World Issues

Ugandan Court Invalidates Anti-Gay Law

A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.

However, one thing that the article points out:

A colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts “against the order of nature,” still remains in effect in Uganda, allowing for the continued arrests of alleged homosexual offenders

The law invalidated provided for terms up to life in prison for those promoting, “attempting”, or engaging in homosexual conduct.

via Ugandan Court Invalidates Anti-Gay Law – ABC News.

Let’s not be condemned to repeat it

A friend of mine posted a link to an article entitled “The Astonishing Actual History of The Gay Rights Movement”.  It does a great job in explaining the trials that many went through in the 80’s and 90’s. This article not only highlights the social issues with coming out, but also the very real health issues that was on the top of everyone’s mind.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, people were still unsure about what HIV/AIDS really was and fearful on how it could be spread.  My uncle passed away from AIDS in the early 90’s.  According to the stories I’ve heard from my family members, my father and one of my other uncles actually had to dress him for burial before medical staff came in after he passed away.  The reason, as it was explained to me, is that no one wanted to be in close contact with such a patient any longer than they had to for fear of contracting “whatever it was”.

Thankfully, many things have changed since then.  Good news is, we have a handle on this. Bad news is, we have a handle on this.  Let me explain before you start yelling at your screen.

The awesome news is that we now have drugs that will bring counts down to undetectable levels as well as others decreasing the chances of someone contracting it.  My true concern is that this is presenting a false sense of security.  One portion of the article mentions [I “bleeped out” one profanity]:

“I was at the Eagle a couple months ago,” he says, referring to the West Chelsea leather bar, “and this hot little muscly Latin guy told me that he was on PrEP and that I could f— him raw. Boom, he just said it so easily.”

Here’s my concern: no drug is 100%.  Though sometimes people raise eyebrows when one cites Wikipedia, the PrEP article there mentions studies that show as low as 42% reduction in infection, though other studies go up to 99%.  Much of this depends on how much someone adheres to the prescribed regiment.  Still, not foolproof.  I’m wondering if it’s really worth taking your chances that you won’t fall into the percentage in which it doesn’t work.

Just because we’re turning the corner on HIV, that doesn’t mean we’re free to be uninhibited. I hate to be doomsday, but who knows if something else isn’t lurking around the corner.  Some drugs may be making us safe(r) from this threat, but that isn’t a blank check.  HIV caught the world by surprise.  Who’s to say that can’t happen again? Those that think they’re OK to throw caution to the wind because of these recent advancements I suggest stop and think if it’s worth it.

That’s my “two cents” worth anyway.


Russian Boycott is working… kinda

So… the Russian boycott is having an effect. The non-Russia Stoli is upping their (already established) relationship with the LGBT community and awareness has been raised about the issues.

Russia and the Russian controlled Stoli have seen the error of their… um… no.

Guess it’s a glass-half full. It really depends on what your goal was in this. If it was truly to raise awareness, then things are happening. However, if you were thinking this was going to cause Russia and their controlled companies to blink… you have heard of Putin, right?

If the goal was to “punish” anyone, the real ones that need to be punished are the ones being least affected.

Russian Minister to IOC: International LGBT Olympians at Risk | Human Rights Campaign

Claims made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that international LGBT visitors to Russia would be safe during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi appear to be coming apart at the seams today as Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko declared that all LGBT athletes within Russian borders will be very much at risk during the 2014 Games.

via Russian Minister to IOC: International LGBT Olympians at Risk | Human Rights Campaign.