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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Mexico's Supreme Court ruled on August 21, 2012 that all 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory.  In a 9-2 decision, the tribunal cited an article of the constitution requiring states to recognize legal contracts drawn up elsewhere.  It did not specify what degree of recognition must be granted to same-sex couples.

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Mexico City's same-sex marriage law, enacted in March, extends to wedded gay couples the right to adopt children, to jointly apply for bank loans, to inherit wealth and to be covered by their spouses' insurance policies. Some of those may end up applying only in the capital.

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The world's largest AIDS conference returned to the U.S. with a plea against complacency at a time when the epidemic is at a critical turning point. "We can start to end AIDS," one expert said.  There is no cure or vaccine yet, but scientists say they have the tools to finally stem the spread of this intractable virus – largely by using treatment not just to save patients but to make them less infectious, too.

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AIDS Memorial Quilt

"Future generations are counting on our courage to think big, be bold and seize the opportunity before us," said Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco, a co-chair of the International AIDS Conference.  The Obama administration calls the goal an AIDS-free generation, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said what was "once a far-off dream, now is in sight."  But the challenge that more than 20,000 scientists, doctors, people living with HIV and policy-makers will grapple is how to make this promising science a practical reality.

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Thanks to President Obama and his Democratic allies in the last Congress, gay service members can serve openly in the military. But the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" only happened because brave men and women in the armed forces were willing to stand up and bring attention to odious discrimination at the risk of their livelihood, their careers, and, perhaps, their safety.

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Gay pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements throughout the world.  Common symbols of pride are the rainbow or pride flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle and the black triangle, these latter two reclaimed from use as badges of shame in Nazi concentration camps.

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New York Dancers Put Sexy Spin On Fairytales For A Cause

Fleshy fantasies aside, the June 17 event also had a beneficent aim, with two sold-out performances raising a staggering $1,254,176 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS -- the highest figure, officials say, in the annual event's 22-year history. 

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And while many view the night as the unofficial kickoff to New York's LGBT Pride week for the city's legions of theater queens, the charitable cause certainly wasn't far from the participants' minds. "Safe sex is hot sex," Tony Award winner Judith Light told the crowd. "And we can best love each other by always remembering to protect each other."  Actor and dancer John Carroll, most recently seen in the 2011 revival of "Follies," echoed Light's sentiments backstage. "We really lost an entire generation of artists –- amazing choreographers, dancers, set designers, costume designers –- to HIV/AIDS."

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"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

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