HIV-prevention drugs PrEP, PEP made available in California without prescription

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Single pills (brand name Truvada) containing two antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate. Truvada is used for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a strategy in which healthy people routinely take antiretrovirals to reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV. (Photo from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), via Flickr)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) | Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor’s prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Oct. 7 that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection.

Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, known as PEP, without prescriptions. California is already considered a leader in AIDS prevention, they say.

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Brunei government again defends penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei continues to defend the country’s new penal code that includes the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

“We reaffirm that the Syariah criminal law system focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” wrote Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, in a letter it sent to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on April 7. “It seeks to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the accused person and the rights of the victims and their families.”

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Trump admin turns to Supreme Court to ban trans people from military

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With court orders in place from four judges barring the U.S. military from enacting President Trump’s transgender ban, the Trump administration is seeking recourse from the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the policy to go into effect.

U.S. Solicitor General Neil Francisco submitted petitions Nov. 23 for certiorari in three cases calling on the court to review the litigation and reverse the preliminary injunctions enjoining enforcement of Trump’s transgender ban.

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California law affirms gender-related care for foster youth

By : wire report
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) | A new California law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown ensures access to counseling, hormone treatment and surgery for transgender foster youth.

The bill “will empower transgender foster youth to live authentically and simply be themselves,” said Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria of San Diego, the law’s sponsor.

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Fed’l court in California latest to rule against Trump’s trans ban

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Late Friday, the District Court for the Central District of California handed President Trump yet another defeat in his dogged pursuit of banning transgender service members from serving in the US armed forces. The court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, requested by plaintiffs in Stockman v. Trump, to halt enforcement of Trump’s trans military ban while it is being challenged in the courts.

Also on Friday, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request for a stay on trans military enlistments that are now slated to start on Jan 1. The three-judge panel noted that trans people “are already serving the country openly in the military.”

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Trump admin not done fighting transgender military enlistments

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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No fewer than three courts have ruled against President Trump’s transgender military ban, but the Trump administration isn’t done fighting potential transgender enlistments, which are set to take place Jan. 1 as the result of the rulings.

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department filed a request before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay on a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis against the transgender ban. The request is limited to the order requiring the U.S. military to allow qualified transgender people to enlist starting Jan. 1.

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Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Washington State has become the third to rule against Trump’s transgender military ban.

A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional.

In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman determined Monday in the case of Karnoski v. Trump the policy likely violates rights to equal protection and substantive due process as well as rights under the First Amendment.

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Kamala Harris emerges as LGBT favorite for 2020 — there’s just one thing

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was likely chosen as a featured speaker at Saturday’s Human Rights Campaign National Dinner because she’s quickly becoming a favorite in the LGBT community among potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

To recognize her popularity among LGBT people, just find the animated picture of Harris making the rounds on Facebook at the Senate dais brushing her hair back, clasping her hands and blinking her eyes wearily as she’s cut off during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Also check out the widely shared video of her exchange with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his Russian connections, which left the Trump official muttering he felt “nervous” under questioning from the U.S. Senate’s only black female senator.

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Maxine Waters galvanizes Equality California Palm Springs gala

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The party atmosphere at the Riviera Palm Springs for the Equality Awards on Oct. 7 shifted subtly into more of a political rally as the almost sold-out crowd bubbled with enthusiasm waiting for kick-ass Democratic Congress member Maxine Waters to rile the crowd into action.

Palm Springs City Council member Ginny Foat was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which her longtime friend Waters emphasized Foat deserved. The two knew each other from back in the day, working with Bayard Rustin on the iconic March on Washington and pushing Bella Abzug to the fore when they were marching for women’s rights. Foat, Waters said, “has given her life to service.”

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to California ‘ex-gay’ therapy ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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For the second time, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit challenging the California law barring widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

The court announced in an order list on Monday it had refused to hear the litigation seeking to overturn the law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. The law has been the subject of lawsuits on the basis it violates freedom of speech and religion, but has been upheld as constitutional.

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California group threatens repeal of transgender protections

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California is the first U.S. state to pass a law detailing the rights of transgender students, but opponents of the law say they have collected enough support to get it repealed.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, and its goal is to reduce discrimination against transgender students from the age they enter school to the age they graduate secondary school. Critics argue the law violates the privacy of non-transgender students.

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