May 24th, 2007
In 1983 the FDA wisely decided that gay men should not donate blood to the country’s blood banks. HIV had not been identified and no tests were available to identify its presence.
Things have changed since 1983. Now you can take a saliva-swab test and find out your HIV status within 20 minutes. And it is increasingly likely that gay men regularly test and are aware of their seroimmunity status.
Also, the face of HIV/AIDS has changed. In 2005, only half of reported HIV transmissions were related to sex between men. And currently the greatest contributing factor to HIV transmission and to knowledge of HIV status is race.
Taking these changes into consideration, those responsible for our blood supply called gay ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted” and requested that the FDA rethink their requirements.
In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America’s Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.
The FDA said “no” because “men who have sex with other men have the highest risk of transfusion-tramsmitted diseases like HIV and hepatitis.”
I would like to believe that decisions made in Federal agencies are based on fact and science rather than because of appointments predicated on ideology and political loyalties and alliances. I would like to think that this decision was made because the FDA put principle and protection first and not the religious-based agenda of the administration’s partisan allies.
To answer that question, Fox News asked Dr. Louis Katz, a past president of America’s Blood Centers:
Given what the medical community knows today, do you think the FDA is being overly cautious in upholding its 1983 ban on gay men?
“I support a less stringent deferral,” Katz said. “I think deferring blood donation to six months or one year after male-to-male sexual contact is reasonable and would not have a negative impact on the current safety of our blood supply. I understand their thought process. But the other issue is fairness. Not all men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV. I’m not violently angry about it, but I think they could have dealt with the concern a little differently.”
Dr. Katz is more generous than I. He can see faulty thinking, while I see policy that eliminates healthy blood contributions during a time when the need is increasing. And while I too am not violently angry, I am fully disgusted at the politicians who place their biases, stereotypes, religious alliances, and personal loyalties over what is best for our nation.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.