News You Should Know July 23, 2014

BTL Staff

WASHINGTON D.C. (ADVOCATE) - WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning has been approved to begin receiving hormone replacement therapy while serving her 35-year prison sentence at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Associated Press reports. This comes two months after an unidentified Pentagon source told the AP that Manning might be transferred out of military custody to be placed into a civilian prison for treatment and directly follows the Bureau of Prisons' rejection of that Army request. In lieu of transferring Manning from the all-male military facility to a civilian prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reportedly signed off on a plan that will allow Manning to receive "rudimentary" treatment for her diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

UNITED KINGDOM (AP) - There is more good news about HIV treatment pills used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus: Follow-up from a landmark study that proved the drug works now shows that it does not encourage risky sex and is effective even if people skip some doses. The research was discussed Tuesday at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and was published by the British journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. It involves 1,600 gay men and transgender women who took part in the original study showing that daily use of the drug Truvada lowered the risk of getting HIV. one who took the pills at least four days a week became infected. Even use two or three days a week lowered the risk of infection compared to taking the pills less often or not at all. The study was done in South America, Africa, Thailand, United States and paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

COLORADO (AP) - A Denver federal judge is set to hear arguments Tuesday from six gay couples seeking to overturn Colorado's same-sex marriage ban. The couples are asking for an injunction declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, allowing clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Attorney General John Suthers isn't opposing the injunction. But if the judge blocks the law, Suthers is asking that the ruling be put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue.

FLORIDA (AP) - A Florida Keys judge who last week ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional refused Monday to allow gay couples to begin marrying in Monroe County, citing a pending appeal by the state attorney general. Garcia initially ruled marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County beginning Tuesday to gay couples. But that was blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately filed notice that the state will appeal. But gay marriage has now received some support from the right in Florida. On Monday, a Tampa Bay area Republican, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, came out in support of last week's ruling.

GEORGIA (AP) - Georgia's attorney general is asking a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by a gay rights group challenging the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit in April on behalf of seven people. Attorney General Sam Olens, representing the state registrar, said in a filing Monday that the suit takes away Georgia residents' right to define marriage. Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2004. It was challenged in courts over wording of the ballot question, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid. The current lawsuit filed in federal court challenges the ban itself, rather than the ballot wording. The state constitution prohibits same-sex marriage and says such marriages performed in other states aren't legally recognized in Georgia.


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Smoking: Critical Health Issue For LGBT Michiganders

MICHIGAN - A recent study by Affirmations Community Center and the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, funded by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), facilitated eight focus groups with LGBT-identified individuals that helps shed light on tobacco use within the LGBT community.

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