Friday, August 31, 2012

Throw Down Friday

 
According to National Stonewall Democrats (NSD) website it has identified at least 534 official LGBT participants for the 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention in Charlotte, NC next week. This record number of participants represents a marked increase in LGBT participation from four years ago in Denver where just over 350 LGBT participants were identified. And yes, even Arkansas has a first time participant which NSD cites as "meeting goal" of those jurisdictional expectations. At post time COP24/7 speculates that either the Honorable Kathy Webb or Dr. Jay Barth both of Little Rock is that "one" possible delegate. (www.democrats.org/2012-convention-delegates-list  ) Although this representation is applauded. Its no secret that Obama didn't carry the state in 08 and will not carry it in 2012. Also interesting in this mix is the amount of local LGBT anti-Obama rants that have been circulating from social media to e-mail jokes, picture's and other insensitive material about a candidate that has made significant steps in including the LGBTQ community.
"What an amazing and inspiring convention this will be," said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats. "With over 530 LGBT participants identified for this year's convention, we not only set a new record for LGBT participation in a national convention, we have sent the clearest message possible that the Democratic Party is the party of inclusion." From indications the activities surrounding the convention will have a very different tone and apparent "openness" to its environment.
 
"Dedicated activists," continued Davis, "including those at the DNC and National Stonewall Democrats, made this historic moment possible by doggedly insisting that LGBT people have a seat at the table and by demonstrating the strength our community can bring to party politics. We didn't sit around wishing for a better Party, we made the Party better for LGBT people."
Pride in the Party, National Stonewall Democrats' program to increase LGBT participation at conventions and within the various state and national Democratic Party organizations, was launched in 2007 with director Rick Boylan at the helm.
 
Of course all of this comes on the heels of the completion of the GOP Big Top extravaganza held last week in Tampa. It was three nights of "all things" right wing not to mention "wing nut" messages for their base and possible converts. With all that was said including that odd Clint Eastwood mash-up, its time to move on to Charlotte for Act 2 of this season's political thunderdome! You can view the entire list of those representing Arkansas at the the link provided above. If you are not registered to vote, then by golly it's high time that you do so.
 
2012 Democratic National Convention LGBT Participation by the Numbers
 
Total LGBT Participants: 534
LGBT Delegates: 486 (116.27% of goal; 8.15% of the 5963 total delegates expected in Charlotte.)
LGBT Alternates: 23
LGBT Committee Members: 20
LGBT Pages: 5
Jurisdictions that met or exceeded goal: 38
Jurisdictions that missed their goal: 15
Jurisdictions that met or exceeded their 2008 LGBT participation: 44
Transgender participants: 11 (7 delegates, 3 committee members, 1 alternate)
Other notable facts
Three states are sending LGBT delegates for the first time:
Mississippi
Arkansas
Alaska
- For the first time, all 50 states set numerical goals for LGBT delegates
- For the first time, there will be at least one LGBT delegate from every state
- The largest LGBT delegation is from California with 76 total LGBT participants
- 6 States are sending 1 LGBT delegate (AK, ID, KS, MS, ND, VT)
 

Frank Ocean to Perform on "SNL" Fall Premiere

Frank Ocean's June 9 television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was apparently so successful that NBC has decided to entrust him with their marquee musical performance slot. If you have not been in the know, Ocean created a somewhat "sensation" on his  Jimmy Fallon step off with his ground breaking music. I've listened to some of his "Channel Orange" drop and I found it quite, "let's just say "interesting."  Ocean has been announced as the musical guest on 38th season premiere of Saturday Night Live on September 15th. Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane will host.

That will happen only nine days after another high profile television gig. The hip-hop singer/songwriter has been announced to perform September 6 at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, where his "Swim Good" video is nominated in three categories. Rihanna will also perform.
2012_08_29_Channel_Orange_200Frank Ocean's major-label debut channel ORANGE debuted July 10 on digital and made No. 1 on iTunes in 10 countries. The album has attracted critical reviews, international attention and much support after Ocean revealed that the songs were inspired by his first love—another young man. Ocean posted on his Tumblr on July 3 to deliver an account of his same-sex relationship. After being at the center of a media firestorm for weeks, Ocean told The Guardian that he decided to open up about his sexuality for his "own sanity."
 
"I'm happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin' boulder on my chest," said Ocean. "I wished at 13 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way."
channel ORANGE marks the first time an out artist has topped the R&B or hip-hop charts.
 
 

New Music: Anita Baker - 'Lately'

By , From About.com
 
 
It's been seven years since R&B-jazz singer Anita Baker released a studio album. Actually, if you don't count her 2005 holiday album, where she covered classic Christmas tunes, it's been eight years, going back to the September 2004 release of My Everything, which was her sixth album, and her first for her  current label, Blue Note Records. But that musical drought is expected to come to an end later this year when Blue Note releases her upcoming project, Only Forever, on Oct. 23, 2012. And the first single off the album is a tune that' should already be familiar to devoted R&B fans: a remake of "Lately," the beautifully lush love song that was originally a hit for model-turned-singer (turned actor) Tyrese Gibson in the late '90s. As Anita's remake shows, she may have been away for awhile, but she clearly hasn't lost her passion for music or singing. This is actually one of two versions of the song; the other, which is a duet featuring Tyrese himself, is due for release at a later date. For now, you can stream Anita's solo version via the link below. "Lately" audio stream (via soundcloud.com)  From the COP 24/7 point of view and as La Baker devotee, I have almost all her music in numerous forms ranging from those old cassettes to downloads. I simply have held on to it in all delivery forms and do listen in all mediums.  No matter, Baker's return to the music scene is not a minute too late for my listening taste. I've always loved her smoky siren of a voice that calls to your senses from the shadows of pleasure and desire. Her far reaching and full throated stances of her past work such as "No one in the World" from her "Rapture" CD to "You Belong to Me," from her "Rythem of Love," works have always been among my favorites. Her music is timeless Baker's capabilities as singer whom weaves notes into cresendo estacy is among the best and often stands alone in her own right. The song "Lately," proves that although Ms. Baker took a music sabattical doesn't mean that she lost her luster to descend upon her fans ready to charm them into a melodic euprhoria. 
 
