Study: Enzyme key to flushing out hidden HIV

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that an enzyme called SMYD2 could be a new therapeutic target for flushing out the HIV that hides in infected individuals. Overcoming this latent virus remains the most significant obstacle to a cure, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, said in a press release.

While drug therapy allows people living with HIV to lead relatively normal lives, it also comes with adverse effects. In addition, patients must stay on the drugs for life to prevent the virus hiding in their body from reactivating. In the early stages of infection, HIV hides in viral reservoirs in a type of immune cells called T cells. This dormant, or latent, virus can then spontaneously reactivate and rekindle infection if drug therapy is stopped.

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Taiwan becomes first Asian country to recognize same-sex marriage

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Taiwan on Wednesday became the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

The Taiwanese Constitutional Court ruled the provision of the island’s civil code that does not “allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed purpose of managing a life together” is unconstitutional.

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Stephen Colbert’s Trump-Putin joke received more than 5,000 complaints

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Stephen Colbert’s sexually explicit gay joke about President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on his May 1 episode of “The Late Show” cracked up his studio audience, but home viewers didn’t find the joke as funny.

Politico reports that the FCC received 5,700 complaints about Colbert’s opening monologue joke calling Trump, “Vladimir Putin’s c-ck holster.” The joke sparked the social media campaign #FireColbert on Twitter.

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Harris, Carper seek answers on LGBT omission from 2020 Census

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A pair of Democrats — U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) — are seeking answers from the U.S. Census Bureau on the omission of questions from major 2020 federal surveys on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a letter dated May 22, the senators call on outgoing U.S. Census Bureau director John Thompson to explain the decision to exclude questions from a report outlining to Congress the templates for the 2020 U.S. Census and American Community Survey.

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Rep. Pocan elected co-chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), one of six openly LGB members of the U.S. House, was elected Tuesday as a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Pocan said in a statement he wants to make the 75-member body “the voice of the resistance” against President Trump, accusing his administration of “attacking both the values we hold dear and the programs which provide vital services to people across the country”

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2 men in Indonesia caned dozens of times for gay sex

By : Wire Report
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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – Two men in Indonesia’s Aceh province were publicly caned dozens of times May 23 for consensual gay sex, a punishment that intensifies an anti-gay backlash in the world’s most populous Muslim country and which rights advocates denounced as “medieval torture.”

More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.

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Fundraiser launched for Ryan Getzlaf’s homophobic slur fine

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The National Hockey League (NHL) has opted to not suspend Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf for using a homophobic slur during Game 4 at the Western Conference finals on Friday. Instead, Getzlaf has been given the maximum fine of $10,000.

Getzlaf was caught on camera appearing to call the referee, “f**king c***sucker.” He issued a public apology but OutSports’ Cyd Zeigler calls it, “the worst non-apology for a slur in sports history.”

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Rock Hard Fitness worked out bodies and hearts raising funds for the Zebra Coalition

By : Jeremy Williams
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With Gay Days, Pride month and summer weather all just around the corner; Rock Hard Fitness had more than 30 attendees sweating for their beach bods all while helping out a good cause May 21.

Rock Hard Fitness’ “Sweat For a Cause” boot camp event pushed, pulled and squatted  the group to firmer abs and bigger hearts as they raised over $1,000 for the Zebra Coalition.

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Indonesia police arrest dozens in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

By : Wire Report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesian police detained dozens of men including several foreigners in a weekend raid on a gay sauna in the capital, another sign of growing hostility to homosexuality in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said 141 men were detained for questioning in the raid Sunday evening on the gym and sauna in north Jakarta. Police say the sauna was the venue for a sex party promoted as “The Wild One.”

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Lou Reed’s friends insist ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ wasn’t transphobic

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Canadian university has apologized for playing Lou Reed’s hit song “Walk on the Wild Side” at a campus event because the song has been accused of being transphobic. However, Reed’s friends think the situation is “stupid.”

The student association at the University of Guelph in Ontario posted a since-deleted apology on Facebook for playing the song at a recent event.

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Chad Griffin urges U.S. to grant visas to gay Chechen men

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on Monday described reports that the U.S. has discouraged Russian LGBT rights advocates from helping men who have fled anti-gay persecution in Chechnya apply for visas as “greatly disturbing.”

Griffin in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote that while he understands “it is indeed difficult for them to obtain U.S. visas, it is imperative that the U.S. immediately take every possible step to help the victims find their way safely — and to clearly communicate that the U.S. is pursuing every option, so that the victims do not lose hope.”

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Texas lawmakers advance anti-LGBT adoption, bathroom bills

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under a threat from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of being called into a special session, the Texas Legislature late Sunday advanced two anti-LGBT measures — one pertaining to adoption, the other transgender students — with days remaining before lawmakers were set to adjourn.

The Texas Senate voted 21-10 to pass House Bill 3859, which would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes over religious objections. Given that many of these agencies are religious in nature, that could lead to them refusing to place children with LGBT families.

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