Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Take OUT

The days are clicking away at a steady pace and this forum is staying the course with tapping out the latest updates, send ups, mash up and so forth and so on. Its COP 24/7 on the move in our efforts as Arkansas only daily updating LGBTQ blog to keep you informed, empowered and entertained in 2012. We know that if you are thinking about it, then most likely we're talking about it. Lets get busy...

Obama Speaks: The State of the Union 2012

President Obama will come before the nation tonight in his third State of the Union speech as he prepares for election 2012. Mr. Obama has had a tough run while attempting to govern amidst partisan politics, congressional gridlock, and a grumpy electorate. During his administration, he has been in nothing but a slug fest with his detractors as he has pushed through numerous policies and initiatives including a first ever National AIDS Strategy, repealing Don't Ask-Don't Tell, Wall Street reforms and many other notable items to his credit. Of course he failed to close Guantanamo, many federal nominees unappointed all the while trying to compromise with his Capitol Hill opponents. However, with a stubborn economy that is on the upswing, its the feisty and volatile public especially those in a Occupy state of mind that have also been on Mr. Obama's radar and most likely will be addressed in tonight's speech. Reports state that Mr. Obama will laser in on the topic of "fairness" and I believe that he must contrast how the lack of fairness has impacted both middle and lower income persons in this nation. Despite a 48% percent approval rating, he has continued to amplify this position with anthems of "We Can't Wait" and "its a make or break time" in America. Truly it is a make a or break time as the American people have tired of Wall Street greed, a complicated tax code, jobs being out sources or down sized resulting in substantial unemployment and policies that favor the one percent controlling much of the countries wealth. In my opinion, President Obama has done the best that could be done with a much of deck stacked against him. He has demonstrated courage under fire as the task of being President of The United States is probably one if not the hardest job on the face of the earth. Now lets get ready to go get em in November 2012.

No Rainbow Announcements in NWA Newspaper

KARK and other news outlets are reporting concerning the most recent incident of a newspaper citing policy in regards to its insertion of engagement announcements. COP 24/7 monitored the situation as the news broke on the Yahoo platform citing Cody Renegar, 35, of Elkins, Ark. whom asked the Arkansas Democrat Gazette to publish an engagement announcement for his June wedding commitment ceremony, something Renegar said happens for other couples who would like to announce their impending nuptials.
"I called the newspaper and asked how I can submit our announcement for publication," Renegar told Yahoo! News. "I was told that they won't publish them until it's legal."

Renegar said the newspaper declined to run the announcement because of long-standing policy.
According to newspaper representatives, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette charges a minimal fee and has content length requirements, but does run announcements on a regular basis for heterosexual couples, including mixed race couples. They do not run same-sex announcements because the state of Arkansas does not legally recognize those unions.

Gazette publisher Rusty Turner told Yahoo! News on Monday that he was not familiar with Renegar's request, but said it would not be published because of long-standing editorial policies.
"We run announcements for marriages that are legally recognized in Arkansas," Turner said."It is a long-established policy of the newspaper."
Turner said he was personally unaware of any similar requests from same-sex couples.
Renegar and his fiance, 28-year old Thomas Staed, plan to conduct a public commitment ceremony at their northwest Arkansas home this summer. Same-sex marriage is not currently recognized under Arkansas state law, although other states and the District of Columbia do recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions.
"We don't need a license to prove our love," Renegar said. "We'll get married in front of our family and friends...we know we're in love."
On Saturday, the engagement story was published on Yahoo! and immediately drew the attention of friends and family on social media sites such as Facebook, as well as KNWA, a local television news outlet.
"My friends are just amazing," Renegar said. "They started calling and texting me and asking when it would be in the newspaper."
Local activist Jay Phillips was one of the people to join Renegar's cause. Through his contacts at GetEqual.com and Change.org, Phillips initiated an online petition drive to apply pressure on the newspaper to change its policies.
"I contacted (publisher Rusty Turner) to give him an advanced notice of our intent to build public awareness of their discriminatory policy," Phillips told Yahoo! News. "It's my opinion that he's willing to progress on the issue, but he is reasonably worried about blow-back from his conservative readers."
Turner said there was no plans currently under way to examine the policy or grant an exception for Renegar.
Phillips said some apprehension on the newspaper's part was understandable.
"This is a very progressive area in a red state," Phillips said. "Mr. Turner is very justified to be cautious, but it is wrong."
Renegar said he thought the newspaper's policy was outdated and simply needed to be changed to keep up with the times. "Maybe they just need to take another look at their policies and change them," he said. "It is the right of any couple to be able to share their love and happiness...it's validating (source: Yahoo News)

AoA Hosts Webinar on HIV/AIDS and Aging on January 25th

In the last 30 years since the first diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS, the epidemic has changed and older adults are at greater risk than ever. On Wednesday, January 25th, the Administration on Aging (AoA) will hold a webinar on HIV/AIDS and aging to explore community programs and resources associated with positive aging and prevention. The Graying of HIV/AIDS: Community Resources for the Aging Services Network will offer a webinar Wednesday, January 25, 2:00–3:00 pm Eastern. Presentations will last 60 minutes with a question and answer session to follow.

The misconception that older adults do not have sex and cannot get HIV has led to a lack of HIV testing among this population. HIV risk doesn’t stop at 50. In fact, men and women over age 50 account for 17% of all new HIV and AIDS diagnoses. In 2009, people aged 50 and older accounted for 23% of AIDS diagnoses in the United States. Yet older adults are often overlooked in the ongoing HIV/AIDS conversation. Lack of public education about HIV/AIDS targeted at older people means this demographic is less knowledgeable about how to protect themselves against infection. Join us for the Graying of HIV/AIDS, because together we can: educate, empower, prevent.
To Register for the Online Event
  1. Go to https://aoa-events.webex.com/aoa-events/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=668855062 External Web Site Policy
  2. Click “Register”.

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