Brighton players Anton Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 20, and George Barker, 20, and former player Steve Cook, 21, were charged on Monday.
The charges relate to an incident alleged to have taken place in Brighton on 17 July last year.
All four have been bailed to appear before Brighton magistrates on 11 May.
They were among six players arrested in January by Sussex Police.
Fellow Brighton player Ben Sampayo, 19, has been informed that no further action will be taken against him.
Brighton defender Tommy Elphick, 24, was eliminated from the investigation in January.
Source: BBC News
The crowd, mainly from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as their supporters and sex workers, paraded through the capital's entertainment and shopping district of Shibuya.
Waving rainbow-coloured flags and banners, foreign and Japanese campaigners marched in colourful carnival and samurai warrior outfits.
It was the first parade organised by Tokyo Rainbow Pride, a private organisation formed last year which aims to support the rights of sexual minorities.
"Compared with that of New York or London, Japan's awareness of sexual minorities is quite low," said Sayaka Kato, a spokeswoman for the organisation.
"I'm afraid Japan has yet to have a culture of accepting diversity."
The group hopes to stage a gay pride parade with 50,000 participants within the next five years by expanding its networks among not only Japanese but foreign residents.
Wataru Ishizaka, 35, who as an openly gay politician in Japan is a rarity, noted that a number of sexual minorities in the country still hesitate to take part in events in support of LGBT rights for fear of discrimination.
"Japanese sexual minorities are still concerned about their exposure to the public," said Ishizaka, a local Tokyo politician, after participating in the parade.
Source: Vancouver Sun
Sex workers in the Bolivian city of El Alto have gone on hunger strike to demand a solution to the month-long doctor's strike which has forced the closure of public hospitals across the country.
About a dozen male and female sex workers, many with their faces covered, crowded into the lobby of a neighbourhood health centre on Sunday, vowing to continue their action until the situation is resolved.
At times they chanted "Useless minister, we want a solution!", a reference to Bolivian Health Minister Juan Carlos Calvimontes.
The workers claim their personal health, as well as that of the wider community, is at risk as they are not receiving their weekly check-ups at local public hospitals and clinics because of the doctor's strike.
Bolivian doctors are on strike over the length of their working hours.
"We used to have our weekly check-ups, but now that there's a strike, it's been more than a month since we've been checked," explained Lilli Cortez, president of the Organisation of Night Workers, a local group formed by sex workers to defend their rights.
"There could be an outbreak of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) or HIV/AIDS if the women aren't checked," she added.
There are about 45,000 sex workers registered in Bolivia.
The country's laws require that they undergo free weekly check-ups in order to work on the streets and in brothels.
"We hope this will be solved once and for all because they are playing with our lives, with our health," said Jacqueline, one of the sex workers participating in the hunger strike.
"You can't play with health," she said. "It's a time bomb that is going to explode at any moment. The lives of the entire population is at stake here."
According to authorities in El Alto, a town 12km from the capital La Paz, there are about 2,500 bars and brothels in the local area, only 350 of which are legal.
Jack Reese is not the first person to have taken his own life in Northern Utah. One official spoke off-the-record to Marian Edmonds of Ogden OUTreach: “It happens here about once a week, but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.”
Jack’s boyfriend, Alex Smith, spoke early in the week at a community event during which a film on bullying was being screened. Smith recalled, without even realising that Jack had already taken his own life, how his boyfriend was repeatedly bullied at school.
Yesterday, ahead Jack’s funeral at Ogden this morning, OUTreach, announced that an urgent meeting will be held on May 1, to address LGBT bullying and suicide in Northern Utah. Several community leaders, teachers, parents, and young people are expected to attend, including active members of the Mormon Church.
“The youth I work with all know either a victim of bullying, the loss of a friend to suicide, and most often, both. These youth are bright, creative and loving, yet too often face daily abuse from rejecting families, bullies at school and the loss of their church family. It is time for local schools to incorporate proven techniques for eliminating bullying and homophobia, for churches to preach love and acceptance, and for parents and families to love and accept their children. Each loss of life is a loss for all of us, and it must stop now,” Ms Edmonds said in a statement.
