In another federal step to end HIV-related discrimination at the state level, the Department of Justice issued a letter this week to state and territorial attorneys general requesting that they review the exclusion of HIV- positive persons from occupational training and state licensing.
On February 16, 2011, René Bennett-Carlson and Catherine Hanssens were honored with the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) AIDSWatch Positive Leadership Awards for outstanding leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Robert Greenwald, Director of the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP) and NAPWA's partner in organizing AIDSWatch, presented the awards to Catherine Hanssens, who attended on behalf of CHLP.
On February 23, President Obama announced that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 legislation that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional and directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in court. In response to this announcement, Social Security Admistration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue says that this move will have no immediate affect on payment of benefits to same-sex spouses.