NEWS: Faculty At Christian School Quit; Home HIV Test Approved; NE Passes Anti-Bias Ordinance, And More!
A federal committee unanimously approved over-the-counter sale of a take-home rapid HIV test, paving the way for the product’s approval by the FDA. “We believe we are at a deciding moment in the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. The key to that begins with getting them tested” said Black AIDS Institute director Phil Wilson. Any positive results from the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test (above) would be confirmed by a lab. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Despite the efforts of homophobes like Cornhuskers coach Ron Brown, the Lincoln, NE, city council voted 5-0 (with 2 abstaining) in favor of the Fairness Ordinance, which will ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Opponents now have 15 days to gather 2500 signatures to get the measure put on a ballot. [HRC]
More than 60 faculty and staff members at Shorter University (right) tendered their resignations after the school implemented a mandatory “personal lifestyle statement” that prohibited, among other things, alcohol use, premarital sex and homosexuality and required employees to be active members of a church.”We love Jesus Christ,” said Shorter President Donald Dowless, “and we want people who serve here to love Jesus Christ and be willing to not just sign the document, but enthusiastically endorse that in every aspect of their lives,” Mike Wilson, an openly gay librarian who’s been at Shorter for 14 years, was one of those who quit: “I’m a pretty quiet person. But I perceive this as a great injustice.” [Inside Higher Ed]
Murat Gokcigdem, chief of staff for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) has been placed on leave after an email he wrote disparaging a gay colleague was discovered by the Washington Blade. In 2010, Gokcigdem suggested Christopher Crowe had used “contacts” within the LGBT community to become a finalist for a Treasury Department job. “I can not believe the White House could pass a junior [legislative aide] to be a congressional liaison for budget and tax issues… It is my personal belief that he has contacts there. And they, as a group [are] watching and supporting each other if you know what I mean,” Gokcigdem wrote. Crowe died of a staph infection in March 2011. [Washington Blade]
Gay Massachusetts Republican Richard Tisei (left) is getting strong backing from the GOP in his House race against Democrat Rep. John Tierney. Still with his partner of 18 years, Tisei says he supports welfare reform, is against tax increases and will to work to repeal President Obama’s health-care initiative. “I’m not going to go to Washington and be the gay congressman. I want to be the congressman that happens to be gay. I’m a live-and-let-live Republican. And my political philosophy is that the government should get off your back, out of your wallet and away from your bedroom.” [Politico]
Photos: Tisei for Congress, OraQuick