At the request of Alex, a candlelit vigil will be held at the conclusion of the event in memory of Jack.
Source: Pink News
Vatican Archbishop calls for alliance with Muslims and Jews against equal marriage
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio, has called for the formation of an alliance between Catholics and other faiths, including other Christian denominations, to fight against the current government proposals to bring forth equality in marriage.
Speaking to an audience of Catholic bishops from England and Wales at their plenary meeting in Leeds, he asked them to be prepared for what would be a “lengthy and probably difficult campaign,” adding, “I wonder if we shouldn’t ask for and look for more support among other Christian confessions and indeed, persons of other faiths.”
“It seems to me that, concerning the institution of marriage, and indeed the sanctity of human life, we have much in common with the position of the Jewish community, the Chief Rabbi and many of the more significant representatives of Islam,” he said.
His comments come after yesterday, Archbishop Peter Smith said that while there has been no “formal” contact with Jewish groups to form what he called a united front on the subject of marriage, “we will work with anyone who agrees with us that to redefine marriage is not a good thing for society and will lead to confusion.”
Archbishop Smith is the second most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales. He called the current plans for equal marriage “dangerous,” adding, “the Church of England is very much along the same lines as ourselves on this.” He also used the opportunity to defend the teaching of homophobic definitions of marriage at Catholic schools, which, as PinkNews.co.uk reports today, is now the subject of government investigation.
The Catholic Church has been so far the most vocal of opponents to the government proposals, with the country’s most senior Catholic calling it “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.” Liberal factions of the Jewish and Christian faiths, however, have come out strongly in favour of the proposals.
Source: Pink News
|+ | by Admin | Date April 28, 2012 | Time 22:17 | Comments (0)|
The issue of school bullying has garnered a lot of attention over the past few weeks, with a ratings controversy over the film “Bully ” sparking renewed focus and support for victims. Bullying’s effects on mental health are well-known to anyone who faced it as a child, or still does. Now, however, researchers are claiming that its effects go far beyond that.
A new study released this week by Duke University researchers examined more than 200 children growing up in England and Wales. When looking at a type of DNA sequence called telomeres, the study found that exposure to violence during childhood, including bullying, correlated to a faster breakdown of that DNA in those children. That, in turn, can lead to faster aging, and more health problems later in life:
Telomeres are special DNA sequences found at the tips of our chromosomes; much like the plastic tips of shoelaces, they prevent our DNA from unraveling. Telomeres get shorter each time cells divide. That erosion places a limit on the length of time that a given cell can go on dividing. Emerging evidence suggests that telomeres are “master integrators,” connecting stress to biological age and associated diseases.
We showed, for the first time, that cumulative violence exposure is associated with accelerated telomere erosion, from age 5 to age 10 years, among children who experienced violence at a young age (e.g., domestic violence, frequent bullying or physical maltreatment by an adult). Children who were exposed to multiple forms of violence had the fastest telomere erosion rate.
As the researchers note, previous studies have linked increased stress to several health problems later in life. The reason for the link has been less clear, but the study authors hope that this will offer some insight into the mechanism behind it. At the very least, they write, this study “suggests new urgency for preventing harm to children.”
A transgender woman is standing for election for the first time in provincial elections in Thailand.
Yonlada Suanyos, president of the Trans Female Association of Thailand, is a candidate for local government in Nan province in northern Thailand.
'I want to represent the trans women and all groups of homosexuals across the country in parliament and press the government to pay more interest to women and trans women,' said Yonlada, as reported in the Bangkok Post.
Yonlada had gender realignment surgery when she was 16 and has lived as a woman since then. But because it is not possible to legally change gender in Thailand, official documents still list her as male.
A PhD candidate who runs a satellite TV station and has her own jewellery business, Yonlada was a member of transgender pop group Venus Flytrap and was known as Posh Venus, according to Global Post.
