled up his sleeve to give blood. It made sense. Part of his job was encouraging the public to donate and supporting the organization’s lifesaving mission.

Before he could give, he was told that his blood could never be accepted. Because he’s gay. “I was 23 at the time. I was just coming out,” he said. “I was trying to be part of our organization’s mission and feeling like I can’t do this. … I certainly felt put on the spot. It was a bad feeling for a lot of reasons.”

Under Food and Drug Administration rules, men who have had sex – even once – with another man since 1977 are not permitted to give blood. The rule was implemented in 1983, sparked by concerns that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was tainting the blood supply. Screening tests to identify HIV-positive blood had not been developed. The policy was seen as a safety measure.

Full Story from News Gnom.es

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.