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Better Death than Gays Donating Blood.

January 05, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

This past April my very dear friend, Crystal, fell gravely ill.  I received a dreaded phone call and rushed to the hospital.  Crystal was unconscious and on a respirator when I arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later.  Over the next few days, she received several pints of blood.  I became a bit concerned as we hear so much about shortages in the blood supply and the question crossed my mind that, should I be a match, could I donate blood to save my dear friend’s life?

In 1985, largely as a result of the AIDS scare, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned any man who has had sex with another man (since 1977) from giving blood.  I wondered, ignorantly, if that ban applied to those wishing to donate blood to save a loved one.

The U.S. isn’t the only country to have a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with other men.  The same provision exists in England and Wales.  Factors such as monogamy or proper use of protection, are not considered, merely a man who has had sex with a man… ever.

Sweden recently lifted its lifetime ban and announced a 12-month ban would instead be implemented for anyone having “risky” sex (including gay sex).

From our friends across the pond came the answer to my lingering question.  Because I have had sex with a man at least once in the past 32 years, I would not be able to donate blood even on behalf of a dear friend.

This lesson comes after a son was prevented from donating blood to his mother because, sometime in the past 32 years, he had sex with another man.  Dij Bentley’s mother Christine, was 47 years old when she developed an infection requiring a blood transfusion.  The doctors asked members of her family to donate blood and determine if they are a match.  When he attempted to give blood, he was told by a nurse that he could not.  10 days after developing the infection, Christine died.

In Crystal’s case, no one present was asked to donate blood for her transfusions, presumably because there was an ample supply.  However, since her death, the subject of blood donation has come up among her friends.  Some have suggested we all donate blood as a way of honoring those who donated to help try to save her life.

When the suggestion came up, I quickly responded that I cannot donate blood and explained the regulation.  My friend, always trying to look at ways to do good suggested that I simply lie about the fact that I have had sex with another man.  At this point, thoughts raced through my mind – should I lie about it in order to help another person, or should I remain true to who I am and never deny an integral part of my existence? I am a gay man.  The thoughts quickly landed on being true to myself because without truth, we only have that fear that leads to regulations barring gay men from donating blood, the hatred that leads to criminalization of homosexuality and prosecution by death, and the lies which result in denial of marriage equality.

LGBT Notable News Happenings – (September 3, 2009 – September 10, 2009)

September 12, 2009 By: MJ Category: Featured, LGBT News

LGBT NewsGay Sailor Brutalized by Own Unit and Discharged in CA (September 3, 2009)

Former Petty Officer Third Class Joseph Rocha was brutalized for more than two years by members of his own unit in Bahrain. He was returned to CA suffering from P.T.S.D. and was forced to admit to his sexual orientation – then was discharged under D.A.D.T. Others were also brutalized and the military is investigating.

Bill Recognizing Harvey Milk’s Birthday Passes CA Legislature (September 4, 2009)

Once again a bill to recognize Harvey Milk is waiting for the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – and would recognize Harvey Milk on his birthday – May 22nd.  If signed – Harvey Milk would join the only three other days of recognition in the state.

LGBT Activist Runs For Mayor in Idaho Town (September 5, 2009)

Melissa Sue Robinson is an LGBT activist and transwoman running for mayor of Nampa. She was previously married for 17 years and her ex-wife now plays a major role in her election campaign. Some of those not so pleased that she is running include a person who started a fraudulent Twitter account in her name – which has since been closed.

Los Angeles Mourns Death of Albert L. Gordon –  Gay Rights Attorney (September 6, 2009)

Albert L. Gordon was married and had twin sons – both sons are/were Gay. Mr. Gordon became an attorney in his 40’s and fought for LGBT rights. His first wife and one of his sons died before him. He was known as the leading pro bono lawyer to L.A.’s Gay community.

Catholic Church in Maine Supporting Anti-Gay Marriage Referendum (September 6, 2009)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has requested that its parishes have a special second collection this coming weekend – with the money collected to go to Stand for Marriage Maine. Stand for Marriage Maine is leading the effort to repeal legal Same-Sex Marriage in Maine – the Catholic Church is exempt from federal taxes as a non-profit religious institution in spite of its political dealings.

Openly Gay Man Accepted for Training in Church of Scotland Ministry (September 8, 2009)

The Church of Scotland has selected to train a Gay man –  in a Civil Partnership – for ministry despite a ban. Church officials backed his candidacy after receiving advice from an internal body that supports would-be trainees. The ban was put in place after the appointment of The Rev Scott Rennie.

Lesbian From U.S. Army Fighting Deportation From Canada (September 8, 2009)

Former Pte. Bethany Smith – who changed her name to Skyler James – requested discharge then decided to leave the U.S. Army after harassment and death threats from within her unit. She was unable to report the threats because of D.A.D.T. and was outed by another soldier. Skyler James is now fully employed and living in Canada. but faces deportation.

Proposed Law to Repeal Ban on Healthy Gay and Bisexual Blood Donations (September 8, 2009)

There is new proposed legislation which would allow healthy Gay and Bisexual men to donate blood. The legislation was approved by the Assembly Tuesday and is called the U.S. Blood Donor Nondiscrimination Resolution – and it moves to the state Senate in January 2010.

Gordon Brown Honors Contributions of Alan Turing During WWII in UK (September 10, 2009)

Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician and was most famous for his work in breaking German Enigma codes during WWII. In 1952 he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ (for being Gay) and sentenced – then took his own life just two years after that. Gordon Brown acknowledged that a coalition of computer scientists, historians and LGBT Activists made it possible for Mr. Turing to be honored.

mjpngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King.