Yonlada's campaign manifesto includes addressing the threat of flood, services for youth and the elderly and opening a 24-hour citizen complaint hotline.
Thai society has a reputation of accepting transsexuals or 'kathoey' in Thai. But although there several famous kathoey models, singers, film stars and even a boxer called Nong Tom in Thailand, beyond the entertainment business the kathoey community (estimated as one in 165 Thai males) is not repressented.
The election, in which Yonlada competes against two male candidates, will be held on 27 May.
Source: Gay Star News
This loose-knit community — made up of activists, health professionals and an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV — has invested high hopes in the Affordable Care Act, anticipating that it could dramatically improve access to lifesaving care and treatment. The act is now in limbo as the high court deliberates on its constitutionality, notably its requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance. A ruling could come in June.
"The HIV treatment community sees the act as a critical step in our fight against the AIDS epidemic," said Scott Schoettes of Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights advocacy group. "People have been counting on it, making plans based on its implementation, so for it to be pulled out from under their feet at this point would be a tremendous loss."
Among its many provisions, the health care law has two major benefits for HIV-positive people: It expands Medicaid so that those with low incomes can get earlier access to treatment, and it eliminates limits on pre-existing conditions that have prevented many people with HIV from obtaining private insurance.
Under current policies, low-income HIV-positive people often do not qualify for Medicaid if they are not yet sick enough to be classified as disabled.
In the view of advocacy groups, this creates a cruel Catch 22 — at a stage when they are still active and productive, these people can't afford the antiretroviral treatments that could help them stay that way. Only when their condition worsens are they able to qualify for Medicaid and get treatment that might have prevented the deterioration.
The health care act would remove the disability requirement and makes Medicaid available to a broader range of low-income adults.
"It will prolong life potentially by decades for literally hundreds of thousands of persons," said the National Minority AIDS Council in its Supreme Court brief. "Individuals can continue to work and go about their daily lives as productive members of society."
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, only about 13 percent of people with HIV have private health insurance and about 24 percent have no coverage at all. As a group, HHS says, these people "have been particularly vulnerable to insurance industry abuses" and face barriers to obtaining care from qualified providers.
Under the new law, insurers cannot rescind existing coverage to adults unless there's evidence of fraud. As if 2014, when the law is scheduled for full implementation, insurers will not be allowed to deny coverage to anyone with HIV/AIDS or impose annual limits on coverage.
Schoettes, who is Lambda Legal's HIV Project director and is HIV-positive himself, says this part of the law would curtail harmful insurance practices.
"Most private insurers have refused to provide affordable coverage to those with HIV," he and other Lambda Legal lawyers wrote in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court in March.
"This market failure has caused serious consequences both for individuals with HIV — who suffer unnecessary illness and premature death — and for society generally in higher overall health care costs and lost productivity," the lawyers wrote. "Virtually all this suffering is avoidable: medical care is available that can turn HIV into a chronic, manageable condition."
America's Health Insurance Plans, which represents major private health insurers, opposed Obama's health care law. The trade group says it supports expanding coverage to most Americans but believes key provisions in the law are poorly designed and will raise costs and cause disruptions.
The organization's spokesman, Robert Zirkelbach, acknowledged that under the current system, individuals with HIV or AIDS do find it hard to obtain private coverage if they already had the disease. "If people wait until after they're sick, they're often not able to get it," he said.
However, he said health plans were active in trying to improve treatment and care for HIV-positive Americans, both their own clients and others. He said insurers did sometimes rescind coverage on grounds that a patient had not fully disclosed required information, but that such instances were rare.
Among HIV-positive people without private insurance, many rely on public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, but others are not eligible. As a last resort, if they meet the low-income criteria, they can seek financial assistance through the federal Ryan White Care Act.
However, advocates say the result is often patchwork health care — or no care at all. Many uninsured people don't get tested, don't know their HIV status and unwittingly transmit the infection to others.
Antiretroviral treatment is expensive — often more than $18,000 per year. But advocacy groups say treatment is cost-effective, enabling more people to be self-sufficient and reducing later spending on acute care and stays at hospices.
