Month: August 2011


 “We Are The Night” – “Wir Sind Die Nacht”

Screening and After Party Fundraiser for the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

Sunday, Sept 4, 2011

MIAMI — AUGUST 10, 2011 – We are the Night” (“Wir Sind Die Nacht”), a sexy, suspenseful and adrenaline-pumping vampire film will make its Southeast Regional premiere at a fundraiser for the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MDGLFF) produced by Icandee Events on Sunday, September 4, at one of Miami’s most talked-about venues, the Stage in the Design District.  This edgy tale of a provocative gang of female vampires, who are living large, making their own rules, and leaving a merciless trail of blood in their wake, was a multi-award winner at the 61st Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Awards) held last April in Berlin.

“Women’s films are an important part of the mix of the Festival,” said Franc Castro, executive director of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.  “We are truly excited to be partnering with Icandee to showcase this toothsome tale of ‘Twilight’ meets ‘The L Word’.”

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. where fellow indie and vampire film fans will enjoy appetizers and drinks before the film screening. After the film, guests can stay to enjoy more girl power and debauchery at the after party with music by DJs Run Sevim Run and Bonnie Beats, plus gyrating by sinfully sexy vampire dancers.

“The MGLFF is an important part of our community. I wanted to produce a night that would not only be sexy and tantalizing but also raise money and awareness for the festival. Of course, choosing a female vampire film was a clear choice,” says Producer Lynn Bové.

$20 tickets include cocktail reception with a complimentary drink and appetizers, film and admission to the after party.

Cocktail Reception: 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Film Screening: 9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

After Party: 11:00 p.m. ($10 cover)

Venue: The Stage, 170 NE 38th Street, Miami, in the Design District




Phone: 877-484-8499

About the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

The MGLFF is a critically acclaimed event, now in its 14th year, held throughout South Florida in the world-renowned historic South Beach district and throughout Miami-Dade County. The MGLFF is celebrated for its program of feature films, documentaries and short films by, about and of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) communities. In 2009-2010, screenings and special events drew more than 13,500 attendees from greater Miami–Dade and Broward counties, as well as national and international visitors. The MGLFF remains active outside of the film festival to produce the Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival every October and to provide year-round advance, archival and educational screenings along with other social events.

About Icandee Events

Miami-based promotion company Icandee Events has been producing women’s events for more than 11 years. Icandee Events has sponsored and co-produced some of the area’s biggest not-for-profit events including Aqua Girl, Winter Party, Miami Beach Gay Pride and countless others. Icandee Events is synonymous with quality productions that feature great music, over-the-top performers and fabulous venues.

Media contact: Bridget N. Pietsch, The Murry Agency  305 | 531 | 5720

Media Provided by – Gay News Media and Press Network.

Obama bans LGBT human rights violators from entering US


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 04, 2011

Presidential Proclamation–Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Participate in Serious Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Other Abuses





The United States enduring commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law requires that its Government be able to ensure that the United States does not become a safe haven for serious violators of human rights and humanitarian law and those who engage in other related abuses.  Universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law and the prevention of atrocities internationally promotes U.S. values and fundamental U.S. interests in helping secure peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises around the globe.  I therefore have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain persons who have engaged in the acts outlined in section 1 of this proclamation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.  I therefore hereby proclaim that:

Section 1.  The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of the following persons is hereby suspended:

(a)  Any alien who planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated in, including through command responsibility, widespread or systematic violence against any civilian population based in whole or in part on race; color; descent; sex; disability; membership in an indigenous group; language; religion; political opinion; national origin; ethnicity; membership in a particular social group; birth; or sexual orientation or gender identity, or who attempted or conspired to do so.

(b)  Any alien who planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated in, including through command responsibility, war crimes, crimes against humanity or other serious violations of human rights, or who attempted or conspired to do so.

Sec. 2.  Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply with respect to any person otherwise covered by section 1 where the entry of such person would not harm the foreign relations interests of the United States.

Sec. 3.  The Secretary of State, or the Secretary’s designee, in his or her sole discretion, shall identify persons covered by section 1 of this proclamation, pursuant to such standards and procedures as the Secretary may establish.

Sec. 4.  The Secretary of State shall have responsibility for implementing this proclamation pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish.

Sec. 5.  For any person whose entry is otherwise suspended under this proclamation entry will be denied, unless the Secretary of State determines that the particular entry of such person would be in the interests of the United States.  In exercising such authority, the Secretary of State shall consult the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters related to admissibility or inadmissibility within the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Sec. 6.  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to derogate from United States Government obligations under applicable international agreements, or to suspend entry based solely on an alien’s ideology, opinions, or beliefs, or based solely on expression that would be considered protected under U.S. interpretations of international agreements to which the United States is a party.  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the authority of the United States to admit or to suspend entry of particular individuals into the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) or under any other provision of U.S. law.

