Gavin Newsom calls it quits in California governor’s race

lgbt, politics No Comments »

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco who made national headlines in 2004 when he challenged California state law by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, has quit the governor’s race in California.

Newsom is withdrawing from the Democratic primary amid lackluster poll numbers and meager fund-raising receipts. His withdrawal leaves state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who is expected to run even though he has not officially entered the race, with little opposition in the Democratic primary.

“It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California,” Newsom said in a statement. “With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to — and should be — done. This is not an easy decision. But it is one made with the best intentions for my wife, my daughter, the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, and California Democrats.”

Although Newsom had been effectively running for more than a year, his campaign never gained much traction. Even in his hometown, which Newsom touted as a model of cutting-edge policies, his candidacy was widely derided among civic insiders.

The events of 2004 which gave Newsom national prominence set off a chain reaction that ultimately led to overturning the gay marriage ban by the California Supreme Court and the ultimate passage of Prop 8.

Eye candy Friday: new Avatar trailer

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Avatar TrailerNo… not that kind of eye candy. Sorry to be a bit off topic here but I’m a long time James Cameron fan and have missed his brand of movie-making, Titanic not withstanding. The first full trailer of his new film Avatar debuted today… and it doesn’t disappoint. Much better than the teaser. Enjoy.

Now back to you’re regularly scheduled programming…

Obama signs Ryan White Act and orders a lift of the HIV travel ban

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Obama signs Ryan White ActOnly two days after signing the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill into law, President Obama today signed an extension to the Ryan White Act which provides assistance and support to nearly half a million people suffering from HIV/AIDS.

“If we want to be a global leader in combatting HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it,” Obama said at the White House before signing a bill to extend the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Begun in 1990, the program provides medical care, medication and support services to about half a million people, most of them low-income.

The bill is named for an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion at age 13. White went on to fight AIDS-related discrimination against him and others like him and help educate the country about the disease. He died in April 1990 at the age of 18.

His mother, Jeanne White-Ginder, attended the signing ceremony, as did several members of Congress and HIV/AIDS activists.

Obama also said he will be finalizing an order on Monday that will lift the HIV immigration and travel ban that has been in place for 20 years.

Video of the ceremony below…

My friends… it was a very good week. First hate crimes and now this. It gives one hope for the future. Let’s hope the vote in Maine doesn’t erase all that.

Obama’s remarks after signing the Matthew Shepard hate crimes act

activism, lgbt, politics, video No Comments »

Obama on signing hate crimes lawAt a separate ceremony late today President Obama gave additional remarks about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act which he signed into law earlier today as a part of the 2010 Defense Authorization bill.