News & Notes
In last month's Body Positive, we reported on the recently enacted New York State laws requiring names reporting and contact tracing ["What's in a Name?" by Stacy Millman, January 1999]. At that time, although the law was scheduled to go into effect in January, the state had still not released a draft of the rules and regulations under which it would be implemented. The public, including AIDS organizations, is entitled under law to a 45-day period in which to examine and comment upon any proposed regulations before they are put into effect. With nothing in writing, it was unclear just what was going to happen with the new laws.
Now the state has announced that it will delay implementation of the laws until the spring. Draft regulations are scheduled to be published at the end of January, followed by the 45-day public comment period, with the law expected to be put into effect probably in April.
Tom Duane, whose 1991 election to the New York City Council made him the first openly gay, openly HIV-positive elected official in the United States, has moved to a larger stage. On January 6, 1999, the state legislature gained a much-needed voice on behalf of people with HIV and AIDS when newly elected State Senator Tom Duane took the oath of office. Look for coverage of Duane's January 31 inaugural celebration and his plans for his new role in the March issue of Body Positive.
March 21 through 27 will witness an unprecedented campaign to strengthen, unite, and promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities across the country. HIV/AIDS discrimination will be a particular theme of activities on Tuesday, March 23.
The campaign goals are to strengthen lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizing efforts in every state and territory; to draw national attention to efforts to pass hate crimes, civil rightss, and supportive family laws, and to fight antigay initiatives at the state level; and to unite across state lines through nationally coordinated actions and strategies.
"We have seen that civil rights, healthcare access, hate crimes, school safety, adoption, marriage, and antigay initiatives are decided at the state level. Stronger coalitions between statewide and local LGBT groups are necessary to face the challenges from the religious right and to hold local and state public officials accountable to LGBT communities and our allies," says, New York State EBaH Steering Committee member from New York City Patty Penalosa.
Equality Begins at Home is a project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Federation of Statewide LGBT Political Organizations. It is being coordinated nationally by Paula Ettelbrick of the Empire State Pride Agenda.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.