New Briefs

New Combo May Prevent HIV Infection

Scientists are hopeful that a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine combined as Truvada will block HIV infection in humans. It has already done so in a small trial among monkeys and was effective. Some gay men in San Francisco are already having it prescribed when they admit to not using condoms, the Associated Press reported, though human trials for safety and effectiveness have yet to be completed.


Maryland Gay Dad Can Have Partner

In 2002, Karl Ulf Hedberg was given custody of his 13-year old son by a Virginia court, but it required his male partner to move out. This week, a judge in Montgomery County, Maryland where the gay father moved in 2004, ended the ban on Hedberg living with Blaise Delahoussaye. The boy’s mom moved to Florida and had petitioned for custody.

“I am sure we are going to see more cases like this one,” Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights told the Baltimore Sun.


Maverick John McCain: RIP

Senator John McCain scored points with many when he stood up to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in his 2000 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, calling them “agents of intolerance.” Now that he can taste the 2008 nomination, he is mending fences with these agents, signing on to be the commencement speaker at Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in May. McCain voted against bringing a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage to the floor of the Senate two years ago. But he came out last year for a state constitutional ban on gay marriage in Arizona. And Falwell claims that the senator now concedes that a federal amendment may be necessary, the Lynchburg News and Advance reported.


Traditional Values Town Boycotted

The elders of Kanab, Utah (population 3,528) wanted to send a message when they voted to declare that a “natural family” consists of a man who works, a woman who keeps house, and some kids, reported. But the message they’ve gotten back is “we know where we’re not welcome.” Close to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, Kanab’s businesses are claiming that trade is way down. The owner of the local Mexican restaurant said “I’ve had four tour buses cancel” and orders for their mail order salsa have dried up.

“Some Kanab business people have started their own campaign,” the news service reported, “Everyone Welcome Here.”


Judge to Log Cabin: You Need to Tell

The challenge by the Log Cabin Republicans to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was dismissed by the U.S. District Court’s Ninth Circuit in California because the group “lack associational standing,” reported. The court said that the club would have to name at least one of the anonymous plaintiffs in the case for it to proceed, giving them until April 28 to re-file. Log Cabin told the court that it withheld the names of the plaintiffs because they would face discharge if revealed.


Too Late for McGreevey

While New Jersey is being roiled by a huge debate on same-sex marriage with a decision due soon on its constitutionality from the state’s high court, “Gay American” ex-Governor James McGreevey—who is still on the record against same-sex marriage—has been absent from the public scene, scribbling away on a “tell-all” memoir due to bow on September 19.


Colorado Partner Bill Advances

The Democratic-controlled Colorado House voted 38-27 to send a bill to the Senate that would provide limited rights for same-sex partners. If the Senate passes it as expected, the bill would have to be ratified in a November referendum.


Marriage Amendment Killed in Maryland

Maneuvers in the Maryland General Assembly have stopped a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage from seeing the light of day this year, despite seven Democrats joining all 14 Republicans on the Judicial Proceedings Committee in a last ditch effort to dislodge it. The vote was 26-21 against bringing it up in this session.

The House of Delegates voted 78-61 earlier this year not to override the House Judiciary Committee’s refusal to send the bill to the floor.


Vaclav vs. Vaclav

As reported, the Czech Republic’s Parliament overrode President Vaclav Klaus’s veto of a gay partnership bill last week with no votes to spare. That pleased former president Vaclav Havel, who told the CTK News Agency, “Though with a very tight margin, I am very glad the legislation eventually made it through parliament.”

Havel added, “I was most intrigued in the debate by the absurd ideology advocated by the Christian Democrats and Klaus who argue that family should have advantages since, unlike homosexual couples, it brings children to life. This is a concept of family as a sort of calf shed in which bulls can inseminate cows so that calves are born.”


Gay Man Can’t Acknowledge Husband at Cemetery

St. Ann’s Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island has forbidden Rick Paolino the opportunity to mark the crypt of his husband, Justin, with any indication of their relationship. At first, reported, he wanted to inscribe “husband” on his marker, then tried for “spouse” or “beloved.” All were nixed by the Catholic cemetery which issued a statement saying it had to uphold its “dignity.”

The men were married in Massachusetts and Justin died last month. Paolino is considering moving the remains of all of his family members to Massachusetts.