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This and That Thursday

Online ministry already blaming Hurricane Isaac on gays

Chaplain John McTernan has said God's judgment of gays caused the tropical storm nearing New Orleans
 

From the fringe left, here we go again with more outrageous dogma and insipid rhetoric to support some outlandish premise that has no substance. An anti-gay online ministry is already blaming Hurricane Isaac on gays. Yes yet again, gays rule the world and the weather.... In the meantime
as the United States prepares for the storm, arriving nearly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans which left 1,800 dead, author and chaplain John McTernan has decided who is at fault.
Chaplain John McTernan is already blaming Hurricane Isaac on gays, calling it 'God's judgment'. On his website Defend Proclaim The Faith, he says the storm must be God’s judgment on gays because the hurricane may hit the New Orleans area where gay event Southern Decadence is planning to take place on Wednesday (29 August). Really? Say it ain't so!
McTernan says the fact the two hurricanes are seven years apart is ‘biblically important’ as God created the universe in seven days.
He said: ‘The church, city and nation have not repented and the homosexual agenda is far worse than it was in 2005.
‘New Orleans is still hosting Southern Decadence with open homosexuality manifesting in the streets of the city.
 
‘It could be that God is putting an end to this city and its wickedness.’
The storm, which has already killed 10 people in Haiti, has sent shockwaves in the U.S.
President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, allowing federal funds and aid to flow to local authorities.
 
McTernan says: ‘Let’s all watch this very closely, because if New Orleans is destroyed, it is a sure sign that the final judgment for the national sin of America has arrived.’
The hurricane, which is now forecast as category one, may also stop the Republican National Convention in Florida.
 
Bad weather has reduced the opening of Mitt Romney’s coronation as the party’s presidential candidate to a muted session of less than two minutes.
 
However party officials have said prime time speaking slots for the rest of the week, by Romney, his wife Ann and running-mate Paul Ryan, remain unchanged.
 
 
RECORD 483 (96.6%) of FORTUNE 500
PROVIDE SEXUAL ORIENTATION PROTECTION



 
Equality Forum, a national and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization reported that a record 483 (96.6%) of the 2012 FORTUNE 500 Companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment non-discrimination policies.

In 2007, Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan voted in favor of the unsuccessful attempt to amend the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Gov. Romney opposes workplace discrimination, but has taken no position on including sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA.


President Obama and Vice President Biden support amending ENDA to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Republican platform takes no position on amending ENDA.


“With Gov. Romney’s support, amending ENDA to include sexual orientation and gender identity would be a slam dunk,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “His equivocation on amending ENDA makes Gov. Romney out of step with the FORTUNE 500 and public opinion.”


Starting in 2004, Equality Forum in collaboration with Professor Louis Thomas, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School has made the business case to FORTUNE 500 CEOs, HR Directors and members of their Board of Directors as well as made the shareholder case to their largest institutional shareholders. In 2004, there were 323 (64.6%) of the FORTUNE 500 Companies that provided sexual orientation workplace protection.


“Ninety percent (90%) of Americans mistakenly believe that sexual orientation workplace protection is provided under the federal ENDA. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia mandate workplace sexual orientation protection,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “In most of America, gays and lesbians can be fired solely because of their sexual orientation and without any misconduct or violation of corporate policy.”


“Equality Forum calls on Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to include sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA and pass that amendment to ENDA in the lame duck session of Congress,” stated Lazin. “Over 96% of the FORTUNE 500 companies and public opinion support including sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA. There is overwhelming bipartisan and business support for protecting LGBT Americans in the workplace and no rational basis for delay in providing a level playing field for all Americans.”


According to recent polls, over 75% of Americans support the inclusion of sexual orientation in federal ENDA including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, seniors, Catholics and small business owners, among others.


To find the 17 (3.4%) of the 2012 FORTUNE 500 companies that do not provide sexual orientation protection and the 483 (96.6%) that do provide sexual orientation protection, visit www.equalityforum.com/fortune500.
 

Obama administration takes new action to improve public health

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new investments that will help strengthen the nation’s public health workforce and fight disease and illness.

“These investments are part of our work to promote public health and they will help strengthen our efforts to fight disease and illness before they happen,” Secretary Sebelius said.

The initiatives include:
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is awarding $23 million in grants to 37 Public Health Training Centers to provide training to current and future public health workers in key public health issues such as nutrition and epidemiology, and to enhance the workforce’s basic public health skills.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $25 million to support fellowship programs, similar to medical residencies, and placement of fellows in state and local public health departments, as well as expanding training programs for existing public health workers, focusing on e-learning. This includes funding for 227 new fellows in contract and field positions providing necessary screening services and community education, as well as critical assistance with ongoing public health challenges.
“Public health workers are on the front lines, educating their community members and doing the hard work to ensure we stay healthy and can respond to public health challenges when they arise,” HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., said. “These resources will help ensure they have the resources they need to do the job.”

For more information on HRSA’s Affordable Care Act-supported public health workforce grants, see bhpr.hrsa.gov/grants/publichealth/phtc.html
A list of grant awards is available at www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2012tables/120829publichealthtraining.html
For information about CDC fellowship programs, see www.cdc.gov/fellowships/
To learn about CDC’s e-learning opportunities, see www.cdc.gov/learning

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The View from COP 24/7

With the 2012 Election cycle winding its way to an all out full tilt. This week the GOP convention set's up its big top extravaganza in Tampa, I couldn't believe that this week is the 7th anniversary of that national disaster named Katrina that captivated the nation as well as myself. Wow, has time flown by and yet we all keep getting reminders of darker days amidst the ballyhoo of a Presidential campaign. How ironic nature can be to tweak our mindset to the poor response of government and the devastating consequences of those who are really out of touch with realities that are so "real" for many of us. Nevertheless, COP 24/7 keeps bringing it and sharing it with our unique mash up of news, views, links, videos and opinion pieces. Its all here for the taking! If you are not following us, bookmarked, opt-in e-mail, then come join us for the latest.

