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Renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has provided low-cost health insurance to 9-million children for over a decade now, is in limbo across several states, including here in Pennsylvania. While it looks very likely that the CHIP program will be passed here in Pennsylvania soon, it may come with an amendment that removes trans services for youth. There is a battle to get trans services back into CHIP in Harrisburg, and as of presstime some services were restored, except for surgery. Despite the outcome of this effort, Mazzoni Center will continue to provide service for all youth, ages 14-24, with or without health insurance.

Social Security remains one of the most popular federal programs, playing a vital role in ensuring financial security for older adults, people with disabilities and their dependents. As we grow older, it is important to understand the role that Social Security will play in our financial future. 

Q: My husband and I are planning to adopt a baby! As hopeful same-sex parents, we want to begin thinking about our short- and longer-term planning. Can you offer any thoughts to get us on the right path financially?

In the last several weeks, we’ve watched in horror as Puerto Rico experiences crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. We’ve seen building upon building in shambles alongside countless uprooted trees and roads and bridges that can’t be crossed. Satellite images of the tropical territory show that nearly 85 percent of the island is still without power. People are struggling to find enough food and water to sustain their families, and luxuries — yes, luxuries — like ice and solar-powered lights are very difficult to come by at this point. 

The prime minister of Curaçao, Eugene Rhuggenaath, opened the fifth anniversary of Curaçao Pride by citing key phrases of the Declaration of Independence to announce his support for LGBT equality in his country. The prime minister’s remarks come at the same time that equality-rights activists here are working on potentially groundbreaking new LGBT legislation, which is expected to be introduced in Parliament before the end of the year as part of a pathway to equality for all citizens.

 

In April, for the first time ever, a full panel of Circuit Court judges in the Seventh District in Illinois ruled that discrimination against employees due to sexual orientation was against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, finding that discrimination based on orientation falls under discrimination based on sex. The opinion reversed a lower-court decision to throw out the case of an Indiana professor fired for being a lesbian, and set federal-level legal precedent that sex discrimination includes sexual orientation. 

Bulking, a popular activity in the fitness industry, has become a household concept for those wanting to lean out and build muscle. 

The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer League (falcons-soccer.org) made the decision earlier this year to move its annual Liberty Bell Classic from Memorial Day weekend to the weekend of OutFest. The tournament has had several morphs in date, location and size. With a little help from Falcon member Jessie Drummer, I reconnected with Craig Carty, who was there at the very beginning.

After watching the last episode of “American Horror Story,” a moment during the episode stuck with me for the rest of the night. No, it wasn’t the clowns, but the scene that mentioned PrEP. It was a monumental occasion because this meant that PrEP has finally hit the mainstream media. While this is great for PrEP gaining exposure to a larger audience, the real work of getting the information and services to those who need it is nowhere close to being finished. And this is a journey that many should consider taking.

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