HHS says ‘conscience rule’ won’t impair HIV work—but others disagree

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A top health official within the Department of Health & Human Services insists a “conscience rule” recently instituted by the Trump administration will have no impact on its HIV work, although LGBT groups are disputing that assessment.

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir made the remarks in testimony on July 8 before the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which was restaffed this year by President TrumpA transcript of the testimony was obtained Wednesday by the Washington Blade.

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Gays down, straights up in latest Aussie HIV figures

By : Staff Reports from The washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: (Scanning electromicrograph by NIAID via Flickr)

KENSINGTON, Australia | HIV infection rates for gay men in Australia are down sharply — 30% in five years, HIV Plus Mag reports, citing the Kirby Institute’s 2018 HIV Surveillance Report.

“It’s the lowest number we’ve seen in 18 years,” said Rebecca Guy, head professor of the institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research program, in a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. Guy attributed the drop to the increase of PrEP use, regular testing and treatment efforts. PrEP is highly effective at making HIV transmission nearly impossible.

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‘Fuller House’ star Juan Pablo Di Pace comes out as gay

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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“Fuller House” star Juan Pablo Di Pace has come out as gay.

Di Pace, who hails from Argentina and was raised Catholic, opened up about his sexuality during a Ted Talk at a TedX event. The talk, titled “The Story of Your Life,” was recorded in March and recently uploaded to YouTube.

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Mormon county commissioner in Utah comes out as gay

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie says it took him more than 20 years to come to terms with his identity.

But on May 22 the 40-year-old Utah County commissioner sat in front of his computer and publicly shared the secret that has caused him pain and confusion since he was nine years old: He is gay.

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IDAHOBiT marked in US, around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Politicians and activists in the U.S. and around the world on Friday commemorated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement shortly before the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Jazz Jennings is headed to Harvard

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Jazz Jennings has been accepted to Harvard University and will attend the Ivy League in the fall.

The 18-year-old “I Am Jazz” star and transgender activist posted a photo of herself wearing a Harvard University sweatshirt captioned with the hashtag “#Harvard2020.”

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Andy Brennan is the first male Australian pro soccer player to come out as gay

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Andy Brennan is the first male Australian professional soccer player to come out as gay.

The 26-year-old, who plays forward for the club Green Gully, made the announcement in an Instagram post.

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The Last Page: Brianna Rockmore

By : Rick Claggett
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To run a regional, niche newspaper you need to have a passion for the community you serve and a passion for how your newspaper is connected to that community. You can only hope that those who work with you share your enthusiasm. With Brianna Rockmore, Watermark won the employee lottery.

I usually write a narrative on this page after submitting questions to each employee, but I was so impressed with what Brianna had to say that I decided to use her words to show you who she is. As a self-described goofy class clown, Brianna sees things in a positive and funny way, using comedy to bring people out of despair and into a “full of life kind of way.” This is Brianna Rockmore!

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Wedding Bells: Amber Kuzma and Shelby Kucharski

By : Aaron Drake
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“I met her on Facebook in a group for lesbians,” Amber Kuzma says about how she met her wife, Shelby Kucharski. “I wasn’t looking for anything as I had recently gotten out of a pretty nasty divorce. However, I had moved from Florida—where there were tons of out people—to Michigan, where I was the token lesbian again.”

The two struck up a conversation about Kucharski’s work as an off-leash dog trainer and that was the beginning.

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We’re Hiring a Creative Designer

By : Watermark Staff
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The creative designer creates the editorial layouts for all Watermark’s products and manages Watermark’s company brand. This is an on-site position at either our Orlando or St. Petersburg offices.

This is the perfect position for motivated multi-faceted designers who thrive in a challenging, fast paced environment.

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Belize: LGBTQ Adventure in the Jungle

By : Aaron Drake
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“Jump in!” one of the tour guides shouted when it was my turn to immerse myself in the crystal clear, freezing cold stream leading into the mouth of the cave. The cave was Actun Tunichil Muknal—better known as ATM by the locals—one of the natural cave systems in Belize that was used by the Mayan civilization for rituals and ceremonies.

It was like something straight out of an “Indiana Jones” movie; after being outfitted with a helmet, headlamp and life vest, we set off on a 45-minute hike through the jungle, crossing three shallow waterways before we literally jumped in. Once inside the cave it got very dark and was a vigorous workout to climb over and through rocks, occasionally stopping to admire the stalagmites and stalactites that had formed over thousands of years.

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The Last Page with Senior Account Manager Russ Martin

By : Rick Claggett
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“I have newspaper in my blood and have worked in the industry for nearly 20 years,” says Russ Martin.

Russ began working for Watermark as a part time account manager in March of 2018. Within a few months Russ, and Watermark, realized the demands of managing marketing accounts were not conducive with a part-time schedule. Russ informed Watermark that his then current schedule would not allow him the time he needed to perform his tasks to the best of his ability, and he tendered his resignation.

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