RNC 2012: Fla. gay Republicans welcome GOP convention
(sourced from The Advocate, Chris Johnson)


Undaunted by an impeding hurricane that led to the cancellation of the first day of the Republican National Convention, gay GOP leaders in Florida hosted a welcoming event Sunday for convention participants interested in a more LGBT-inclusive Republican Party.
Heads of three chapters of the National Log Cabin Republicans — those from Tampa Bay, Miami and Broward County — held the event at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa, along with leaders from the national organization — including Log Cabin executive director R. Clarke
Jim Pease, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Tampa Bay (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Cooper — as a prelude to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., leading to the anointment of Mitt Romney as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. COP 24/7 has not be able to determine if there is any Arkansas delegation that attended this event. According to their website, www.logcabin.org, Arkansas doesn't have a chapter or a contact person. Even though I fully understand to each his own, but I've always had a bit of hard time to reconcile their statement that the "Log Cabin works to build a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party by promoting the core values of limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense while advocating for the freedom and equality of gay and lesbian Americans."  I don't recall the presumptive nominee Romney nor his VP candidate Ryan espousing any of this during any campaign speech or in any interview. Of course stranger things are bound to happen as election day draws nearer and the "mixed" signals being touted by this outfit will require further exploration and disussion.
Attendees expressed support for Romney as the Republican standard-bearer in the presidential election despite the candidate’s lack of support for LGBT rights and positions such as support for a Federal Marriage Amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country.
Jim Pease, president of Log Cabin Republicans Tampa Bay, was among those who professed support for Romney because of the candidate’s business experience and conservative fiscal policies.
“I’m glad to see someone who has a good business background and I think this is what we need,” Pease said. “In my opinion, we’re headed toward a cliff with the accelerator on the floor. We need to slam on the brakes, do something, make a right-hand turn because we’re headed toward a cliff the way it is.”

Asked whether Romney’s opposition to LGBT rights was troublesome, Pease replied, “If we go over the cliff economically, gay rights is going to be the least of our problems.”
Mimi Planas, co-chair of Log Cabin Republicans of Miami, said she’s voting for Romney because she isn’t happy with the economy and thinks he will manage the country’s economy better than the Obama administration.
“I’m gay and get that whole thing, but I also have other things in my life,” Planas said. “There are one-issue voters that only care about that. I’m not one of those people. There are many issues that we got to look at. We got to look at national defense, we got to look at the economy, the spending, so many different things. Yes, that’s one issue and we’d like that to be different, and one day it will be.”
Attendees came from across the country. Rich Weissman, 58 and a gay Portland, Ore., Republican activist, said he came to the Republican convention for the first time to generate support for marriage equality within the Republican Party.

“I feel that the times are such today that people like me who are conservative, who believe in Republican values when it comes to things like the economy, when it comes to things like health care, jobs and those issues — but who are gay — need to speak up and become part of the party and change the way in which the party looks at critical, critical LGBT issues, and that’s why I’m here,” Weissman said.
Among the ways that Weissman he’s speaking out is “simply being” at the convention while talking to lots of other attendees to “assure that organizations like Log Cabin have a significant, significant presence.”
Weissman, who’s Jewish, married his partner one-and-a-half years ago in Portland, Ore., in a ceremony officiated by a conservative rabbi. Weissman said he considers himself married, even though Oregon doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
Event attendees were as dismissive of the party platform as they were of Romney’s lack of support for LGBT rights. The document was recently revealed to include language that limits marriage to one man, one woman; attacks the Obama administration for failing to defend DOMA; criticizes judges who rule in favor of marriage equality; and endorses a Federal Marriage Amendment.
Pease said the platform “sucks,” but added the manifesto means nothing because “the candidates follow their own their policies” without regard to party platforms.
“I haven’t figured out exactly why they do them, but I guess it gives somebody something to do on the weekend,” Pease said.
Planas said Republicans who support LGBT rights “may not have gotten everything they wanted” out the platform, but noted Log Cabin was credentialed to take part in the platform discussions and the platform committee had discussions on amendments to soften the language that were ultimately rejected.
“It’s disappointing, but we were there and we stated our case, which is the first time ever that’s happened,” Planas said. “So we’re making progress, we’re out there, we’re stating our case and we’re being invited — which is more important than anything — being invited into the Republican Party, so those are big wins for us.”
Pease also had less than kind words for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the former Republican who ran for U.S. Senate as an independent and endorsed President Obama in
Sandy Steen, vice chair of Log Cabin Republicans Broward County (Blade photo by Michael Key)
 
an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times. Crist has been the subject of gay rumors for years, though has said he isn’t gay.
“Charlie’s out for Charlie,” Pease said. “We know he’s turned his back on the Republican Party. They don’t want him. He has no choice but to go the Democratic Party, so he’s got to start doing what he needs to do to make Charlie viable in the Democratic Party.”
Asked if Crist is a closeted gay man, Pease replied, “I have no idea; I never slept with him. I don’t really care.”
Not all the local Log Cabin leaders in attendance at the party were gay. Sandy Steen, who’s 73 and vice chair of the Broward County-Florida chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, is straight and took a leadership role in the chapter because of the organization’s support for her employer of 34 years, a former Broward County Property Appraiser and Republican.
“I know it’s rather unique for a straight woman to be president and vice president of the Log Cabin club, but my husband and I are fiscal conservatives and social moderates, and I don’t find that unusual at all,” Steen said.

Steen, former mayor of Wilton Manors, Fla., a gay enclave, was optimistic that Romney would change his less than favorable positions on LGBT rights, saying, “I’m hoping he’ll change some of his views once he is running, and, quite frankly, I think Obama supported gay marriage — I don’t think he really personally supports it — but he did it as a campaign strategy. And quite frankly, we need to have a fiscal conservative in the White House. … I think [Romney] can create jobs; he can get our economy going again, and that’s what’s important.”
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Take OUT

ARcare Receives $500,000 Grant to Expand HIV Services in Arkansas

Funding will benefit women, infants, children and youth unable to afford HIV healthcare

ARcare, a community health center providing medical and other services in Arkansas and Kentucky, has been awarded a federal grant of $500,000 to provide a full range of HIV specialty medical and social services for women, infants, children and youth who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and living in 53 counties of northwest, southwest, north central and northeast Arkansas.