Sec. 7.  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 8.  This proclamation is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until such time as the Secretary of State determines that it is no longer necessary and should be terminated, either in whole or in part.  Any such termination shall become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Media Provided by – Gay News Media and Press Network.


Focus on Gay Men of All Races and Ethnicities Must be Strengthened

Washington, DC – “Today’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that new HIV infections in the U.S. remain stable but has increased among gay men and other men who have sex with men, particularly among black gay men, is further evidence that our Nation’s commitment to HIV prevention must be heightened,” commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. “At a time when Washington policy makers are debating ways to cut budgets, we cannot risk cutting HIV prevention programs, which account for only 4 percent of all federal HIV spending.  Instead we should be increasing our investment,” Schmid added.

While the CDC reports the number of overall infections remain stable, there was an increase in the number of infections in one group, gay men.  Despite being about 2 percent of the population, they accounted for 61 percent of the new infections in 2009, compared to 56 percent in 2006.  This was driven by a dramatic number of new infections among young black gay men (48 percent increase among those ages 13-29).

“It is obvious we must invest our resources, prevention programs and research on where the epidemic is and where it is increasing.  We hope federal, state, and local health departments together with community based organizations will appropriately adjust their programs to ensure the needs of the most affected communities are addressed.  The National HIV/AIDS Strategy developed by the Obama Administration reinforces this need, but change is often met with resistance,” added Schmid.

“The 34 percent increase in the number of new infections among young gay men is yet another reminder for the need to have age appropriate sexuality education that includes a positive discussion of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships,” said Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

The new CDC incidence numbers continue to demonstrate that HIV in the U.S. not only disproportionately affects gay men of all races and ethnicities, but African American and Latino men and women as well.

Investing in HIV prevention today will save money tomorrow.  Preventing one infection will save approximately $355,000 in future lifetime medical costs.  If we had prevented the 48,100 new cases in 2009 alone would translate into an astounding $17 billion less in lifetime medical costs.

President Obama has proposed an increase to CDC’s HIV prevention programs by $57 million in FY12.  “When the U.S Congress returns to Washington in the fall and turns to completing action on its spending bills, we urge them to support at least this level of funding to ensure we can continue to prevent HIV infections in our country,” added Ruppal.

“Today’s news from the CDC is not good news.  A stable number of new infections is not progress; we need to see a decline in the number of new infections.  President Obama stated in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that he envisions a country where HIV infections are rare.  We look forward to that day, but it will only occur if we properly invest in HIV prevention today,” concluded Ruppal.

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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.


For more information and to become involved, please contact 
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: 

Media Provided by the – Gay News Media and Press Network.


Washington, DC -The AIDS Institute is pleased to announce that the event registration link is active for the 4th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) scheduled for September 18, 2011. The theme for NHAAAD is “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be”.

NHAAAD focuses on the challenging issues facing the aging population including HIV prevention, care and treatment. The campaign primarily targets 1) People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) who are aging with the disease or already over 50 at the time of their initial diagnosis, 2) Increasing use of protection from HIV infection, especially among the baby boomer population, and 3) Increasing number of grandparents becoming the primary guardians for children who have lost their parent(s) to HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS Institute (TAI) invites organizations and community members who plan, implement and participate in awareness activities or events on or around September18, 2011, register their events at 2011 NHAAAD Event Registration.

“We are very excited to launch the registration link for NHAAAD. We strongly encourage those planning events to register them, not only on a local, regional but national level to truly gain support for these events through TAI’s ongoing marketing efforts”, states Michelle Scavnicky, Director of Education at The AIDS Institute.

In addition, the NHAAAD poster series was recently developed by The AIDS Institute along with its partners to assist individuals or organizations in their outreach, media and marketing efforts. The goal of the poster series is to emphasize the 30 year anniversary of HIV, highlight relevant data regarding the HIV/AIDS and aging population, and use diverse images in the overall messaging resulting in a broader reach among the target population.

To register your event, please visit 2011 NHAAAD Event Registration.

To download the NHAAAD poster series and other campaign materials, please visit
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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.

For more information and to become involved, please contact
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: or

Media Provided by the – Gay News Media and Press Network.


Will Help More Women Learn of Their HIV Status

Washington, DC – In an announcement yesterday by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has accepted the recommendations of a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that private insurers be required to cover annual HIV counseling and screening for sexually active women at no cost.

The AIDS Institute, which has helped lead an effort to increase coverage for HIV testing, commends the Secretary for her decision. “We are very pleased the Secretary acknowledged our views and IOM’s recommendations that women are at risk for HIV, but frequently do not recognize that they are at risk, which is why annual counseling and screening for sexually active woman is so important,” commented Marilyn Merida, Board President of The AIDS Institute.

