· Sam Brownback says there is room in the Republican party for gay supporters. Kind of. The presidential candidate and arch-conservative Kansas Republican says the GOP "is a big tent party and has been for a long period of time, particularly since Ronald Reagan talked about this being a party of different viewpoints," Brownback remarked. However, the senator noted that moderate Republicans will face an uphill battle against conservatives focused on social and religious issues.
· Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) remains "in critical condition" after successful surgery following a brain hemorrhage. Some concerns have been raised that the Democrats could lose their slight majority if Johnson becomes incapacitated. However, as stipulated by Senate rules, Johnson could retain his seat even if he is incapacitated, unable to vote, and not even able to show up to work.
· The New Republic profiles Rev. J.R. Finney II, the black and gay pastor of Covenant Community Church of Birmingham, Alabama. Covenant is the largest gay church in a state "where 78 percent of residents identify themselves as born-again Christians, [and] these churches are at the forefront of the gay rights movement."
Finney's message is slowly crossing over into the mainstream: "A local, predominantly black religious radio station invited Finney to speak about issues facing gay Christians for a live program. There was such a huge response that the station brought Finney back the next week."
· An update on ADAP, the federal- and state-funded AIDS Drug Assistance Programs which provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to the poor and under-insured. The recent reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act will provide more money to these programs. However, new data show hundreds of patients remain on waiting lists in at least three states—Alaska, Montana and South Carolina.