The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Ryan White Part D Healthcare Program. The funding will expand access to care for HIV positive individuals who otherwise are unable to afford HIV health care and support services. Such services include HIV specialty and primary care visits, mental health services, oral health services, medical and non-medical case management, nutritional counseling, transportation assistance, adherence education and monitoring, outreach, and other services either at an ARcare medical clinic, an ARcare HIV Service Access Center, or with partnering agencies and healthcare systems.

“ARcare has been a Part D Grantee for the past 11 years, serving only Northeast Arkansas. Now, with this new competitive grant, we are able to expand our medical services to women, infants, children and youth in parts of the state that have never had access to the benefits of this grant, including the entire western half of Arkansas” said Dr. J. Dan Moore, HIV Services Program Director for ARcare. “We can now partner with local HIV providers and other specialists in the new service area to help assure that the target populations have access to health care services. This grant will further our mission at ARcare of providing ‘Health for All’.”

ARcare currently provides HIV services as a subcontractor in five of the six HIV service districts for the Arkansas Department of Health’s HIV Services Ryan White Part B Program, providing HIV social services at 14 ARcare HIV Service Access Center sites throughout Arkansas. ARcare also provides direct HIV and primary medical care and other social services through the Ryan White Part C Grant in North Central and Northeast Arkansas at ARcare clinics located in Conway, Kensett, Batesville, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.

This grant is awarded by the Health and Human Services (HHS) to 114 community-based organizations, university hospitals and health departments nationwide in the amount of more than $68 million nationwide to ensure that women, infants, children, and youth living with HIV/AIDS receive comprehensive primary HIV medical care and support services.

“With these investments, we’re targeting our resources to the communities that need them most,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “This will help women, infants and children with HIV get the care and treatment they need by increasing access to comprehensive, coordinated primary care.”

For more information about HIV services at ARcare, please visit http://www.arcarehiv.com. ARcare has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level III Patient Centered Medical Home, and was the first community health center nationwide to receive this distinction.
 
Augusta-based ARcare, a Baptist Health affiliate, is a private nonprofit corporation developed to provide affordable care to meet the primary medical and dental care needs of the residents of Arkansas through a network of primary care clinics, dental clinics, pharmacies and wellness centers. Dr. Steven Collier helped start the organization in 1986. Today, ARcare serves 30 communities. ARcare received the State Governor’s Quality Award for Achievement, and also serves as the state contractor for the Special Services Program. For more information and a complete list of clinics and affiliations, visit www.arcare.net  J. Dan Moore, M.D.

 Advertising Campaign on Talent Search
 
The CDC is recruiting additional Let's Stop HIV Together (www.ActAgainstAIDS.org) campaign participants...specifically young, HIV positive men and their partners for campaign posters, billboards, digital/video stories, etc. Do you know any young men fitting this description who may be interested? If so, please feel free to contact me at 954-821-2019 or 404-639-5227 or asantana1@cdc.gov. Our photo/video shoot will take place in September. The dates should be finalized in the coming weeks, COP 24/7 will put it out as soon as it's announced. Also we will update on the local "Know Now" campaign that has been finding its footing and direction in its effort to address this health delimma in Arkansas.

Let's Stop HIV Together is a new national communication campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that features images of individuals living with HIV and their loved one or friend. The campaign conveys that on a personal level, individuals living with HIV are --- real, everyday people who are, mothers, fathers, friends, partners, brothers, sisters, bosses, wives, co-workers, and daughters. On a national level, the campaign raises awareness about the impact of HIV and fights stigma about people living with HIV. The campaign is a part of CDC's 5-year Act Against AIDS <http://www.actagainstaids.org/> campaign launched by the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC in 2009.
 
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Overdrive

States continue to move forward, build Affordable Insurance Exchanges


 Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New York, and Vermont have received new grants to help support the establishment of Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Starting in 2014, consumers and small businesses will have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance through an Exchange – a one-stop marketplace where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs and have the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress.
“We continue to support states as they move forward building an Exchange that works for them,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Thanks to the health care law, Americans will have more health insurance choices and the ability to compare insurance plans.” Arkansas has been on the move with organizing meetings and plans on how to recruit and train hundreds of temporary workers to enroll uninsured Arkansans. According to the state's exchange planning manager Cynthia Crone the task of selecting partners and discovering the workforce will be the task of the Consumer Assistance Advisory Committee. Even as Mrs. Sebelius's announcement rolled out, local planning has outpaced other states as only Arkansas and Delware are engaging directly with the federal government to operate the exchanges. Enrollment in the programs is slated to begin October 2013 and some 572,000 residents are expected to be shopping the exchanges for affordable products regulated by the state Insurance Department. Local community based organizations will have an opportunity to bid on being apart of the training infrasturcture with workers being employed for about six months and paid about $12 an hour outlined by Crone.

The statement also cited that in every state, Exchanges will allow consumers to shop for and enroll in private health plans that meet their needs. Consumers will be able to learn if they are eligible for tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, or other health care programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Small employers will be eligible to receive tax credits for coverage purchased for employees through the Exchange. These competitive marketplaces make purchasing health insurance easier and more understandable and offer consumers and small businesses increased competition and choice.
Today’s awards will give states additional resources and flexibility to establish an Exchange. California, Hawaii, Iowa, and New York today have been awarded Level One Exchange Establishment grants, which provide one year of funding to states that have begun the process of building their Exchange. Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, and Vermont were awarded Level Two Establishment grants, which are provided to states that are further along in building their Exchange and offers funding over multiple years.

Previously, 49 states, the District of Columbia and four territories received grants to begin planning their Exchanges. With today’s awardees, 34 states and the District of Columbia have also received Establishment grants to begin building their Exchanges.