The Secretary mandated that new health insurance plans must cover eight preventive health services for women at no cost to patients. Previously, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) required plans to only cover those services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). At the request of the HHS, the IOM committee identified critical gaps in preventive services for women as well as measures that will further ensure women’s health and well-being. HHS used this report to develop these guidelines.

According to the CDC, there are an estimated 232,700 people with HIV in the U.S. who are undiagnosed, including over 53,200 women. The need for increased HIV testing is well known. Not only does knowledge of HIV status benefit the individual so that they can be linked to proper care and treatment, but it helps in prevention efforts as the person will likely takes steps that will lessen the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Under the USPSTF recommendations, private insurance plans would only have to cover HIV testing for pregnant women and women who are deemed at high risk.   Basing coverage on perceived risk is inadequate since it often overlooks many women, who may not be aware that they are at risk of HIV.

“The Secretary’s recognition of the need for expanded testing for women will result in earlier diagnoses and better health outcomes for women. The AIDS Institute applauds the decision,” commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.


For more information and to become involved, please contact 
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: 

Media Provided by the – Gay News Media and Press Network.


Still Limits ADAP Funding to State with Greatest Need

Tampa, FL – In reaction to concerns raised by The AIDS Institute and members of Florida’s congressional delegation, the State of Florida will now be eligible to receive additional funding to maintain beneficiaries on its struggling AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), but not enough to make a serious reduction to the waiting list, which now stands at 3,682 people.”We are pleased the Obama Administration heard our objections and those of others in Florida that its decision to limit the level of emergency ADAP funding to less than what it received last year would have forced the state to remove people currently taking medications from the program.” commented Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

Today, the federal government issued a clarification that allows states, particularly Florida, to receive at least as much as they received in emergency ADAP funding last year rather than be limited to only $3 million. Last year, Florida received $7 million in emergency ADAP funds.

“Despite the doubling of emergency ADAP funding from $25 to $50 million, Florida will basically be restricted to receiving the same level as last year despite having the largest waiting list in the country.” added Ruppal.

Florida currently has over 3,680 people on the ADAP waiting list, which represents 42% of the wait lists nationwide. “This new clarification means that Florida will only be eligible to receive up to 18% of the competitive portion of the emergency resources. While this will help keep people currently taking medications now on the program it will not reduce the wait list, which is growing each month.” added Ruppal.

“While we certainly acknowledge the Administration’s modification will allow existing patients to stay on their medications, this new emergency pot of funding should be distributed to people with HIV/AIDS who need medications the most. We again ask the Administration to reconsider their decision and provide Florida with ADAP emergency relief funding that reflects the state’s share of the need.” concluded Ruppal.

The AIDS Institute would like to recognize Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Alcee Hastings for their leadership in ensuring that people with HIV/AIDS in Florida and elsewhere can receive their medications through ADAP.

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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.


For more information and to become involved, please contact 
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: 

Media Provided by the – Gay News Media and Press Network

The AIDS Institute Recognized World Hepatitis Day

Supports Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment for Viral Hepatitis

Washington, DC – July 28, 2011 was officially designated World Hepatitis Day by the World Health Assembly, following a resolution on May 19, 2010 after extensive lobbying from the World Hepatitis Alliance and patient groups around the world. World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to provide education and greater understanding of viral hepatitis as a global public health problem, and to stimulate the strengthening of preventive and control measures of viral hepatitis. From the beginning, The AIDS Institute has been a partner of World Hepatitis Day.

The resolution was supported by all 193 members and reflects the international realization that action to tackle viral hepatitis is now urgently required. The resolution recognizes the global impact of hepatitis B and C – two diseases that kill one million people a year and which to date have not received the global attention they deserve.  The World Health Assembly has established a robust framework to deliver improvements in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and awareness.  The resolution clearly states the need for global coordinated action to tackle viral hepatitis backed by dedicated resources.  It also provides global endorsement of World Hepatitis Day as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts.

According to CDC, an estimated 3.5 to 5.3 million persons are living with viral hepatitis in the United States, and millions more are at risk for infection. On May 12, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis which outlines actions, based on scientific evidence and extensive real-world experience that will serve as a roadmap for reaching the Healthy People objectives.

HHS is committed to ensuring that new cases of viral hepatitis are prevented and that persons who are already infected are tested; informed about their infection; and provided with counseling, care, and treatment. The success of these actions is contingent on departmental and interagency collaboration, stakeholder support, and engagement of the diverse communities being served. Also critical to the success of the plan are policy-related support and system changes, which likely will be brought about by the Affordable Care Act. The Viral Hepatitis Action Plan will serve as the guide for HHS agencies working to combat the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis.

