ALL signs point to a reintroduction of civil unions in Queensland with enough support from both sides of the parliament to guarantee legislative success, after the opposition Liberal National Party (LNP) granted a free vote on the issue.Despite failing to achieve majority support when the Relationships (Civil Partnerships) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015 went before the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee for investigation last week, the legislation has the confirmed support of two LNP MPs.
David Cameron has been warned that anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth are directly linked to the countries’ disproportionate HIV figures, as he prepares to attend the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting in Malta next week.
In a briefing from The Human Dignity Trust and the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, the Prime Minister has been advised that ‘British colonial legacy’ means that 40 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries still criminalise same-sex relations, and that this is having a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of the affected LGBT citizens.
Despite this year’s Supreme Court’s ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage, LGBT leaders are warning that a backlash against gay rights is coming.
The Court’s ruling, which guarantees gays and lesbians to right to wed, has been met with efforts to protest those protections. In Kentucky, for instance, a county clerk was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples—and then celebrated as a spokeswoman for Christian conservatives. In Alabama, adoption rights for same-sex couples are at risk. And, in Houston, voters repealed a non-discrimination measure.
“Next week, we will celebrate seven months since we won the right to marry. Seven months. It’s like the blink of an eye,” National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell said, warning that reactions to similar victories for civil rights came with violence. “We are in the middle of a full-throated backlash. … We are just seeing the beginning on the backlash. It will get worse before it gets better.”
Indeed, a cautious tone is running through the annual Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute’s annual leadership summit, taking place on the Las Vegas Strip. Throughout panels and interviews, many of the advocates and elected officials expressed caution that the win on marriage was not the end of the fight for equality. They pointed to the Houston vote, which made the city the largest in the country where it is now legal to discriminate based on gender identity.
On 17 November the news broke that actor Charlie Sheen was about to do an interview in which he would disclose that he had HIV.
On 18 November this rumour was confirmed, with Sheen announcing that he had been living with HIV since 2011, had an undetectable viral load, and had been blackmailed to the tune of millions of dollars by people to whom he’d disclosed.
Social and online media exploded, and concern about the potentially stigmatising impact on people with HIV was uppermost in the minds of HIV advocates around the world. Organisations such as AFAO and our members rapidly put out media statements or circulated information to encourage the media to report sensitively.
On the positive side, the media circus provided an opportunity to raise awareness about HIV and publicise accurate information to counter the decades-old myths that still circulate.
This blog post links to Australian community media and HIV sector responses to Charlie Sheen’s disclosure.
If you have links to other useful Australian stories commenting on Charlie Sheen, please post them in the comments.
Does sex happen so rarely that you need to document that it happened?
2014 was the year of the selfie, 2015 was the year of the selfie stick will 2016 be the year of the after sex selfie?
The results are a mixed bag, but this could be potentially the best thing ever. It does raise two questions; firstly we're wondering why none of these people are eating a cheese sandwich (which is what we always do after gland to gland combat ) and secondly over share much?
Here are the top 8 AfterSexSelfie types...
I don't think I've ever taken an after sex selfie ... Have you?
Traditionally, school formal night itself pales in comparison to the weeks of anticipation.
Thoughts of table configurations, outfits, fake IDs and of course, dates, cloud the collective psyche of the average graduating class. But for kids who are gay, bisexual and transgender, such everyday worries easily magnify as they wonder where they fit in this particularly “straight” mainstay of the high school experience. Consider the transgender girl who has long dreamed of the opportunity to wear a ballgown, but fears ridicule by her peers. Or the out guy who wants to bring his boyfriend from another school, but is met with a hostile administration. For this girl, this guy, and many, many others, the formal can be a minefield of awkward situations and social exclusion.
Enter Minus18. A group for LGBTI young people based in Victoria, Minus18 has run several successful formals for queer young people and their friends in Melbourne over recent years. The group has tapped into a market with clear demand – numbers at their last Melbourne formal swelled to about 500.
And this year, the group took the formal to Adelaide, South Australia. BuzzFeed News was there as a group of 120 nervous teenagers and young people turned up to experience the kind of formal they never got to enjoy at school.
I do think Sheen’s coming out offers a prime opportunity to raise awareness around HIV, both in terms of how it is experienced and treated in 2015 and in how we can all talk about it with more sensitivity and accuracy. Indeed, given the crass giddiness that cropped up this week, that latter opportunity seems all the more crucial to seize. Because as someone in my social media feeds aptly put it: “You know someone with HIV. You don't know who it is. They are watching your reaction to Charlie Sheen.”
This is worth remembering: "You know someone with HIV. You don't know who it is. They are watching your reaction to Charlie Sheen."