On June 29, HHS announced a funding opportunity providing states with 10 additional opportunities to apply for funding to establish a state-based Exchange, state Partnership Exchange, or prepare state systems for a Federally-facilitated Exchange. States can apply for Exchange grants through the end of 2014, and may use funds during the initial start-up year. This schedule ensures that states have the support and time necessary to build an Exchange that best fits the needs of their residents.
A detailed breakdown of each grant award and what each state plans to do with its Exchange funding is available through the map tool on Healthcare.gov, http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/05/exchanges05232011a.html.
For more information on Exchanges, including fact sheets, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/exchanges.


Local CBO Grows and HELP's Community

The Living Affected Corporation has undertaken a growing initiative under a new Community Gardens Project funded through a Argenta beautification grant received by Argenta Presbyterian Church. Since the group talks about "food" as a social determinant within our "Housing, Education, Food,Treatment, Employment "concept, we thought it ideal that perhaps we consider raising some food organically as a continuing symbol of sustaining one's self and developing a new skill set." said Chief Operating Officer Cornelius Mabin. He continued, " if the project scales up, we will need volunteers to come share their gardening experience and those who can help us make it a success." The group will be following the fall growing season with planting fresh greens such as swiss chard, carrots, beets, specialty lettuces such as mesculan and spinach. (J. Mclaughlin, picutred)  Plus any additional vegetables that could be grown in the raise boxes of the venture will be explored. If you are interested in sharing your "green thumb" expertise reach out to LA Corp at 379-8203. September 28 will mark the debut event from STRILITE, LA Corps affiliate group which will commemerate Gay Men's Awareness Day with this outreach acitivity. Local life skills entities such as Workforce Systems, CADC, Better Community Developers and other participants will be on hand for a "one stop" shop to also address the organizations "H.E.F.T. E." concept. Services will be offered free along with complimentary food and beverages. Volunteer opportunities sponsorships, contributions and supporters are still being sought to assist with this longistics and coordination. Contact info@lacorponline or call 855-STRIITE for additional details.

HHS Seeks Input on Streamlining HIV Data Collection, Reducing Reporting Burden for HIV Grantees


Therefore the this begs the questions of  just how many different data systems, indicators, and reporting requirements must recipients of federal HIV grant funds navigate? How much time does it take to comply with these reporting requirements and does the reported information result in tangible improvements in the quality of federally funded HIV prevention, care, and treatment services? How do grantees manage different HIV reporting requirements from various federal agencies, and, importantly, what do grantees have to say about the best ways to streamline HIV data collection and reduce reporting burden? HHS wants to know.
In a previous AIDS.gov blog post, we discussed our work to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s call to streamline and standardize the collection, sharing, and processing of programmatic and fiscal data to simplify administration of HIV services grants.

Toward this aim, the Office of  HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) has launched Phase II of a multiphase project that will culminate in the development of HHS agency implementation plans for streamlining HIV data collection and reducing grantee reporting burden while preserving the capacity to monitor the quality of HIV services and report on program impact nationwide. By reducing undue reporting burden we believe that grantees will free-up capacity that can be devoted to the delivery of HIV services. But to be sure we take steps that meaningfully and measurably achieve our goals, we need to hear from those most affected by the current HIV grant reporting requirements.

To better understand these reporting requirements from grantees’ and sub-grantees’ perspectives, we have published a Request for Information (RFI) “Guidance on Data Streamlining and Reducing Undue Reporting Burden for HHS-funded HIV Prevention, Treatment, and Care Services Grantees,” which invites respondents to share recommendations on such matters as:
  • How much time, resources, and personnel costs are required to meet federal HIV grants administration requirements?
  • Which requirements are most burdensome and which are most useful for program planning, monitoring, evaluation, or program improvements?
  • What specific changes in federal, state, local, or tribal government policies, improvements in public health infrastructure, or other modifications are needed to achieve an optimized balance between data streamlining, reporting burden, and outcome monitoring?
  • What specific policies and infrastructure are needed to standardize data requirements at the national, state, and local levels across federal programs supporting HIV/AIDS services?
  • What specific solutions have grantees, sub-grantees, or contractors implemented to manage the administration requirements for data collection, monitoring, and reporting?
  • Which required indicators and data elements can be eliminated without affecting adversely the capacity to monitor outcomes of HHS HIV services programs?
  • What extant HIV data reporting systems or approaches to data reporting are the most effective, efficient, and acceptable for grantees? What recommendations would you offer for facilitating both data reporting and data sharing between funders and grantees?
  • How best to measure our progress streamlining data collection and reducing reporting burden?
We appreciate that this is not a simple task and that it’s important to balance the need for information about how federal HIV funds are being used with an awareness that grantees do not have unlimited capacity to report on every potential HIV program item of interest. As such, we welcome your thoughts, perspectives and concerns about this important undertaking. Electronic responses to the RFI are preferred and may be emailed to HIVOpenData@hhs.gov by September 21, 2012. Readers should feel free to use the comments option on www.blog.aids.gov  Somebody do something about this tidal wave of paper drowning agencies before they can actually do the work that they are suppose to be doing. Let's stop the insanity now!!!


