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A Strong, Encouraging Start by Speaker Heastie

BY NATHAN RILEY | The trumpets did not sound when the New York State Assembly elected Carl Heastie speaker to replace Sheldon Silver, amidst murmuring outside Albany’s inner circle that the new man was hardly a breath of fresh air. Despite the historic election of the Assembly’s first African-American speaker, he was viewed with suspicion by […]

On Drugs, Harm Reduction’s Time Has Come

BY NATHAN RILEY | Harm reduction counseling empowers drug users to take control of their health and provides support to individuals who are told that only losers use meth. Getting high is a natural desire and occurs in virtually every culture; it doesn’t have to be associated with escaping the problems of real life. That 1960s […]

Dick Gottfried Aims for Fixes in Med Marijuana Program

BY NATHAN RILEY | The New York medical marijuana system is rigged and getting walloped by a backlash for imposing hardships on sick people. After Governor Andrew Cuomo demanded last-minute changes in the 2014 law, activists predicted it would make the medications expensive and the small number of outlets would create hardships. Only 20 pot drugstores […]

HRC Is Wrong; Bernie Sanders Is the Better Bet for Change

BY NATHAN RILEY | So the Washington gay lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, endorsed Hillary Clinton. The middle-of-the-road LGBT rights organization endorsed the middle-of-the-road candidate. The difference for the LGBT community between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Clinton isn’t over the issues. They both offer fervent support for the LGBT community, and in […]

Despite Constraints, Optimism About New Medical Marijuana Program

BY NATHAN RILEY | There was something fiendishly clever about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s last-minute gutting of a medical marijuana bill devised by the Legislature; he transformed it into a bureaucratic nightmare. Nonetheless, medical marijuana supporters cling to a grim optimism. This is the governor’s bill — it has to work or he will be responsible was […]

Drug Reformers Take Stock of Attitudes Moving Their Way

BY NATHAN RILEY | Underneath the jubilant mood that swept through last week’s Drug Policy Alliance international conference in Washington was a realization that the campaign to respect the human rights of drug users is proceeding slowly, even as marijuana legalization picks up speed. Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, campaigned for marijuana legalization. Colorado’s experience […]

Meth-PrEP Crisis Claims Simply UnTrue

BY NATHAN RILEY | Amidst cries of yet another drug crisis, an inflammatory piece in a new California publication, the Pride LA, claims that the combination of meth, PrEP, and orgies is threatening to take away the hard won gains of the gay community and create a “catasTrophe.” The op-ed is by Charles Kaiser, a respected […]

Sex Work in the Wake of the Raid

BY NATHAN RILEY | What happens now that is gone? Will the federal Department of Homeland Security follow up with additional raids on similar businesses? The advertisers on rentboy met a well-heeled clientele, and the income they lost has hurt. As these things go, the most dire impact has fallen on sex workers with the […]

Homeland Security’s Rentboy Raid All Too Predictable

Homeland Security’s Rentboy Raid All Too Predictable

BY NATHAN RILEY | The raid on by the US Department of Homeland Security is no fluke. It follows the April passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act by lopsided majorities in Washington. Major enforcement responsibility was assigned to the agency created to protect us from terrorism and control immigrants. Congress declared the […]

Reisner, Weiderpass, and the GOP Bid for Jewish Votes

BY NATHAN RILEY | The LGBT community has, in recent decades, made itself a major factor in presidential politics, not least when large sums of money have been raised at gala events for Democratic candidates. To the extent that Republican hopefuls have engaged gays and lesbians at all, it has been at considerable distance, often in […]