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Respect for Marriage Hearings today

activism, lgbt, news, politics No Comments »

Not unexpectedly, there’s plenty to make your blood boil in today’s hearings on the newly announced Respect for Marriage Act which seeks to overturn DOMA. Fortunately there’s plenty of eloquent testimony in support of the new act to balance out all the hatery.

Clips of the hearings will be posted below as they become available.



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Philippine health secretary condemned for condom distribution

news, religion No Comments »

Philippine Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral has come under fire recently from the Roman Catholic Church for having government health workers hand out roses and condoms on Valentine’s Day.

Bishops issued angry statements slamming the Valentine’s Day distribution as immoral and called for the resignation of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, who ordered the campaign. One archbishop said that Cabral already “has one foot in hell.”

The bishops called for a ban on condom advertisements last week.

“The condom business is a multimillion dollar industry that heavily targets the adolescent market at the expense of morality and family life,” said Bishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He called fidelity and premarital chastity “the only effective way to curb the spread of AIDS.”

Cabral, the health secretary, said she doesn’t take the church’s word lightly. “They are very powerful and they can sometimes be vicious,” she said.

But the Harvard-trained cardiologist, who was reshuffled to the Health Department from the Social Welfare Department in January, shrugged off the flak as something that comes with the territory.
“I feel it is just a job that I have to do because as the secretary of health I know that it is going to be very difficult for our country if we let … (AIDS) become an epidemic,” she told The Associated Press.

The church is also opposed to a reproductive health bill introduced in 2008 which would permit the distribution of contraceptives in government hospitals and allow public schools to teach sex education classes. This bill has yet to leave the House of Representatives.

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Same-sex marriage bans may affect mental health

lgbt, news 3 Comments »

A new study published in the March edition of American Journal of Public Health finds that gays and lesbians living in states where gay marriage is banned are at greater risk to psychiatric disorders.

Researchers analyzed data from lesbians, gays and bisexuals who were interviewed in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 for the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The participants lived in states that instituted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage following the 2004-2005 elections.

The researchers found a significant increase in the prevalence of mood disorders, generalized anxiety Researchers analyzed data from lesbians, gays and bisexuals who were interviewed in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 for the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The participants lived in states that instituted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage following the 2004-2005 elections.

The researchers found a significant increase in the prevalence of mood disorders, generalized anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders among lesbians, gays and bisexuals after the states banned gay marriage. The greatest increase — more than 200 percent — was seen in generalized anxiety disorder.

The study found among gays and lesbians the following outcomes: mood disorders (36.6% increase), generalized anxiety disorder (248.2% increase), any alcohol use disorder (41.9% increase), and psychiatric comorbidity (36.3% increase).

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John Stewart spins ChatRoulette

humor, news, technology No Comments »

John Stewart on the Daily Show takes the latest internet craze ChatRoulette, a free service which sets up random video chats between total strangers for a humorous spin.

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