 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Out Post

SBGA Summit Takes Flight in ATL

The 6th Annual SBGA ( State of Black Gay America) Summit will take place during Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride Weekend, August 29 - September 1, 2012. This years theme is "Embracing our Collective Power to Influence Change." Author and CNBC commentator Keith Boykin and NBJC Senior Fellow, Ms. J.C. Wholley are scheduled to appear. The event is designed to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the African-American Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community, while also addressing issues and challenges facing the African-American Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. The African-American LGBT Community faces many challenges in the plight to gain equal rights and freedom. As we continue the fight against racism, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination, we must unite as one community in order to begin the much needed dialogue between our community and our allies. More importantly we must be proactive in securing our community’s future. Established in September 2007 with a mission to educate, empower, and encourage members of the African-American LGBT Community on issues and challenges  impacting our political, spiritual, social and economic quality of life.
The SBGA Summit provides an opportunity for local and national leaders to meet with members of the LGBT community in an effort to engage in an information sharing session designed to stimulate discussion on issues specific to the LGBT Community.
The SBGA Summit consists of dialogue and presentations from a distinguished panel of subject matter experts who engage the audience on a number of key agenda items and issues specific to this demographic along with appropriate strategies and solutions to address such issues.
At the end of the SBGA Summit, there is a call to action for members of the LGBT community.  The Call To Action (CTA) is intended to empower individuals to take appropriate action with respect to issues facing the LGBT community.  The CTA is also intended to establish a formal caucus of Black Gay Leaders that will speak for and about issues affecting the LGBT community. For more info on this important round table action click it to: www.sbgasummit.org


Latino AIDS Commission Collaborates in Arkansas

The Latino AIDS Commission of New York City and local community based organization, The Living Affected Corporation (www.livingaffected.blogspot.com) will be collaborating on additional capacity building utilizing focus groups surveying the use of social media among Black MSM statewide. Slated for September 25-26, the focus groups will be used as a further community discovery process as a conduit to disseminating future HIV/ AIDS risk reduction messages and themes. "I found this to be a unique opportunity to have access to these experts for this project with hopes of expanding our scope and extending our services to the latino community," said CEO Diedra Levi. Continuing, "collaborating from different cultural visions and approaches is vital to making connections throughout the state. Unfortunately we've not made as many inroads within the latino community as should be done. Yet work such as this could be the beginning of creating a frame to engage other people of color communities."  The group will also work in concert with Willie Rhodes, ADH LGBTQ Outreach Coordinator whom has acted as the local point person for the project and been instrumental in securing logistics and details.

Since its inception, the Commission has been directed by Dennis de Leon, a tireless advocate and national leader of the Latino community struggle to address the epidemic until his passing in December 2009. Guillermo Chacón, former Vice-President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and a national leader on Latinos and HIV/AIDS issues was named President by the Board of Directors in November 2009.

The Commission is dedicated to resolving the HIV crisis in the Latino community, where social stigma, poverty, language barriers, immigration status fears, and access to care, deter testing and increase the infection rate. Over 200,000 Latinos in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are living with HIV/AIDS. The fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., Latinos constitute 14% of the U.S. population but account for over 19% of the AIDS cases.
 

According to organizers incentives will be offered to a limited number of participants based on a first come first serve basis. Applications can be obtained from the The Living Affected offices at 401 North Maple Suite A or contact the organization at 501.379.8203.

September Speakers at the Clinton School
"Arkansas Voices for Service," hosted by the Arkansas Department of Human Service's Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support

Tuesday, September 4 at 5:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- The Arkansas Service Commission is hosting a multi-city listening tour to hear Arkansans' voices about service and volunteerism. The commission will compile information from the tour and data from other sources to draft a service plan for submission to Governor Beebe and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss and Life," author Marie Tillman
Wednesday, September 5 at 5:15 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing before
- Tillman is the co-founder and president of the Pat Tillman Foundation, a national leader in providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their spouses. She will discuss her book "The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss and Life."

"Henry V," a panel discussion with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Thursday, September 6 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with Arkansas Repertory Theatre
- Join us for a panel discussion with cast members of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of "Henry V," one of William Shakespeare’s most famous history plays. In a panel moderated by The Rep’s producing artistic director Bob Hupp, members of the cast of “Henry V” will discuss the process of bringing Shakespeare’s characters to life for a modern audience.

"The Last Great Senate," author Ira Shapiro
Monday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- The former general counsel and ambassador in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the Clinton administration, Shapiro will discuss his book, "The Last Great Senate," which argues that the U.S. Senate of the late 1970s rose to meet domestic and foreign policy challenges during a tumultuous time in American history.

"The Non Nonprofit: For Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success," author Steve Rothschild
Tuesday, September 11 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
-A former executive at General Mills, Rothschild founded Twin Cities RISE!, an anti-poverty organization that provides long-term job training in Minneapolis St. Paul. In "The Non Nonprofit," Rothschild provides a road map to maximize the impact of any social venture through his seven for-profit principles to build nonprofit success.

"Cancer Schmancer," actress Fran Drescher
Friday, September 14 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is the president and founder of the Cancer Schmancer Movement and Foundation, which she started to transform women from patients into medical consumers and to shift the priority from finding a cancer cure towards prevention and early detection of the disease.

"The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program," founder and director Lori Pompa
Monday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Pompa is the founder and executive director of the Inside-Out Center, which brings college students and incarcerated men and women together to study inside prison creating avenues for social change through education and civic engagement.

Aneesh Chopra, former Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States
Tuesday, September 18 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- As the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Chopra worked to advance President Obama’s technology agenda by encouraging government-wide coordination. Chopra left the White House in early 2012 to rejoin the Advisory Board Company. He announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in July.

"A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver," author Mark Shriver
Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- Shriver will discuss his book, "A Good Man," a memoir about his father who founded the Peace Corps and designed President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Mark Shriver is the senior vice president of U.S. programs at Save the Children, a leading independent organization that promotes programs for children n the United States and around the world.

Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas
Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- The September 5 issue of the Arkansas Times will celebrate 50 of the most influential people in Arkansas in a wide variety of fields, ranging from furniture makers and gardeners to retailers and philanthropists. At the Clinton School and other venues, a number of the honorees will conduct classes and demonstrations of their expertise.

"The U.S. Foreign Service: Behind the Scenes of American Diplomacy," author Nicholas Kralev
Tuesday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- Kralev will discuss his new book, "America's Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and the Humanizing of Diplomacy," which is based on visits to more than 50 U.S. embassies and interviews with 600 career diplomats, including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

Okello Sam, founder of Hope North
Wednesday, September 26 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Sam, a former child solider in Uganda, purchased land in1998 in a safe area beyond the war zone protected by the Nile River and started Hope North, a large rural campus for refugees, orphans and former soldiers. Almost 15 years later, Hope North has evolved into an accredited secondary school with an international arts center, vocational training and a working farm.




