Time to Refocus: Gay Marriage Is The Least Of Our Problems From Weho Online News Paper.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 7:46 PM GMT


    Monday, June 11, 2009 – By Steve Martin, West Hollywood

    West Hollywood, California (Monday, June 11, 2009) - While so much of the community’s focus and passion has been devoted to Proposition 8 and the recent California Supreme Court ruling, we now face a new challenge based upon California’s huge budget short fall.


    Steve Martin is an attorney and former-city council member. WeHo News - West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

    With the governor proposing to slash over $80 million dollars from HIV/AIDS funding, the gay and lesbian community has to re-focus and concentrate on the crisis at hand.

    Part of the governor’s proposal is to eliminate $12 million from the ADAP program. This is a program that provides free HIV medications to the uninsured. Given the costs of such medications, if people are cut from the program, they will die.

    The other cuts to HIV/AIDS programs for testing, education and mental health are pretty grim but cutting the ADAP program seems incredibly cynical and callous. It is certainly counter productive.

    Without medications people will get sick and wind up clogging already over whelmed emergency rooms and County hospitals. This will cost far more than the relatively paltry $12 million the governor proposes to save.


    There will be employed and productive Californians who will go on welfare because they will not longer be able to work.

    This is the sort of logic that got California in this budget mess in the first place.


    WeHo News.

    Indeed the proposed cuts may put California in danger of losing Federal Ryan White funds, as these funds are conditioned upon matching State funds for HIV programs. That would only compound the misery.

    Of course we are in competition with all sorts of other special interest groups, including ones who we like. But there can be temporary cuts in after school programs and education assistance until California gets it’s finance house in order. A “temporary” cut in providing HIV drugs would have permanent effect on many of the people in the ADAP program.

    Of course no one wants to see cuts in health care and education or lay offs of public employees, but we as a community need to focus on our issue, which is literally a matter of life or death.

    Fortunately groups like Stonewall Democratic Club and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, (AHF), have been organizing a response but we need massive numbers of calls and letters to get through the cacophony of conflicting voices in Sacramento as everybody has a stake in the proposed budget.



    Virtually all special interest groups are playing the media and claiming that they must be immune from cuts or California civilization as we know it will collapse. It is hard to match the power of the education and State employee lobbies.


    For example, Pat Morrison devoted an hour of her show on local National Public Radio to proposed cuts in community college athletic programs. You would think from hearing from the people she interviewed that this was the most potentially tragic aspect of the current budget crisis.

    It just seemed so surreal. Until the State can get sufficient funding for it’s many worthy and necessary programs and reform budgeting by ballot measures, we are going to see cuts in programs. And we are going to have to be willing to provide that additional revenues.

    I would love to see the entire West Hollywood City Council and other openly gay and lesbian elected officials camp out in Sacramento until we can insure ADAP funding.


    Frankly local officials in many communities are simply not even aware of this program or the number of people in their community who may be impacted by these cuts, so they are not going to be lobbying on this issue. That is why electing openly lesbian and gay officials is so important to our community.

    Once again that means each of us needs to make our voices heard.


    We need to call, write and email the Governor, the Speaker and our local legislators. Calling our City Council members is not a bad idea either. We need to mobilize in the same way as we did last fall to oppose Proposition 8, but we need to do it immediately.

    Our State Senator is Fran Pavley and our Assembly member is Mike Feuer. You can send emails to them if you google their web sites.

    Senator Pavley can be reached at her Sacramento office at (916) 651-4022; FAX (916) 324-4823. Her District office number is (310) 314-5214.

    Mike Feuer can be reached at (916) 316-2042; (FAX) (916) 319-2142; his District office number is (310) 285-5498.


    After we get through this crisis, we have to be involved in the reform of the State’s budgeting process, including elimination of the two thirds majority to pass a budget.
    .

    There are a number of reforms that simply need to be enacted to make this State governable.

    We need to question California’s political sacred cows such as term limits and ballot box budgeting by special interests. These are “
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jun 12, 2009 9:52 PM GMT
    I read the first few lines and just get upset when I see or hear comments that we shouldn't focus on this when we need to focus on that. We can focus on several things at one time, folks! We are not a one track mind society. There are many issues, and some of them get solved with coalitions. Things don't stop on the drop of a dime.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    California is really fucked, I'd say.

    Certainly, this is the Lord's punishment for California's treatment of God's gay children.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 11:15 PM GMT
    McGay saidCalifornia is really fucked, I'd say.

    Certainly, this is the Lord's punishment for California's treatment of God's gay children.



    What does that even mean?

    Also, CoolArmy makes a good point, why shouldn't gay community be able to collectively focus on more than one issue at a time?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 11:27 PM GMT
    RyanReBoRn said
    Also, CoolArmy makes a good point, why shouldn't gay community be able to collectively focus on more than one issue at a time?
    It would seem to me the answer to that question, although a good point being made, is that the track record of the gay community to be able to adequately and forcefully support a single issue, as a collective community, and convince either society or the political powers to be that the issue is substantially significant to the well being of the community seems to be less than successful. So to multitasking significant issues may be more of a challenge than one thinks with out some serious changes in community leadership/outreach and "coalition" formation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 11:32 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidI read the first few lines and just get upset when I see or hear comments that we shouldn't focus on this when we need to focus on that. We can focus on several things at one time, folks! We are not a one track mind society. There are many issues, and some of them get solved with coalitions. Things don't stop on the drop of a dime.


    Well apparently our lord almighty obama doesn't feel like he can focus on more than one item at a time. He is too busy spending money to worry about DADT and DOMA.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 12, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    RyanReBoRn said
    Also, CoolArmy makes a good point, why shouldn't gay community be able to collectively focus on more than one issue at a time?
    It would seem to me the answer to that question, although a good point being made, is that the track record of the gay community to be able to adequately and forcefully support a single issue, as a collective community, and convince either society or the political powers to be that the issue is substantially significant to the well being of the community seems to be less than successful. So to multitasking significant issues may be more of a challenge than one thinks with out some serious changes in community leadership/outreach and "coalition" formation.


    Then maybe it's time for some serious change in community leadership. It's been a good 30 years without too much progress, now's as good a time as ever, right?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 13, 2009 3:08 AM GMT
    this is kind of scary for me. This will cause a huge backlash. For the gay community and CA
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jun 13, 2009 3:33 AM GMT
    RyanReBoRn said
    eb925guy said
    RyanReBoRn said
    Also, CoolArmy makes a good point, why shouldn't gay community be able to collectively focus on more than one issue at a time?
    It would seem to me the answer to that question, although a good point being made, is that the track record of the gay community to be able to adequately and forcefully support a single issue, as a collective community, and convince either society or the political powers to be that the issue is substantially significant to the well being of the community seems to be less than successful. So to multitasking significant issues may be more of a challenge than one thinks with out some serious changes in community leadership/outreach and "coalition" formation.


    Then maybe it's time for some serious change in community leadership. It's been a good 30 years without too much progress, now's as good a time as ever, right?


    There's been an enormous amount of progress over the last thirty years. Where have you been... trying to seduce your straight friends?

    Only in your world does DADT, gay marriage in six states, civil unions in two, a slew of non-discrimination laws, the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, and the de-criminalization of homosexuality across the country not qualify as progress. And I didn't even touch HIV/AIDS.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 13, 2009 11:05 AM GMT
    RyanReBoRn said
    McGay saidCalifornia is really fucked, I'd say.

    Certainly, this is the Lord's punishment for California's treatment of God's gay children.



    What does that even mean?



    It means that you are composed mainly of vinegar and water.