AP report: FDA to recommend end on gay blood ban! (*UPDATED with big restriction)
Huge and unexpected news on this Christmas Eve Eve:
Yay. I knew Santa would listen when I asked him for less stigma and more opportunities to spend afternoons getting woozy for a good cause.
*Eh, it's not as good as I thought:
The FDA on Tuesday proposed to allow gay men to become blood donors if they haven't had sex with other men for a year or more.
FDA moves to amend ban on gay men's blood donation [CNBC]
I've had sex with the same one man, and only that same one man, for nearly thirteen years. But I'll still be banned? That would hardly make sense.
Video: Another ad reflects changing (already changed?) 'Tide'
"The revolution will be televised," they often say. But it's when a minority population makes its way into for-profit advertising, frequently and without fuss or "explanation," that the shift goes from revolutionary to simply the status quo inclusion that it is and always should've been.
Tide is the latest to embrace gay lives, loves, and dollars:
Sitcom and movie writers might want to push a message. Advertising, however, has one and only function: to make money for the company at hand. If we are in ads it's because these companies realize that we an asset, not a liability.
Anti-gay NOM compares its discriminatory cause to baby Jesus's early infant care
At this Christmas time, it's important for Christians everywhere to remember that banning gay people from civil marriage is the reason for the season:
When Jesus came into the world, it was with nothing. No money. They had to move to a new city. His father, Joseph, had to start a new business. They didn't even have a home to stay in as he came into our world.
But the one thing God did give him — seemingly the one thing God thought His only begotten Son could NOT do without — was a loving mother and father to care for and protect Him.
It underscores the foundational importance of the mission that NOM has undertaken – to defend marriage and work to ensure that every child in our society, as much as it is possible, enjoys the love of his mother and father.
We are winding down our year-end, $200,000 matching gift campaign. To date we have raised almost $60,000 toward our goal.
If you haven't yet made a gift that will be matched dollar-for-dollar, please prayerfully consider making a generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500, or even a major gift of $1,000 or more to help NOM close the year on firm financial footing so we can provide marriage with the best defense possible in this pivotal coming year.
We tend to think of Christ magically moving from an infant to an adult, with only scant glimpses of him as a teen. But the reality is that in assuming the human form, Jesus experienced the unique contributions of a father and a mother in his life. For years, Jesus learned how to live, act, feel, work, care and love by absorbing the unique gifts of his father and his mother, who represent the two halves of humanity.
The Holy Family is the perfect example for the human family — a man and a woman coming together in love for each other, and to provide the ideal environment for any children born of their union. That is what marriage is, and the story of Christmas perfectly models it for us.
This is why marriage is worth fighting for. So, please, even if you have already made a gift recently to support this cause, kindly consider giving again, knowing that your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor.
FULL DONOR PITCH: Anti-gay NOM
♪ "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus will stay safe if gays can't wed." ♪
SCOTUS to begin new year by pondering outdated inequality
We won't have to wait long into 2015 to learn whether the US Supreme Court will take a marriage case stemming from either the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' or a Louisiana federal judge's rulings against equality. SCOTUS will consider the matter at a closed door conference during the new year's first full week:
Legal scholars seem to think that SCOTUS will moved forward in light of the Sixthth Circuit creating a circuit split. Possessors of common sense believe that the high court will rule in marriage equality's favor, because duh.
Stay tuned! 2015 could be a fun one.
Video: TLC to air show about humans' ability to suppress truth in name of religion
By now you've probably heard about this show:
Some people think this is offensive, particularly since the network airing it is the same one that has turned the Duggar family into stars who use their outsized platforms to lobby against LGBT rights. But I'll have to say that this show doesn't bother me. This network is always airing shows about unusual choices and extreme cases—this is just one more.
No one denies that men and women can personally choose to suppress their desires if that is what they want to do. I've always made it 100% clear that my objection to the "ex-gay" nonsense has absolutely nothing to do with the individual who makes that kind of choice. If an individual in my own life makes the choice to suppress his or her avowed homosexuality because he or she feels like it's the only acceptable option, then I'd certainly step up and have a conversation. But on the grand scale, I absolutely support people's right to channel their feelings however they see fit. None of my business.
When I see a special like this, I just feel bad for these men and for their wives. If any of them are truly bisexual, then that is an entirely different story; judging from the trailer, however, that doesn't seem to be the case. It seems that these are all men who, without the entrance of personal faith, would choose to follow their natural yearnings for men but, because of the entrance of faith, are choosing to instead push down these biological desires. It's not even the denial itself that I find to be the saddest or most dangerous part, actually. Instead it's the fact that these men and women seem to be building relationships that begin on the very shaky ground of taking what doesn't truly feel right, by their own admission, and trying to force it into something that will manifest as sustainable peace and happiness. Perhaps it will, but it would seem like there are some serious odds stacked against it. I can't imagine entering into a relationship, much less a marriage, that has that kind of weight attached to it from the get-go.
