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

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

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
A list of grant awards is available at
For information about CDC fellowship programs, see
To learn about CDC’s e-learning opportunities, see

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