Advocacy groups also contend that the positive effects of the federal health care act can be foretold by the experience of Massachusetts, which adopted similar legislation in 2006. According to a study last year by Harvard Law School's Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, new HIV infections dropped by 37 percent in Massachusetts from 2005 to 2008, while rising by 8 percent in the rest of U.S.
By federal estimate, about 50,000 new cases of HIV infection occur annually in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control's latest figures show that gay and bisexual men account for about 60 percent of the new infections; blacks also are affected disproportionately, accounting for about 13 percent of the population and about 44 percent of new HIV infections.
The CDC also says the HIV infection rate in poor urban areas is far higher than for the rest of the U.S. — and is on par with the rate in such AIDS-devastated countries as Haiti and Angola.
"HIV is a disease of poverty," said Dr. Michael Saag, an HIV physician and researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "That's why the health care law is critically important."
In Alabama, he said, funding to provide HIV treatment for low-income people has not risen to meet growing demand, and clinics lack adequate staff and resources.
"Once on treatment, transmission of HIV is cut to almost zero — but where do these people get treatment?" Saag asked. "The question to people who are against the Affordable Care Act is, 'What are we going to do instead?'"
Saag is a past chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, representing more than 4,800 health care professionals and researchers. The current chair, Dr. Judith Aberg of the New York University School of Medicine, recently pleaded for the health care law to be upheld.
"For the first time in 30 years, thanks to advances in HIV prevention and treatment research, we can realistically envision the end of the greatest pandemic of our time," she said. "To reach this goal, we cannot afford to take any steps backward."
In Illinois, state Rep. Greg Harris, who is HIV-positive, has joined with colleagues in fighting to minimize funding cuts for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, a joint state-federal initiative providing HIV medications to low-income people.
Harris believes the Affordable Care Act can be a huge help in providing more HIV-positive people with health insurance. Were it to be rejected by the Supreme Court, he said, "It would take away a lot of hope for a lot of people."
in a letter to Dr. Ken Zucker obtained exclusively by Truth Wins Out, Dr. Robert Spitzer made an unprecedented apology to the gay community — and victims of reparative therapy in particular — for hisinfamous, now-repudiated 2001 study that claimed some “highly motivated” homosexuals could go from gay to straight:
Several months ago I told you that because of my revised view of my 2001 study of reparative therapy changing sexual orientation, I was considering writing something that would acknowledge that I now judged the major critiques of the study as largely correct. After discussing my revised view of the study with Gabriel Arana, a reporter for American Prospect, and with Malcolm Ritter, an Associated Press science writer, I decided that I had to make public my current thinking about the study. Here it is.
Basic Research Question. From the beginning it was: “can some version of reparative therapy enable individuals to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual?” Realizing that the study design made it impossible to answer this question, I suggested that the study could be viewed as answering the question, “how do individuals undergoing reparative therapy describe changes in sexual orientation?” – a not very interesting question.
The Fatal Flaw in the Study – There was no way to judge the credibility of subject reports of change in sexual orientation. I offered several (unconvincing) reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject’s reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying. But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid.
I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some “highly motivated” individuals.
Robert Spitzer. M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry,
Zucker, to whom Spitzer’s letter is addressed, is the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the journal in which Spitzer’s study was originally published in 2001. At that time, the study was a surprise that created a media firestorm which captured the nation’s attention. Dr. Spitzer was the last person in America one would have expected to produce a study bolstering the claims of ‘ex-gay’ activists — after all, he had previously led the charge in 1972-73 to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association. Earlier this month, Dr. Spitzer dealt “ex-gay” programs a fatal blow by officially renouncing his study in the American Prospect article he mentions in his letter above. That renunciation kicked out the final leg from the stool on which the proponents of ‘ex-gay’ therapy based their already shaky claims of success, or as Arana put it, removed from the ex-gay “fringe movement. . . its only shred of scientific support.”