 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The COP 24/7 Roll ON

Trevor Project Founder Rolls to Little Rock

James Lecesne is scheduled to share his insights September 28 -29 in support of local community based organization CAR and its work with LGBTQ youth. According to the The Trevor Project website (www.trevorproject.org ) of which Mr. Lecense founded, he has been telling stories for over twenty-five years. He created several one-person shows including WORD OF MOUTH, which won the NY Drama Desk Award and The NY Outer Critics Circle Award. TREVOR, which started out as a piece he performed in WORD OF MOUTH, was later turned into a short film and went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short . TREVOR also inspired THE TREVOR PROJECT. He created THE ROAD HOME: Stories of Children of War, which was presented at the Asia Society in NYC as well as at the International Peace Initiative at the Hague. For TV, he adapted Armistead Maupin’s FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY and has written for the popular TV show WILL & GRACE. James also founded The After The Storm Foundation, a non profit arts organization designed to benefit the youth of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and he is the executive producer of the award winning documentary film, AFTER THE STORM, which inspired high school drama clubs and community theaters around the country to get involved in the movement to revive New Orleans. He has written three novels for young adults, and he is the editor of an anthology entitled THE LETTER Q, a collection of letters written by queer writers to their younger selves. As an actor, James has appeared on stage and in TV and film. Favorites include Sex & The City, Home for the Holidays, the original off-Broadway production of Caryl Churchill’s CLOUD 9, the 30th anniversary production of BOYS IN THE BAND, EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES, written and directed by Eve Ensler, Doug Wright’s, I AM MY OWN WIFE and the 2012 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's THE BEST MAN on Broadway. He teaches Story & Structure at the New York Film Academy. For more info on tickets or sponsorships call 501.244-9690 Congrats to ED Romo and the gang at CAR for creating another unique and "teachable moment" in the community. Innovative and creative programming such this is invauluable and highly encouraged.

HIV Arkansas proudly presents the Second Annual HIV Awareness Walk and Public Forum


Walk-1-e1341411622224 Saturday, September 8th, 2012 will prove to be another successful day for HIV Awareness as we host our 2nd Annual HIV Awareness Walk.

Please make your plans to join us as HIV Arkansas members from Fayetteville and Ft Smith, advocates, friends, family and local community supporters put their feet on the ground “STEPPIN’ UP FOR HIV AWARENESS”!

The opening ceremony will begin at 2pm on the main concourse stage of the Jones Center for Families in Springdale. The walk will take place outside on the track, unless it is raining and then we will walk indoors. Either way it will be a pleasant walk for all to enjoy.

We are challenging all our friends and members to take the “STEP UP” challenge and join us. It’s time to make a statement about HIV and the best way to bring awareness to the issue is with a big turnout for this event.

Also this will be the major fundraising event for HIV Arkansas and the NWA Regional HIV Clinic.

Contact HIV Arkansas at events@HIVarkansas.org to volunteer to walk or sponsor! or you can visit our HIV Walk page to download pdf versions of the individual registration, sponsorship and corporate sponsorship forms.

ONLINE DONATIONS

If you would like to sponsor someone, or make a donation on-line just click on the donation button. After you have entered your credit card information and clicked REVIEW DONATION AND CONTINUE button, on the second page there will be a line "Make a Notation", click on this line, a drop-down window will appear. Make your notation for the donation,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dashing Through Wednesday

Romeny To Rake Cash in the Rock

Its being reported that State GOP officials say Mitt Romney will visit Arkansas for a fundraiser today in Little Rock. Romney will arrive in the state fresh from the current meltdown of Rep. Todd Akins "I'm so sorry that I mis-spoke" bombshells earlier this week. Romeny has called for "misinformed" Adkins to step away from his bid, but Adkins is having none of it. Ryan has called " I'm not perfect and I'm sorry" Adkins to exit the race yet he's still undeterred. Meanwhile if that was not enough storm, there's hurricane Issac churning it's way toward Florida. What's the next shoe to drop as we keep connecting the dots.

Party spokeswoman Katherine Vasilos says Romney will be in Little Rock on Wednesday, but in true Romney fashion, "everyday folks" will not be invited unless you've got the big bucks for the honor. Why bother with the low hanging fruit folks when all that matters with this candidate is who's got the deepest pockets to get his attention or be apart of his circle. Yes the business leaders will be invited along with those who are well connected. All of this despite Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan talking about how they understand those of the middle classs, on medicare or marginalized by the system. Really? What this amounts too is a "hit and run" with the cash without any other public event that might get some local push back or some other protest.  It's the first Arkansas visit for Romney since he became the presumptive Republican nominee for president and the fundraiser comes less than a week before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The visit was first reported by Stephens Media Group and has been covered by all local media. An invitation to the fundraiser says receptions will be held at the Peabody Hotel followed by dinner at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock. The invitation also lists the Republican members of Arkansas' congressional delegation as special guests.

The dinner costs $50,000 per couple. The receptions range from $2,500 per person to $25,000 per couple. I checked my mail bag, nothing from Camp Romeny, but Team Obama is relentless in keeping in touch!  Unfortunately Romeny most likely will take Arkansas into his win column, but no matter what, please register to vote and vote as if your life depends on it. Because it just might...

CDC Now Recommends All Baby Boomers Receive One-time Hepatitis C Test

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released final expanded hepatitis C screening recommendations calling for all Americans born from 1945 through 1965 to get a one-time test for hepatitis C.
Ronald ValdiserriAimed at identifying more hidden infections among those most affected by the disease and reducing the rising toll of hepatitis C-related illness and death in the United States, the new recommendations expand CDC’s existing risk-based recommendations. Those called for testing only individuals with certain known risk factors for hepatitis C infection. Risk-based screening will continue to be important. But, that approach alone is not sufficient since more than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C – and most of them don’t know it. These 2 million
Dr. Ronald Valdiserri
persons account for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. More than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and deaths have been increasing steadily for over a decade and are projected to grow significantly in coming years.
In developing the recommendations, CDC cites studies showing that many baby boomers were infected with the virus decades ago, do not perceive themselves to be at risk, and have never been screened.
CDC estimates one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C. And with newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections, expanded testing – along with linkage to appropriate care and treatment – would prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives.
“A one-time blood test for hepatitis C should be on every baby boomer’s medical checklist,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The new recommendations can protect the health of an entire generation of Americans and save thousands of lives.”
The expanded recommendations have been finalized after a public comment period and were published in the August 17th issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.



