Washington, D.C. — Tuesday, October 28, 2013 – Gil Kerlikowske, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced $19.8 million in new Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants to 147 communities and 19 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country. The awards announced recently are in addition to the $59.4 million in continuation grants simultaneously released to 473 currently funded DFC coalitions and four DFC Mentoring continuation coalitions. The Zebra Coalition in Orlando, Fla. was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
Office Of National Drug Control Policy Awards $625,000 To The Zebra Coalition To Prevent Youth Substance Abuse In Central Florida
Under the new Treasury policy, all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, employee benefits, IRA contributions, earned income, child tax credits, and income, gift and estate taxes, will apply to same sex couples regardless of where they live. On the flip side, gay couples also will now be subjected to the so-called marriage penalty, in which some (usually upper-middle class) joint filers incur a higher tax burden than they would if they filed as single people.
The policy only applies to married couples, and not those in domestic partnerships or same-sex unions.
“With today’s ruling, committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nation’s federal tax laws, regardless of what state they call home,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “These families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”
The Treasury’s actions on Thursday are just the latest in a set of LGBT policies offered by agencies within the Obama administration following the DOMA ruling. TheFederal Election Commission, and Departments of Health and Human Services andHomeland Security, also extended federal benefits to gay couples in states that don’t recognize their marriages.
Medicare Updated to Provide All Beneficiaries Equal Access to Coverage in a Nursing Home Where Spouse Lives
All kind of breaking news out of Washington involving same sex marriages. This just in from that effects married seniors in nursing homes.
“Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”
Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are entitled to care in, among certain other skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the SNF where their spouse resides (assuming that they have met the conditions for SNF coverage in the first place, and the SNF has agreed to the payment amounts and other terms that apply to a plan network SNF). Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have faced the choice of receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse, or dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan which would have meant paying more out-of-pocket for care in the same nursing home as their same-sex spouse.
Today’s guidance clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to all married couples. The guidance specifically clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to couples who are in a legally recognized same-sex marriage, regardless of where they live.
With the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, LGBT equality in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East has never been more compelling. Renowned activist Stuart Milk has just returned from the region. Share his experiences and insights at this singular and timely event.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Winter Park Plaza
330 W. Fairbanks Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
As a major holiday weekend approaches, The Center wants to remind you to be careful and be conscious of your surroundings. Shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, a young lady was walking toward her home in the Primrose / Anderson Street area when she was accosted by 3 white males in a silver car. They began making sexually explicit comments and called her names such as “lesbian” and “dyke”. At such time the vehicle stopped and the men exited the car and pushed her to the ground where they proceeded to inflict sexual battery on her. During the attack, one of the men said “I’ll show you how a real man feels.” After the attack, the men jumped back into a silver colored vehicle and drove away. The victim called the police as soon as she reached her home. A complete investigation is ongoing on the charge of sexual battery and hopefully they will designate this as a hate crime.
The purpose of this article is not to strike fear in the community but to make the community aware that there are still bad people out there who want to hurt us. With the recent successes we have had in the fight for equality, it is human nature to let down our guard. We must always be observant of our surroundings and always try to travel in groups. Orlando is still a safe city. We are hopeful that these culprits will be caught in short order and brought to justice. Until then increased vigilance among all members of the LGBT community is advised. The Center wants everyone to have a fabulous holiday weekend – you are important to us.
Also earlier this month, in light of the Supreme Court decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Social Security Administration announced that it will begin processing payments to same-sex couples.
President Barack Obama joins Jay Leno for a taping of the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed an Executive Order establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. In announcing the 2013 recipients of the Medal, President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”