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Gay Va. congressional candidate loses GOP nomination

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A gay Republican running for Congress in Northern Virginia narrowly lost his bid on Tuesday for the GOP nomination in the race.

Matthew Berry, who’s gay and an attorney for the Federal Communications Commission, was seeking the Republican nomination to represent Virginia’s 8th congressional district, which comprises Arlington and Alexandria.

But Berry lost to Patrick Murray, an Iraq war veteran, who took nearly 52 percent of the vote in a race where nearly 14,000 ballots were cast. Murray is set to face Democratic candidate Rep. Jim Moran this November in the general election.

After conceding the race, Berry told the Blade he’s “disappointed” he had insufficient votes to win the nomination, but said he felt he ran “a very honorable and good campaign.”

Berry said he felt his views on LGBT issues — as well as other positions — were mischaracterized by Murray prior to the election.

In an e-mail blast sent out on Monday, Berry clarified he believes each state should determine its own laws with regard to same-sex marriage. He also said he opposes changing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the Pentagon completes its study on the issue.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. SteveMD2

    June 11, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Somebody tell me I am wrong in saying that a gay republican is a Benedict Arnold.

    I am str8 but a supporter of equality. I was a repub all my life until I realized in 2004 what Bush was about. Perhaps the most disastrous president since Herbert Hoover, also a repub. Think our economic situation due to deregulation, the Iraq war based on lies, and of course the election of Bush in o4 which occured because of his party’s hate of gay people – just another victim of the same people whose culture gave us slavery, the KKK, and segregation.

    • DL

      June 11, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Sorry, Steve, but you’re a complete ignoramous, and you clearly know little about history or the Rep. party. Bush promoted some stupid policies, but to say he was worse than Carter or the current bozo is silly. Far, far more people died in Vietnam, a war we lost, than died in Iraq, a war we won. Our economic situation is due to the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Dems in Congress who refused to reform them, including Obama, who has taken more money from Wall Street than anyone except Dodd. Deregulation?? Banking deregulation was signed into law by Pres. Clinton and supported by Dodd, Biden, Larry Summers, etc. Do you know anything??

    • DL

      June 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

      The Republican Party gave us slavery, the KKK, and segregation? The more I read your comments, the more I realize you really are ignorant.

    • Mykelb

      June 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      I compare gay republicans to anyone who goes into a marriage knowing they are marrying a wife beater.

      • DL

        June 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm

        Amusing soundbite, but still offbase. Gay Republicans are helping change minds and policies about gay issues across the country. From Scott Brown to Mayor Giuliani to Carly Fiorina to Glenn Beck, civil unions have become the fallback position for many conservative Republicans. Just under a majority of Republican votes nationwide support marriage or civil unions, and a solid majority of Republicans support ending DADT. An even larger majority support ending job discrimination. So Mykelb, you need to stop repeating obsolete beliefs and find out what’s really going on in the world.

      • WakeUp

        June 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

        If you gay Democrats want to know why the Dems and Obama aren’t willing to do more for you, even though they’re in control… It’s because there aren’t more gay Republicans.

        They take your votes for them, for granted; and Republicans think your vote for them is a lost cause. If you want to win the fight for equality, then support candidates other than Democrats. Then everyone will start to listen to you, the way both parties go after the Latin vote.

  2. Peter the saint

    June 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Makes me wanna puke – again. Even a gay republican actively wants to politicize our lives and his life… to win a political popularity contest. Gross. That’s the ultimate definition of political prostitution. What a horrible thing to TRY to do to your fellow human beings. Glad you lost! You don’t deserve to represent humans.

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Politics

Rachel Levine: Efforts to deny health care to trans youth are ‘politics’

Former Pa. health secretary opened Victory Fund conference

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Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine speaks at the Victory Fund's 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C. on Dec. 2, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine on Thursday criticized efforts to prevent transgender youth from accessing health care.

“Unfortunately, some have fought to prevent transgender youth from accessing the health care that they need,” she said in a speech she delivered at the opening of the Victory Fund’s 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference that took place in-person at the JW Marriott in downtown D.C. “This is politics and this politics has no place in health care and public health and they defy the established standards of care written by medical experts.”

Levine was Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary until President Biden nominated her to become assistant secretary of health.

She became the first openly trans person confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March. Levine in October became a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.

The conference will take place in-person and virtually through Sunday.

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VIDEO: Biden addresses advocates on World AIDS Day

President says end to transmission ‘within striking distance’

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President Biden addressed advocates on World AIDS Day.

President Biden, in remarks delivered Wednesday at the White House in recognition of World AIDS Day, said to advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS the end to HIV transmission was near.

“It’s because of you and it’s not hyperbole to suggest that we are within striking distance of eliminating HIV transmission, within striking distance,” Biden told attendees in the East Room.

Joining Biden in the East Room were Secretary of Health & Human Services Xavier Becerra and Gabriel Maldonado, an HIV/AIDS Advocate and founder of TruEvolution, a Riverside, Calif.-based LGBTQ group.

Biden also during his remarks touted having made the appointment of Harold Phillips to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy — a position that had gone vacant throughout the entirety of the Trump administration.

Notably, Biden talked about the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, an initiate health officials started in the Trump administration, by saying was to beat HIV domestically by 2030. That was initial target date when the initiative, but Biden had campaigned on defeating by HIV by 2025 to the skepticism off observers.