AS news broke this morning that a major Hollywood celebrity plans to reveal he is living with HIV on American morning television, along came the inevitable misrepresentation of HIV and deluge of ignorant comments on social media and news websites.
Star Observer will not name the celebrity as we believe it is up to every individual to disclose their status when and how they see fit, but you can Google the story here.
If you missed Tangerine when it first appeared over the summer, now’s a good time to catch up: The film—director Sean Baker’s sensitive, honest, and often funny look at the lives of a pair of transgender prostitutes over the course of a particularly eventful L.A. Christmas Eve—is sure to be the subject of much discussion this Oscar campaign season. With the support of producers Mark and Jay Duplass and distributor Magnolia Pictures, Tangerine’s trans stars are being advanced as candidates for the best actress and best supporting actress awards. This is a big deal—according to Variety, “It’s the first time a movie distributor has ever backed an awards season push for a transgender actress in Hollywood history.”
In a series of short films produced by Queensland Positive People, people living with HIV share their experiences of being on treatment. As Christopher Kelly reports, the hope is that the stories will help others make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
It is easy to see why AIDS seemed so mysterious and frightening when US medics first encountered it 35 years ago. The condition robbed young, healthy people of their strong immune system, leaving them weak and vulnerable. And it seemed to come out of nowhere.
Today we know much more how and why HIV – the virus that leads to AIDS – has become a global pandemic. Unsurprisingly, sex workers unwittingly played a part. But no less important were the roles of trade, the collapse of colonialism, and 20th Century sociopolitical reform.
If a man is having sex with other men, he must be gay or bi or somewhere on the queer spectrum, right? Not necessarily. At least not according to some men who feel their sexual activities and their sexual identities don't have to -- and do not -- align.
In this episode of The HuffPost Love+Sex Podcast co-hosts Carina Kolodny and Noah Michelson speak with two of these men: Mike, 36, and Christopher, 20, both of whom identify as straight even though they have sex with other men. Kolodny and Michelson also chat with Chelsea Reynolds, a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota, whose investigations of online identities was partly inspired by her discovery of straight men cruising Craiglist to find male sexual partners.
Twitter has taken heat for its lack of racial diversity, but it has taken a stand in support of its LGBT employees by ending on-site blood drives until the Federal Drug Administration lifts a decades-old ban that prevents healthy gay and bisexual employees from participating.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced some deeply disconcerting news on Tuesday: Sexually transmitted infection rates have skyrocketed over the last year, particularly among gay and bisexual men. Syphilis transmission rates are especially alarming: The CDC reports a 15.1 percent increase in new infections nationwide since 2013, with a stunning 83 percent of male cases affecting men who have sex with men.
Although the headline is clickbait, the article itself is a thoughtful look at this issue.
I’ve never been a fan of Charlie Sheen - I always thought his brother was better looking, and his father was a better actor. But today, Charlie Sheen is in all our faces and on all our screens, and for the first time I feel like I have something in common with him.
Like Charlie Sheen, I have used a lot of drugs. Like Charlie Sheen, I have had a lot of sex. And like Charlie Sheen, I am HIV-positive.
When a famous person comes out as HIV-positive, the story is not just about them, and it’s not just about HIV. For the community of HIV-positive people, it’s inevitably a story about us. It’s impossible for those of us living with HIV not to see the debate, the judgements and shaming as directed not just at Charlie Sheen the actor, but at Charlie Sheen the symbol of people with HIV. You’re talking about us.
A drug used to treat alcoholism has been found to "wake up" dormant HIV cells in the body, raising hopes of an alternative treatment for a virus which has contributed to the deaths of more than 34 million people.
The results of human trials in Melbourne and San Francisco have been described as a "game changer" - not only because the drug woke up dormant HIV cells but because it was tolerated at high doses by patients.
Having established how to wake up the HIV cells, researchers can now concentrate on the best way to kill them off: most likely by manipulating the body's immune system so it recognises and attacks infected cells.
NEWS that a major Hollywood star is about to announce he is HIV-positive has broken the internet today and every man, woman, child and their pets has had something to say about it.
While Living Positive Victoria chief executive Brent Allan believes it is good for people in the public eye to disclose their status because it “makes it easier” for everyone living with HIV, Star Observer wants to address the impact online comments, media reporting and real life interactions may have on people living with HIV.
As reported earlier today, we won’t “out” the celebrity until he is ready to come forward himself, but that hasn’t stopped people online for judging him and having an opinion on the story.
Leading Australian HIV activist and The Institute of Many (TIM) co-founder Nic Holas recommends people avoid reading the comments sections regarding this news but understands that’s not always possible.
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