Today I read something that really made my blood boil. Yes, it’s literally about blood. I had no idea that currently homosexual men are not allowed to donate blood. In fact, when I read this story I went and did my own research to confirm that was true. I couldn’t believe it. Yet, according to the Blood Centers of the Pacific website, it’s true. American Red Cross confirms it on their website. I suppose a homosexual man could technically donate under these rules, but only if they haven’t had sex with another man since 1977…
The content of the article I read was basically detailing a new proposal by the FDA that would allow homosexual men to donate blood, providing they hadn’t been sexually active in at least a year. I had to double-check the source, because I initially thought this had been posted by The Onion or another satirical site. It’s hard for me to understand why and how this kind of regulation could possibly still exist. The article points out that there are tests which can detect HIV within two weeks of contraction. It points out that allowing gay men to donate blood contributes significantly more of the life-saving resource to people who greatly need it. It points out that the government assuming that assuming every single gay man has AIDS/HIV IS RIDICULOUS.
I’m very rarely at a loss for words. Here I find that I’m pretty close. To me, this falls under blatant discrimination of gay men, bordering on plain homophobia. We have the resources to test for this disease. It should be treated like every other blood disease that could be accidentally donated. Screen as best you can, test the blood before it’s sent in, and THANK THEM FOR DONATING.
I’m not here to make fun of anyone or their beliefs. But come on. Sometimes it’s hard not to. The most recent example is undoubtedly one of the more interesting lawsuits filed against same-sex marriage. A man from South Carolina believes that he is “anointed and assigned as a watchman for the souls of that people errantly identifying and calling themselves lesbian and gay” has decided that the issue of same-sex marriage has nothing to do with the law, and everything to do with religion. While that viewpoint, in itself, obviously isn’t new or innovative, what he follows this idea with certainly is. He has filed the lawsuit with the claim that allowing same-sex marriage in South Carolina would directly obstruct his ability to worship. In effect, he has argued that the freedom of religion clause in the first amendment prohibits same-sex marriage. I can’t say that I see much real legal basis for this argument. We’ll have to see how it is treated legally, but I’m certainly curious to see how much attention it garners, if anything purely for creativity.
By Christopher Weyant; referenced from Cagle Cartoons
If you’ve been keeping up with all of the drama and confusion regarding same-sex marriage happening in Kansas, as a result of the Supreme Court decisions (or lack thereof) in October, you know that the hearing was supposed to happen today. That hearing has been delayed. It opens a lane for more protests and political action to be taken from both sides. Hopefully, by November 15th, everyone will be ready for some sort of concrete decision. We can’t avoid progress forever.
When I was younger, I wasn’t well-informed on anything except for which of my friends had the best swimming pool. Things have changed a lot since then. There are young people everywhere literally changing the world. Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Prize at just 17 for her work in women’s education and basic rights movements. Now, here’s a young woman at the forefront of the transgender rights and education movement, at only 14 years old. Jazz Jennings knew before she could understand the complex roles gender identity played in societal and social mores, that she wasn’t the gender she was assigned. From the looks of it, she hasn’t doubted it for a second since then. That makes her willingness to speak out, help adults and children alike, and represent a rapidly changing perception of gender dysphoria and transgender individuals that much more remarkable. Young people like Malala and Jazz are showing the world that these issues are so important that people 20, 30, 40, even 50 years younger than the politicians representing them are willing to get out into the real world and fight for them. If that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what does.
Today I read an article that baffled me. Earlier this week I mentioned a comment saying the U.S. moving forward in gender equality is more a question of when than if. Reading about issues like these fly in the face of that attitude. Now, for those of you who don’t know, there are 19 states that issue same-sex marriage licenses. From here it only gets more confusing, however. There are other states that recognize same-sex civil unions (provide them with rights equal to a heterosexual marriage), some that ban same-sex marriage altogether, and some in current legal battles regarding their ban on same-sex marriage.
The woman in the article is gay, has been married for quite some time (and has changed her last name), and has been living in California. She and her wife moved to Houston, and when she tried to get a Texas driver’s license they refused. Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, and told her she could use her maiden name (she couldn’t), change her name (probably couldn’t), and the whole thing is ridiculous. I really encourage you to read it, because it’s kind of amazing in the worst possible way.
The opening quote of this article is really what got me. The author (Allen Clifton) says “Opponents of same-sex marriage really need to face reality – they lost. It’s no longer a matter of if same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states, but when.”
It’s a belief that’s so clear and obvious to me, that seeing someone else state it just as strongly is always sort of endearing. I’m not even going to get into the actual comments the judge made. You can read those for yourself.