Local CBO Raising Funds

Lucie's Place is having its annual rummage sale at Pulaski Heights Christian Church on September 22nd, from 7AM to 3PM. There will be music, food and great deals! Help them raise money to open a home for LGBT young adults in the Central Arkansas area. Here is the facebook event page.

If you have items you wish to donate, please send us an e-mail. They will officially start storing items at the church 2 weeks before the event, but if you are desperate to get rid of anything before then, let us know! We hope to see you there, the weather should be nice, so bring a friend or maybe your family dog!

We have set a goal of raising $5,000 from individual donations, before the end of 2012. This $5,000 will go towards the down payment on our home to house LGBT young adults in the Central Arkansas area... but we need your help! To donate online, please go to our Razoo page! Checks can be sent to us:

Lucie's Place
210 S. Pulaski St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

Please help them meet there goals and be sure to watch our Razoo page for updates on donations! Don't forget, all donations are now tax deductible! If you missed it, below is more information on what we have been up to!
 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

COP 24/7 Goes Triple X

My calendar is filled with many "X's" and "O's" citing the craziness of my schedule as well as trying to keep everything firing on all cylinders. For those of you who have shouted out to me that "I'm every Women" are so on the mark because it takes a hell of person to keep up this pace without going postal at some point. However, I managed it and try to do it in some fine fashion at the same time. Therefore, there's no time to keep waxing on about how I do it, now its time to just do it!...

Foot in Mouth Disease Rages ON

Even though the dangerous West Nile infection has been taking its toll, that other dastardly disease of "Foot in Mouth" ailment has raised its ugly head again, as we learn just how insipid and desperate some politicians can be. Here's how the Washington Blade reported it and COP 24/7 will comment on the other side this Wednesday. I'm sure that this story will have lots of click and play as we get ready for the GOP convention in Tampa and Mitt Romeny's "cash dash" through Little Rock this week. Stay tuned....

Akin ‘rape’ remarks draw attention to candidate’s anti-gay record

The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri has been thrust into the national spotlight following comments he made suggesting a woman can resist becoming pregnant after a “legitimate rape” — prompting LGBT advocates to decry not only his views on women but also his long history of opposition to LGBT rights.
Todd Akin, who’s seeking to oust Democrat Claire McCaskill from her seat representing Missouri in the U.S. Senate, raised eyebrows when he made comments in an interview that aired Sunday on St. Louis television station KTVI-TV after being asked if women who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault should have the option of abortion.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said. “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
The remarks ignited a media firestorm, particularly over the notion of what Akin would consider a “legitimate” rape. The next day, Akin apologized on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s radio show, saying his earlier remarks were “ill-conceived, and it was wrong.” Amid speculation that he would drop out of the race, Akin said he had no intention of quitting.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who’s leading Republican efforts to take control of the U.S. Senate, said Akin’s comments were “wrong, offensive and indefensible” and over the next 24 hours the candidate should consider what is best for him and people he’s seeking to represent in public office. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has reportedly withdrawn $5 million in advertising planned for the Missouri race.
Akin has an anti-gay record as a six-term congr
ssman representing Missouri in the U.S. House, where he has not only supported, but taken the lead, on measures targeting the LGBT community. He has consistently scored a “0″ on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual congressional scorecards.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Akin proposed an amendment in May — which the Republican-controlled panel adopted as part of major Pentagon spending legislation — to institute a “conscience clause” in U.S. code to allow service members to object to openly gay people in their ranks in the wake of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
“The president has repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and he’s now using the military as campaign props to advance the gay agenda,” Akin said. “My sons and our sons and daughters didn’t volunteer to be part of some political agenda; they volunteered to protect our freedom in America.”
Last year, Akin introduced a committee amendment to expand the Defense of Marriage Act to prohibit military chaplains from officiating over same-sex wedding ceremonies and to bar same-sex marriages from taking place on military facilities. A similar amendment introduced by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) this year was attached to pending defense legislation. Palazzo said during the markup that Akin helped write the legislation.

On the House floor, Akin has a significant anti-LGBT record. The lawmaker twice voted in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment when it came to the House floor in 2004 and 2006. In subsequent years, Akin voted against hate crimes protections legislation, a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
In 2006, Akin came to the House floor to decry same-sex marriage and suggested that countries that have allowed it have vanished as a result of that decision.
“From a practical point of view, to preserve our civilization and society, it’s important for us to preserve marriage,” Akin said. “Anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.”
When legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” came to the House floor in December 2010, Akin was among the House Republicans who were vocal against any attempt to repeal the military’s gay ban, saying the vote on repeal represented an attempt to impose a “social agenda” on the U.S. military during wartime as operations continue in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over the course of the current Congress, Akin has voted for amendments affirming DOMA that have come to the House floor: the one offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) last year as well as one offered by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) this year. He didn’t vote on the one offered by Steve King (R-Iowa) a few months ago.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, criticized Akin in a statement, calling him “one of the leading voices in the House working against the best interests of LGBT people.”
“His endorsement list includes foes of not just choice, but also LGBT equality — such as Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly and Mike Huckabee,” Bockelman said. “Make no mistake, while Akin will attempt to back-peddle in his statement, when one examines his record and past statements, Akin is simply restating his beliefs loud and clear.”
Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, said it’s time for Akin to not only abandon his campaign, but ”resign from office with all due haste.”
“If he truly believes there is some sort of classification system for rape and that only certain types of rape can result in pregnancy, he is unfit for public office and has no business voting on issues he clearly cannot comprehend,” Davis said. ( content sourced: www.washingtonblade.com)