“The announcement of HHS’s Action Plan was a great example of our nation’s leadership and proactive work in addressing viral hepatitis. On World Hepatitis Day, we can continue to raise awareness and education and promote the Action Plan’s important strategies,” comments Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

The World Hepatitis Alliance and supporting groups work with governments and the World Health Organization to address the prevention of new infections and providing much needed support to the 500 million people living with viral hepatitis worldwide. For more information or to download campaign materials, please visit the following

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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.


For more information and to become involved, please contact 
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: 

Media provided by The – Gay News Media and Press Network.


New Allocation of Funding will Help Reduce HIV Infections in the U.S.  

Washington, DC – The AIDS Institute is pleased to voice its strong support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) five-year HIV prevention funding opportunity announcement for health departments in states, territories, and select cities. The new direction outlined by the CDC will better help decrease the overall number of new HIV infections in the United States and achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).The AIDS Institute has historically supported the philosophy that the money should follow the epidemic. In 2009, we conducted an analysis of how the CDC allocated its prevention dollars and found there is a wide variation from state to state. Additionally, the study found the funds were not distributed in a manner that may best reduce the number of new infections.

We are very pleased the CDC has decided to rectify these past inequities and now will base the distribution of funds on the number of people with 

In an era of constrained federal resources, it is more important that funding be distributed in the best way possible to reduce HIV infections.   This philosophy is laid out in the NHAS, which calls for efforts to intensify HIV prevention in communities where HIV is most heavily concentrated and distribute funding to areas where it is most needed and where the most impact can occur.
Moving to a formula based distribution of funds will undoubtedly create some redistribution. The CDC acknowledges this need to protect existing infrastructure by phasing in the changes over five years, limiting funding losses to no more than 25 percent in one year, and establishing a minimum award level. While this may be unpopular in the areas that will lose funding, it is the responsibility of the federal government and the CDC to do what is best for the nation overall in preventing HIV and reducing the number of new HIV infections.

The AIDS Institute acknowledges that distributing funds in a more equitable manner is just one component to improving our Nation’s effort to reduce HIV infections. We realize the total amount of funding that is available for HIV prevention is far from adequate and are advocating for increases. If the overall level of funding is reduced in anyway, the losses to the jurisdictions will be even greater.

We also realize that how the funds are spent on various programs, interventions, and populations is also critical to decreasing the number new HIV infections. We believe the CDC has done an excellent job of outlining and prioritizing prevention program elements in the funding announcement.

The CDC has the responsibility to ensure that its existing resources are distributed in the best possible manner to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the country. The AIDS Institute believes they have fulfilled this in the funding announcement.

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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.


For more information and to become involved, please contact 
The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: 

Media Provided by the – Gay News Media and Press Network

GLSEN Statement on NCLR, SPLC Lawsuit Against Anoka-Hennepin School District

District sued for failing to address anti-LGBT harassment, ‘gag order’ that prevents discussion of LGBT people

NEW YORK, July 21, 2011 – The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard about the announcement today from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center that they have filed a lawsuit with Faegre & Benson, LLP challenging the pervasive anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) harassment in Anoka-Hennepin School District and the district’s “gag policy” that prevents staff from discussing issues related to LGBT people.

GLSEN released a research brief last month based on findings from Minnesota LGBT students who participated in the 2009 National School Climate Survey. The brief found that 84% of Minnesota LGBT students had been harassed or assaulted in the past year because of their sexual orientation and 61% because of their gender expression.

Statement from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard:

“Today’s filing by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Faegre & Benson, LLP is an important moment in a long journey for the families of Anoka-Hennepin. We are grateful to our colleagues in legal advocacy for the critical role they play in standing up for students. But it is a sad day as well – when these cases end up in court, it is usually a sign that much has already been lost, and that something has gone seriously wrong. In Anoka-Hennepin, the best interests of students who are most at-risk have lost out to prejudice codified in district-wide policy. Every student deserves to go to school free from fear and able to learn and fulfill their full potential. For schools to live up to their responsibility to every student, they must be prepared to address anti-LGBT bias and behavior to clear away a barrier to learning. In Anoka-Hennepin, the barriers persist. When all other efforts fail, regrettably, lawsuits are necessary to force school districts to follow the law and provide equal opportunity to all students.

“These issues do not have to end up in court. GLSEN has provided resources, trainings and support to schools and school districts for more than 20 years to ensure that they employ evidence-based interventions to improve school climate for all of the students in their district. Districts from Maine to Nebraska to Idaho to California to Hawaii are currently using GLSEN materials and trainings to take proactive steps to provide a safe and effective learning environment for every student who walks through the doors. We offered similar support to Anoka-Hennepin but were refused. Sadly, as GLSEN’s research brief on the experiences of LGBT students in Minnesota demonstrates, Minnesota students who need support the most are the ones who suffer because of the district’s decisions and policies.”

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit


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