Watch Biden full remarks below:

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Biden recognizes LGBTQ survivors in World AIDS Day statement

In contrast, Trump consistently omitted sexual minorities

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President Biden recognized LGBTQ people as among the survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Tuesday in a statement recognizing World AIDS Day, marking a departure from consistent omissions of the LGBTQ community under the Trump administration.

“Ending the HIV epidemic is within our reach, and we are committed to finishing this work,” Biden said. “On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to building on the progress of the last 4 decades; upholding and advancing human rights; supporting research, science, and data-driven solutions; expanding access to housing, education, and economic empowerment; and fighting stigma and discrimination. No one living with HIV should suffer the undeserved guilt and prejudice that too many continue to experience.”

Biden, as the world recognizes World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, enumerates LGBTQ people as survivors in a paragraph acknowledging the coronavirus pandemic has presented new obstacles in efforts to beat HIV/AIDS.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges our heroic health care and frontline workers face, yet they continue to deliver essential HIV prevention services and provide vital care and treatment to people living with HIV,” Biden said. “The pandemic has also interrupted HIV research and highlighted the work that still remains to achieve equitable access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in every community — particularly for communities of color, adolescent girls and young women, and the LGBTQI+ community.”

The inclusion of LGBTQ people in a statement recognizing World AIDS Day stands in contrast to statements from President Trump, who consistently declined to mention the LGBTQ community in each of his statements. The consistent omissions took place even though top health officials under the Trump administration started the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, which seeks to beat HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Last year, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asked by the Washington Blade why the LGBTQ community was missing from the 2020 statement, responded with a false statement Trump was the first to observe World AIDS Day by adorning the White House with a large red AIDS ribbon. In fact, the practice began under President George W. Bush and had continued through Obama and Trump administrations.

The inclusion of LGBTQ people in Biden’s World AIDS Day statement is consistent with former President Obama mentioning LGBTQ people as among the survivors of HIV/AIDS in his final World AIDS Day statement. In 2016, Obama acknowledged “gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk” of the disease.

Biden in his World AIDS Day statement says his administration “remains steadfast in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic,” ticking off policies his administration has pursued, including a budget request of $670 million to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and support for global initiatives to fight HIV/AIDS, which he said has save more than 21 million lives.

“This remarkable progress over the past 18 years has been made possible through strong, bipartisan United States leadership and American generosity,” Biden said.

Read Biden’s full statement below:

WORLD AIDS DAY, 2021
 
– – – – – – –
 
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 
A PROCLAMATION
For decades, World AIDS Day has been recognized as an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in the fight against HIV.  This year on World AIDS Day, we are focused on addressing health inequities and inequalities and ensuring that the voices of people with HIV are at the center of our work to end the HIV epidemic globally.

While we have made remarkable progress in the 40 years since the first-known reported case of AIDS, this disease remains a serious public health challenge — and we join the international community to honor and remember the more than 36 million people, including 700,000 Americans, who have tragically died from AIDS-related illness since the start of the epidemic.  We also renew our commitment to stand with the nearly 38 million people living with HIV around the world as we pursue our shared goal of ending the HIV epidemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges our heroic health care and frontline workers face, yet they continue to deliver essential HIV prevention services and provide vital care and treatment to people living with HIV.  The pandemic has also interrupted HIV research and highlighted the work that still remains to achieve equitable access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in every community — particularly for communities of color, adolescent girls and young women, and the LGBTQI+ community.

My Administration remains steadfast in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic, confront systems and policies that perpetuate entrenched health inequities, and build a healthier world for all people. Earlier this year, I reinstated the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to coordinate our efforts to reduce the number of HIV infections across our Nation.  This week, my Administration is releasing an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy to decrease health inequities in new diagnoses and improve access to comprehensive, evidence-based HIV-prevention tools. This updated strategy will make equity a cornerstone of our response and bring a whole-of-government approach to fighting HIV.

My budget request includes $670 million to support the Department of Health and Human Services’ Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. Initiative — to reduce HIV diagnoses and AIDS-related deaths.  My Administration has also strengthened the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS by adding members from diverse backgrounds who bring the knowledge and expertise needed to further our Nation’s HIV response. 

My Administration is committed to helping the world end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.  Through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we have saved more than 21 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and supported at least 20 countries around the world to reach epidemic control of HIV or achieve their ambitious HIV treatment targets.  This remarkable progress over the past 18 years has been made possible through strong, bipartisan United States leadership and American generosity.  Now, together with partner governments and communities, my Administration is setting a bold vision for achieving sustained epidemic control of HIV by supporting equitable health services and solutions, contributing to improved health for all in PEPFAR-supported countries, and working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; UNAIDS; and other regional and local partners toward the goal of ending the HIV epidemic everywhere.

Ending the HIV epidemic is within our reach, and we are committed to finishing this work.  On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to building on the progress of the last 4 decades; upholding and advancing human rights; supporting research, science, and data-driven solutions; expanding access to housing, education, and economic empowerment; and fighting stigma and discrimination.  No one living with HIV should suffer the undeserved guilt and prejudice that too many continue to experience.  We must innovate and explore new ways to help address HIV/AIDS in communities here at home and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2021, as World AIDS Day.  I urge the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the American people to join the HIV community in activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support, dignity, and compassion to those living with HIV.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
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