Dr. Spitzer’s apology to the victims of “pray away the gay” therapy and the greater LGBT community marks a watershed moment in the fight against the “ex-gay” myth. We commend him for it, because not only will it solidify his legacy as a respected doctor and significant historical figure, but it will help to greatly hasten the day when the scourge that is reparative therapy is eradicated forever and LGBT people can live openly, honestly, and true to themselves.
Source: Truth Wins Out
In March, the Boy Scouts of America removed Tyrrell from her position, telling her that her sexual orientation "did not meet the high standards" of conduct set by the Boy Scouts of America
"We can no longer support an organization that has these policies and we hope to get them changed," said Tyrrell. "That is our main goal."
"But Cruz is a little sad," Tyrrell added. "We loved scouting."
The boy told ABCNews.com that he had enjoyed camping and earning badges with his local Tiger Cub troop 109 since September.
The troop asked his mother to step down as leader after they told her "it was known you are gay," said Tyrrell, 32.
The Bridgeport, Ohio, mother of four has waged a campaign to bring awareness to the Boy Scout policy on Change.org. Ultimately, she said she wants the organization to accept gay leaders and scouts.
Already, the petition has garnered 140,000 signatures, plus theendorsement of celebrities such as "Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson from television's "Modern Family" and Max Adler from "Glee."
"I had no idea this would take off like it has," said Tyrell, who lives with her partner of five years. Ohio does not recognize gay marriage.
"It's humbling and very exciting that so many people are finally agreeing with us."
Saturday, Tyrrell and her family appeared at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, where they were honored for taking a stand. Today, she is in New York City, making the media rounds with Cruz.
"We want to get the word out," said Tyrrell, a former hardware store sales person who was laid off. Her partner, Alicia, is a registered nurse.
Tyrrell said the Boy Scouts of America had not "officially" notified her. "I have heard nothing from them," she said.
The Boy Scouts of America emailed ABCNews.com a prepared statement that said its focus is on "delivering a program of character development and leadership training."
"Scouting, and the majority of parents it serves, does not believe it is the right forum for children to become aware of the issue of sexual orientation, or engage in discussions about being gay," it said. "Rather, such complex matters should be discussed with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting."
The Boy Scouts acknowledged their policy was controversial, but added, "To disagree does not mean to disrespect and we respect everyone's right to have and express a different opinion. Scouting will continue to teach our members to treat everyone with courtesy and respect."
The organization also said that in Tyrrell's case the policy had not been followed by local leaders, but when another pack leader complained, it was enforced.
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Boy Scouts of America and ruled 5-4 that the organization is exempt from state laws that bar anti-gay discrimination.
The court overturned a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court to require a troop to readmit a longtime gay scoutmaster who had been dismissed.
Cub Scouts Asked Lesbian to Resign
Tyrrell decided to lead Cruz's first-grade Cub Scout troop last fall. "It was a very community-oriented group of kids," she said. "They made me treasurer to get the books in order ... I found some discrepancies -- things that didn't add up."
She said she met with local representatives over the financial matters, but afterwards, the scout master called her and said, "We have to ask you to resign."
"Everyone locally knew I was gay," said Tyrell. "I was devastated. I cried for two days. Those kids were my family. All my parents were devastated."
Patty Morgan, 35, whose 7-year-old son Jordan was in Troop 109 told ABCNews.com, "I was not even aware they had a gay policy. It was very emotional for me."
Morgan also helped Tyrrell with troop activities: field trips and community service work at a soup kitchen and with the Salvation Army.
"I was very upset -- she was my friend and for me, this is personal," said Morgan, who with other troop parents had participated in local protests. "I hope that it ends up changing the policy for the Boy Scouts. That's what we're all hoping for."
Tyrrell said she told her troop parents that she wasn't "abandoning" their children. "It was not my choice," she said. "I didn't want them to think I left them. I had made them a promise to follow these kids to Eagle Scout. Now I can't."
Change.org has been instrumental in other campaigns, most notably the Trayvon Martin case, which also caught the nation's attention and resulted in the arrest of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of the 14-year-old.
Source: ABC News