And to then put all of that in front of a TV camera so a reality TV audience can pick it apart? Wouldn't be my choice for my marriage or my family. But whatever. Good luck, I guess?
AFA, LaBarbera think being publicly pro-gay is still a liability; how quaint
Peter LaBarbera and the American Family Association's One News Now apparently think this kind of headline is still a thing in 2014 America:
Wait, you mean to tell me that Walmart, like virtually every other prominent American brand and a rapidly growing majority of the public, is finding a way to become more rather than less inclusive of a viable minority population? Wow, what next, kids—gonna shock us with the revelation that Apple is now publicly invested in better performing iPhones? That GAP sees a need to manufacture clothes that the American teenager will consider wearing? That Coke has a particular fondness for the color red?
Psst, LaBarbera and fellow anti-gay activists at the AFA: You've already lost corporate America. I really thought you knew. From now on, you might want to start headlining which companies are not pro-gay rather than which ones are. We'll save us all time.
Video: Blended family with lesbian moms heads Tylenol holiday ad
Norman Rockwell's descendants worked with Tylenol to create new ads honoring family this holiday season. Honoring family of course includes honoring homes with same-sex couples, their children, and their cherished loved ones:
Anti-gay activists will surely go crazy. But you know what? They're the folks who have been giving us headaches for eons now. It only makes sense that the most well known remedy would go this direction.
NOM's new conspiracy theory: Census Bureau making changes to hide marriage equality's ill effects
After a well-rounded review of its annual American Community Survey, the US Census Bureau determined that seven non-mandatory questions fell into the "Low Benefit" category. Of these seven questions, five involve questions about marriage. Now the Bureau is asking the public to comment on whether or not they should remove these questions. (full methodology here)
Well that's all the increasingly desperate National Organization For Marriage needs to shape a new conspiracy theory. According to the anti-gay org, the Census Bureau is actually considering this change because "redefining marriage" will soon bring havoc to our nation and our pesky government wants to be able to hide the data when the impending Armageddon really takes hold. Here's how NOM tells it (words attributed to president Brian Brown):
According to the Census Bureau itself, at least five questions about marital status are "slated for removal from the questionnaire" unless the public and other government agencies come up with "revised or additional justification for these questions."
There is something very significant about a federal agency suggesting, for all intents and purposes, that marriage is less important to public policy at the same time as federal judges all over the country are imposing a radical redefinition of this fundamental institution on voters in state after state.
One might almost wonder if this isn't part of an effort to put marriage "out of sight and out of mind" in order to avoid addressing tough questions about the consequences of redefining marriage.
A few years hence, if marriage remains redefined in as many states as it is today, and people begin raising concerns about the effects of this new marriage policy on things like economic growth or the welfare of children, politicians and government agencies will have an easy evasive maneuver if these changes to the Census are implemented: "We don't have any data on that."
It is ironic that the same federal administration that has made it a priority to redefine marriage and family, saying it was important for—among other things—economics and public welfare, is now moving to drop data-gathering mechanisms related precisely to the economic and public welfare implications of marriage and family!
Or maybe it isn't ironic or mere coincidence at all, but part of a strategy? It does seem significant, after all, that this news should only begin to draw attention the week before Christmas, when the public is distracted and government activity is in sort of a lull. Late December is famously a time for government "taking out the trash" — dropping news stories about which they don't want too much public notice.
FULL: Important Questions Need to be Asked [NOM]
Let's consider the levels of desperation at play here. First you have to accept, as fact, that same-sex couples are going to destroy marriage. You can't even just fear that this will happen or strongly believe that it will. For NOM's scenario to work, a supporter has to believe that government agencies want to hide the data because there will, in fact, be something to hide.
Then you have to believe that the US Census Bureau underwent a twisted review in order to send a political gift to future politicians. You have to reject that the review process was the straightforward examination that they say it was, but was instead some sort of shady action. You have to believe that many people took great risks just so they could help some future administration hide just how fully the gays will destroy marriage in the next decade. That darn Barack Obama and his gay-loving band of miscreants!
And then you have to add a little yuletide to your fanciful schemes via the suggestion that this is all coming out now because people are otherwise distracted with their gifts and their eggnog. After you've built up the rest of this tree of machination in your mind, this piece about it being a holiday news dump is that special star whose light keeps you up at night. It is that hint of grated nutmeg on this sundae of subterfuge.
But for the National Organization For Marriage, here at the end of a seventh full year of operation, this is the kind of wackiness that has become its normal operating speed. I've begun to pity the whole enterprise.