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Via Political Wire: a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found growing support in the U.S. for same sex marriage.  42 percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be able to legally marry – up 9 points from just a month ago.

There’s also a widening age gap among respondents which isn’t a huge suprise considering that the under 30 age block went 66 percent for Obama in last year’s election.

31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they support same sex marriage …

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The Kerry-Lugar Amendment passed in the Senate today, restoring $4 billion in funding that had been cut from the international affairs budget, which includes crucial funding for diplomatic, health, and development programs.

Actual bipartisan cooperation that lead to a positive outcome.  I’m happy.

In the midst of a global economic crisis, foreign assistance is important now more than ever.  The world’s weakest need support to prevent disease, provide education for their communities, and ensure essential health services. 

We must keep moving forward in our efforts to lift up the nations …

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On behalf of the member organizations of the University Coalitions for Global Health, I’d like to invite you to take part in the 2009 Global Health Week of Action, March 30 – April 3!  There’s still two weeks to plan an event to raise awareness and motivate action in your community!

More info after the jump.

With a new administration and new Congress in the United States, there has never been a greater opportunity for youth voices to remind their policymakers of their commitment to the right to health …

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Complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19 in low- and middle-income countries. Around the world, 200 million women wish to avoid or delay pregnancy but do not have access to modern methods of contraception. It is estimated that the unmet need for family planning among young women is twice that among adults.

 

Yesterday, International Women’s Day, was a day to commemorate the struggles women have faced for centuries in their quest for equal rights and to evaluate the challenges …

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…and fails.

But, thanks for playing (not).

Today, Sen. Martinez of Florida proposed an amendment to HR 2, the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), reinstating the global gag rule (Mexico City Policy) in spite of the memorandum the President issued last Friday repealing it. 

The amendment sought to ensure that "no funds authorized under part I of Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for population planning activities or other population or family planning assistance may be made available for any private, nongovernmental, or multilateral organization that performs or actively promotes …

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January 6th, nine gay men were tried before a court in Senegal and sentenced to prison for eight years for "indecent conduct and unnatural acts."  Consensual sex between men is illegal in Senegal (punishable by imprisonment from one to five years and a hefty fine) but, on top of that, the judge threw in three to five years on top of the original sentence claiming these men were also part of a criminal group. 

Most of them belonged to an organization established to provide HIV prevention services to men who have sex …

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More evidence to back up common sense– no matter what they say at the VMAs, virginity pledges are just silly. 

According to this study from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do.

This large federal study showed that while more than half of young people initiate sexual …

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Apparently Obama’s a friend of his.

You may know Rev. Rick Warren as the friendly author of The Purpose Driven Life. The New York Times describes his Saddleback Church as "an evangelical congregation averaging 22,000 weekly attendees, a 120-acre campus, and has more than 300 community ministries to groups such as prisoners, CEOs, addicts, single parents, and those with HIV/AIDS."  Seems lovely, right?  BUT…. there are are a couple itty-bitty pieces which were left out of this inaugural announcement that I just can’t get over.

He also urged this 22,000

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This World AIDS Day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr. Michael Sidabe as the new Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

After 13 years of leadership since UNAIDS’ creation, Dr. Peter Piot is now passing the position on to his colleague who currently serves as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director– Programmes and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mr. Sidabe accepted his appointment with the following remarks:

I am indeed honoured to serve UNAIDS. The AIDS epidemic is not over in any part of

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On November 20, as I joined up with many AIDS activists I have worked with at various points over the past four years, one friend greeted me with a hug and the exclamation which became the title of this post– "First AIDS rally of the Obama era!"

 

After eight long years of the Bush Administration and failed HIV prevention policies at home and abroad– abstinence-only sex education, the federal ban on needle exchange, the lack of a National AIDS Strategy, the anti-prostitution loyalty oath (unfortunately, I …

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Yesterday, Americans gathered against hate in a continued fight for marriage equality.  Although Proposition 8 passed in California on November 4, we as a country must not rest until all of our citizens are granted what we all rightly deserve under the protection of the Constitution.  We have a separation of church and state in this country and no one group has authority over who anyone can love or what makes a family.

As advertized on Facebook and reported in the New York Times, demonstrations took place across

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I know, tough math, right?
As reported by Bloomberg:

President-elect Barack Obama will reverse U.S. family-planning and AIDS-prevention strategies that have long linked global funding to anti-abortion and abstinence education, a public-health adviser said….

Obama will bring "back a sense of balance and perspective and the use of good science and good medicine in these positions, and not just this narrow, political ideology,”…

I’m still in the haze of this whole President-elect Barack Obama thing and consistently certain that I must be reading a fake source when people …

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RWANDA’s! 
 
Yeah, try and tell me you weren’t suprised. 
 
While the United States’ 110th Congress set a record with 74 women serving out of a total of 434 seats (one seat is currently vacant), a mere 17 percent of Congressional seats, 44 of Rwanda’s 80 parliamentarians are women.  And following the nation’s recent election, Rose Mukantabana was chosen the new speaker of parliament by her fellow lawmakers with an overwhelming 70 vote majority.

So, admittedly, this didn’t just happen on it’s own.  Following the genocide, the government of Rwanda implemented an effort

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I pretty much love everything about Google.  The Gmail, the iGoogle, the Google calender, the Google docs… and the April Fool’s jokes.  They’re really awesome. 

Yet even awesomer in my opinion (and yes, I just decided awesomer was a word), this past week, Google did something unconventional for an Internet company–they took a stance on California’s Proposition 8, a measure on the state’s ballot this November 4th that would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. 

Any summary wouldn’t really do the post justice, so here’s the company’s …

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And yet, I’m ashamed to say, I was intrigued by one this past week.

The most recent edition of Us Weekly sports a cover with images of two actresses from this season’s new series Beverly Hills, 90210, Jessica Stroup and Shenae Grimes, with a headline that reads "Too Thin for TV."  The breaking news is that they are "trying to hard to be skinny" and their co-stars have planned an intervention.  But it’s not like this is the first time this has happened in Hollywood.  And this is certainly not …