ACLU seeks information
STATEWIDE — The ACLU of North Carolina and the ACLU’s national LGBT Project have teamed up on a project to help families headed by same-sex couples in North Carolina and are looking for some assistance.
In the recent case of Boseman v. Jarrell the Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled that second parent adoptions are not permissible in the state, which has left many couples who had existing second-parent adoptions concerned and confused about their families’ legal status. The ACLU believes that real people with real stories are what it will take to convince the public that LGBT families need the ability to obtain second-parent adoptions in order to best protect its children. They are looking for same-sex couples with children in the Tar Heel state who would be willing to share their families’ stories. They especially welcome families who have existing second-parent adoptions and are now worried about how secure their legal arrangements are; families where one parent is the biological parent and they don’t have a second-parent adoption; families where one parent has adopted a child and they don’t have a second-parent adoption; families where one parent has adopted or is fostering a child from the foster care system and don’t have a second-parent adoption; families who have suffered as a result of one parent not being able to adopt their child (difficulties with health insurance or hospital visitation, for example); and couples who are expecting a child and are worried about how best to protect their family after the baby comes.
For those interested in sharing a story, fill out a survey online at action.aclu.org/LGBTfamilies. Anonymity is upheld. However, some may be approached about sharing their stories more publicly. For more information, email Chris Hampton, youth and program strategist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride shares weekend lineup
BOONE — High Country Pride & Joy has announced it’s schedule for its upcoming celebration from June 3-5.
“Come Out & Play,” a social and optional dinner will be held on June 3 at 6 p.m. at Char Modern American Restaurant, 179 S. Howard St. Enjoy this free event. Drink and dinner are a la carte. Reservations are encouraged by calling 828-266-2179.
The next day listen to a lecture series on “Negotiating Faith, Sexual Identity and Gender Expression in the Bible Belt” from 1-3 p.m. at the Belk Library in room 114 on Appalachian State University’s campus at 218 College St. This event is free and is co-sponsored by the university’s Department of Social Work.
Later on that day enjoy a take on Pride’s Relationship Game based upon “The Newlywed Game” from 7-9:30 p.m. at High Country Homebuilders, Builder’s Plaza, 755 N.C. Hwy. 105 Bypass. It’s alcohol free and appropriate for those over 18-years-old. A $5 donation includes hors d’oeuvres and ice cream.
Just can’t get enough? Then venture out to Cafe Portofino Restaurant & Bar, 970 Rivers St., for Pride & Joy DJ Dance from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Brian Rogers, who serves as event sponsor, will spin. A $5 donation to benefit Pride is appreciated.
A family picnic and free kids activities will be offered on June 5, come rain or shine at Old Cove Creek School Grounds, seven miles west of Boone in Sugar Grove, from 12:30-3 p.m. It’s alcohol free. Bring an umbrella and chair. BBQ will be provided and donations accepted. I’t’s sponsored by an ASU PARC grant. For directions, visit CoveCreek.net/directions.htm.
For more information, visit highcountrypride.org.
Test nets interesting results
CHAPEL HILL — The New York Times reported on May 12 that antiretroviral medication can not only provide benefit to those infected with HIV/AIDS, but also to those with whom they have physical contact.
A randomized clinical trial “showed that the drugs lowered the chances of infecting a partner by 96 percent,” the Times said. This has now led to a debate on whether all those infected should be required to take medication as a prophylactic measure.
Dr. Myron S. Cohen, a lead researcher for the study who is at the University of North Carolina and shared the results, said that he felt that forcing someone with HIV/AIDS to take the drug protocol was abhorrent. It was a violation of civil liberties.
Historically, some people have been forced to take certain medications to keep them from infecting others. Women who have hepatitis B may be forced within 12 hours of the birth of a child to immunize their babies. Similarly, during the drug-resistant tuberculosis outbreak in the 1990s, patients who were uncooperative were locked into Bellevue Hospital. And, mental patients may also, if they are considered a danger to themselves or to others, to be medicated.
Quarantine laws that are over 100 years old are also on the books.
The head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, has been on both sides of the argument. He had to put some patients in lockdown during the tuberculosis outbreak. Comparing HIV/AIDS to TB is blurry. Someone with TB can pass the disease to someone else simply by standing next to them. Those with HIV/AIDS must share body fluids. Consensual sex is also in question, especially when the person who is infected is not truthful with his/her partner.