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Jun 21 2013

Supreme Court Ends Anti-Sex Work Restriction On AIDS Funding

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by thepleasurechest

gavel

While many of us anticipated a historic ruling on marriage equality yesterday, the Supreme Court weighed in another issue, vital to the concerns of sex workers and global health advocates.

The Supreme Court, in its 6-2 decision, said the federal government cannot require HIV outreach groups to sign an anti-prostitution pledge in order to get government funding. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, stated that such a requirement violated the First Amendment. “The policy requirement goes beyond preventing recipients from using private funds in a way that would undermine the federal program,” he wrote. “It requires them to pledge allegiance to the government’s policy of eradicating prostitution.”

For the past 10 years, the controversial policy has complicated efforts to provide HIV/AIDS services to sex workers around the world.  The ruling is seen as a huge win for sex workers and health advocates.

Can we expect more good news from the court next week?

 

Jun 13 2013

Sex Work & the Global War on AIDS

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by thepleasurechest

SexWorkersRates1

Ten years ago, the United States dramatically ramped up AIDS funding, but the funding came with this dangerous string attached: in order to qualify, non-governmental organizations must adopt an explicit policy opposing prostitution.

The US provides nearly 60% of the funds to fight the global AIDS epidemic, but as you can see from this infographic, aid is often prohibited from going where it is most needed. Namely to female sex workers in the Global South. Can the US fight a war on sex work and a war on AIDS at the same time?

More at The Nation.

Jun 12 2013

Multnomah County Makes Gender Neutral Bathrooms Mandatory

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by thepleasurechest

gender-neutral

Here’s great news for transgender equality. Multnomah County in Oregon has become one of the first in the country to require that gender neutral bathrooms be included in all new construction projects.  County board Chairman Jeff Cogen signed the executive order yesterday in the hopes that it will decrease stigma for transgender county employees and visitors when using public restrooms.

“Some folks have told us they literally have to wait and go home during the day to go to the bathroom,” he said. “Clearly, that is suffering no one should have to endure.”

The decision, which was timed to coincide with LGBT Pride month, has been praised by advocates for transgender equality, and signals a small, but important shift in the recognition of trans rights.

Read more at OregonLive

Jun 11 2013

Stephen Colbert Gives a Shoutout to the Acuvibe Massager

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by thepleasurechest

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,Video Archive

Stephen Colbert’s bit on the NSA spying scandal last night was very funny. But our favorite part was his unexpected pitch for the Acuvibe Massager, which happens at the 3:05 mark. Do you use the Acuvibe for something other than soothing sore muscles? Your secret is safe with us.

 

 

 

Jun 10 2013

Plan B is Now OTC

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by thepleasurechest

planb

“The government intends to file with the Circuit Court notice that it is voluntarily withdrawing its appeal in this matter.”

With that single sentence, the White House and the Department of Justice have ended their legal challenges against Plan B, paving the way for the emergency contraception pill to appear on drug store shelves without a prescription. This is a big victory for reproductive freedom.

 

Jun 07 2013

Children Of Gay Parents Are Happier

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by thepleasurechest

gayparents

Here’s something that should make gay folks even prouder this Pride season. A new study has found that children of gay and lesbian parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population. That finding is from a study of 500 Australian children by Melbourne University in the largest survey yet on the effects of same sex parenting.

An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along.

The researchers claim that children of same sex parents may be doing better because of more open communication.

Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,” lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch said.

”This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis.’

While this may not be news to many of our readers, we’re happy to see science validate what many of us know. You only need love to make a family.

 

Jun 03 2013

Google Says No To Glass Porn

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by thepleasurechest

glassman

Well, that was fast. Just a few days after it was reported that a Seattle-based company was developing porn for Google Glass, the tech giant has announced a ban on adult-oriented apps for their new space-age goggles.

“We don’t allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material,” according to Google’s Glass platform developer policies, which were updated Saturday to offer more information about what developers can and cannot do with the software they make for Glass, which Google refers to as “Glassware.”

It’s not clear what this means for the future of porn on Google Glass. MiKandi’s representative said in response to the new policy, “We’re not going to just stop. We have to think about our next strategy.”

Meanwhile, Pinterest is relaxing its ban on nudity. We wonder if this means we can repost that dildo photo they took down last month.

Jun 03 2013

Brooklyn Cops Stop Condom Busts

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by thepleasurechest

condoms

As we reported back in March, the NYPD has been arresting people on suspicion of prostitution simply for carrying condoms. The practice is especially problematic since the same city also distributes free condoms to help combat STIs. Now there’s some good news out of Brooklyn where prosecutors, bowing to pressure from sex worker advocates, have ordered the police to stop collecting condoms as evidence.

Prosecutors will continue to use condoms as evidence in trafficking cases, a policy that remains controversial among sex worker advocates. Still, this new rule should help to reduce the number of arrests and reduce fears of getting arrested simply for carrying protection.

h/t @Melissa Gira Grant