4 MAY 26, 2006
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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'Black Tie' gala announces 2006 beneficiaries and honorees
The Houston Black Tie Dinner board of directors has announced the selection of
the recipients of awards as well as the beneficiaries of this year's dinner, to be held
at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, November 4.
The 2006 beneficiaries include
Bayou City Performing Arts, Center
for AIDS, Houston GLBT
Community Center, Lazarus House.
Legacy Community Health Services.
Lesbian Health Initiative.
PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship
Foundation. People with AIDS and
"We are working hard to put
together an exciting event this year
that honors the individuals and
organizations that do so much for
our community," Scott Nettles, gala
co-chair, said. "We're proud to continue the tradition of celebrating
and supporting such a diverse group
of local organizations that began
some 13 years ago with the first
Houston Black Tie Dinner."
Dr. Gordon Crofoot. MD, has been
selected as this year's Humanitarian
Award recipient, which recognizes
local individuals for their contributions to the gay and lesbian community. As a pioneer in the treatment
and research of HIV and AIDS, Dr.
Crofoot has been at the forefront of
finding advanced treatments for this
disease, as well as educating the public and community.
The dinner's J. Hollyfield Political Service Award recognizes an individual for
their work with political equality in the GLBT community. Houston Mayor Bill
White has been selected as its 2006 recipient. Mayor White has strived to work
towards celebrating the diversity of the Houston and promoting tolerance for all
groups to promote growth and prosperity.
For more information, log on to www.houstonblacktiedinner.org.
Houston Mayor Bill White, who has been chosen to
receive Houston's Black Tie Dinner's 2006 J. Hollyfield
Political Service Award, walks in Houston's 2005
GLBT Pride Parade with his wife, Andrea White.
(Photo by Dalton Dehart)
HATCH chooses 'Moulin
Rouge!' as 2006 prom theme
HATCH, Houston's group for gay lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth, has announced Moulin
Rouge! as the theme for its 2006 prom.
Scheduled Friday, June 9, at the
Historic Magnolia Ballroom at 715
Franklin St., beginning at 7 p.m. and
running 'til midnight, the prom is free
for youth, ages 13-20.
HATCH organizers also encourage
adults to attend, especially because not
all GLBT adults were able to attend their
own proms dressed as they wished or
with the date they wished to bring. The
adults attending the prom become roll
models for the youth as well, organizers
observed. The prom costs $25 for anyone
21 years old and older, with tickets available at the door only
HATCH aims for its members to
become positive contributors to society
by providing a safe social environment, _
offering role models and peer support,
and sponsoring educational and community outreach opportunities.
Adults wishing to make a donation to
the prom, whether in-cash or in-kind,
are asked to contact Bill Alexander,
HATCH youth services assistant, at 713-
Equality Texas decries vote
on federal marriage amendment
On May 18, the Senate Judiciary
Committee voted to send the Federal
Marriage Amendment to the full Senate
floor for consideration. The proposed
constitutional amendment restricts marriage to a union between a man and a
woman, and may jeopardize civil union
and domestic partnership benefits.
"In a time when we face crushing
debt, war in Iraq, millions of uninsured
children, and other critical issues, the
Senate will attempt to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution and try
their best to drive extremists to the polls
in November," said Paul E. Scott,
Equality Texas executive director.
Scott said 5,000 emails and faxes have
been sent to Texas senators in three days as
part of Equality Texas' advocacy campaign.
"We know that Senators Hutchison
and Cornyn will support the amendment. But they need to know that they
have many constituents who do not support writingdiscrimination into the U.S.
Constitution," Scott said.
"We encourage all supporters of equality to log on to www.equalitytexas.org to
ask our senators to vote no on the Federal
From staff and wire reports
Senate committee passes
CARE Act reauthorization
Local leaders fear decrease
in HIV treatment funding
By NANCY FORD
Last week, a U.S. Senate committee lias
approved legislation to reauthorize the
Ryan White CARE Act until 2011.
The legislation amends the current
Ryan White CARE Act by increasing the
number of cities that receive CARE Act
emergency grants from 51 to 76, and creates a new three-tier structure for cities
that report high, medium, and low numbers of HIV and AIDS
Houston and the surrounding co\
would continue to qualify as a Titl<
in the highest tier.
"Based on the preliminary funding projections from the Government Accountability
Office; Houston will see an increase in funding
under Tide I." said Katy Caldwell, executive
director of Legacy Community Health Services.
But Caldwell said she is concerned that
there is a decrease in funding to the state
of Texas under Title II.
This will affect the Texas HIV medication program as well as essential HIV and
AIDS care and support services in smaller
cities and rural areas of the state,"
Bipartisan or contentious?
Lawmakers and their staffs have touted
the fact that the bill was drafted in a bipartisan manner, but capitol insiders have indicated that there have been heated debate
and negotiations over several contentious
issues, chief among them is how CARE Act
resources are to be allocated across the
country. With the high cost of HIV and
AIDS drugs, no decline in new HIV infections, and an estimated 1.1 million people
living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. — an
all-time high — lawmakers struggled to balance several competing demands on an
increasingly small pot of funding.
"This bill has created new and complicated distribution formulas, said Randall
Ellis, director of government relations for
"We have not seen an accurate or final
breakdown from the GAO of how the
funds are distributed. However, this legislation is clearly better than the version by
Sen. Tom Coburn (ROkla.) that would
have likely resulted in significantly larger
<f| MORE INFO
Legacy Community Health Services
215 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, Texas 77006
Randall Ellis, director of government relations for
Legacy Community Health Services, worries that
changes to the Ryan White CARE Act will interfere
with services provided by smaller health care
organizations to clients with HIV.
funding cuts for Houston and Texas."
The bill, which passed by a vote of 19-1.
was introduced by the chair and ranking
Democrat of the Senate health committee,
Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Edward
Kennedy (D-MA), working with their
House counterparts. Congressmen Joe
Barton (R-TX) and John Dingell (D-MI).
The application of this proxy will result
in massive funding shifts away from Texas
and other states which have for many years
borne the brunt of this epidemic, according to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
"Redistributing millions of dollars
from...states where both city and local
governments have made significant contributions to AIDS care and treatment will
only hurt people who are living with HIV.
and result in difficulty accessing care,"
Clinton said in a statement.
As of September 2005,9,911 people diagnosed with AIDS lived in Houston and
Harris County, according to a Houston
Department of Health and Human
Services report dated January 2006.
It is estimated that one in 90 Houstonians
is HIV-positive, with one Houstonian being
infected with HIV every eight hours.