Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Yesterday I reposted about AJ Betts, the young man who endured torment and bullying at school until he finally took his own life — see that post HERE.
I told his story again because the bullying didn’t end upon AJ’s death; he wanted to donate his organs to help others who might need them, and while his heart, liver and lungs helped save a few lives, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] declared that, because AJ was gay and may have been sexually active, his eyes could not be donated — see that post HERE.
The policy of the FDA was established some 30 years ago during the early, panicked, “It’s a gay disease” days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and it’s well past time the policy was changed. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a comment on that post from AJ’s mother, Sheryl Moore:
"God bless you for blogging about my son's story. I appreciate it so much. If you and your readers oppose this outdated FDA regulation, I would urge you to PLEASE sign this petition [at Change.org]:
Change the policy of automatically excluding homosexualsfrom donation of organs and tissue, and blood donation.
Thank you, and keep-up the good work. Together, we can create change!"
So, why don’t y’all take the next second to click that link and sign that petition, in AJ’s memory?
It’s a good thing.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Last week Danielle Wolf was at her local North Augusta, South Carolina Kroger store when she was overheard telling her own children to, ahem, “Stop squishing the f**king bread.”
And she was arrested for it. Hands cuffed behind her back, and taken out to a patrol car and placed in the “rear caged area” for dropping an F-bomb in the bread aisle.
Danielle Wolf , and said she was talking to her husband instead but, under a local city ordinance, a person commits “disorderly conduct” when they “ .”
Man. If that was the law at my local Kroger I’d probably be on Death Row by now for foul language in a food store.
Some folks are arguing that Danielle Wolf’s arrest is unconstitutional because in 1971, in the case of , the Supreme Court stated that “the State has no right to cleanse public debate to the point where it is grammatically palatable to the most squeamish among us.”
Unconstitutional, sure; stupid, definitely.
Still, I might start checking myself while squeezing melons at the grocery store this week because, well, South Carolina …
via Think Progress
A little more than a year ago I first wrote about AJ Betts; he had become ‘Another One’ on this blog; another young LGBTQ youth who took his own life after constantly bullying and torment at school made him think going on for even one minute more would be unbearable. See that post HERE.
And just months before taking his life, AJ decided to become an organ donor, wanting his organs to be put to good use when he died. But, sadly, even after death, AJ’s being bullied again because, even although he kidney, liver, heart and lungs were given to people who needed them, his eyes will never be used.
AJ’s eyes were rejected because of a thirty-year-old Food and Drug Administration [FDA] regulation that came about at the height of the AIDS epidemic; it stated that would-be donors were ineligible to donate certain tissue if they’re believed to have a “risk factor” for communicable diseases.
Now, no one knows if AJ was a “risk factor” because no one knows if he’d been sexually active in the five years preceding his suicide. But, being a young gay man, he was automatically excluded from donating certain tissues; in fact, gay men are banned for life from donating blood because there is still the stigma of AIDS being a “gay” disease.
AJ’s mother, Sheryl Moore, finds it sad that people cannot get “the life-saving assistance they need because of regulations that are 30 years old” and she hopes that by telling AJ’s story will help to change those decade’s old regulations.
Ironically enough, the FDA does allow donations from heterosexuals who have slept with an HIV-positive person or commercial sex worker after one year, which makes absolutely no sense. Heterosexuals can get HIV/AIDS; they do contract the virus. But because AJ Betts was gay, even in death he’s being treated as less than.
Just like he was by the kids in his school.
Monday, August 18, 2014
After Utah's attorney general resigned—and was later arrested bribery charges—Utah Governor Gary Herbert appointed Sean Reyes, a Republican Party official, to serve out the AG's term. Reye’s time in office began just ten days after a federal court ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, so the first thing Reyes did was to begin his defense on inequality based on sexual orientation. He hired a private law firm to assist in his defense of the ban and vowed to spend $2 million in taxpayer money — can y’all afford that, Utah? — to do it.
He also petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a "stay" halting the same-sex marriages in the state, and thus leaving in limbo the 1300 couples who had married legally in the state. Reyes then issued a statement saying the stay was needed because, with the recognition, and legality of same-sex marriage, there “is a likelihood — indeed, a certainty — of irreparable harm to the State."
Naturally, he did not say what that harm might look like because, well, liar. He then dismissed those 1300 couples and their legal marriages by calling them "interim marriages.”
Why all this talk about Reyes? Well, just last week Facebook — and ALLEGED LGBT ally — donated $10,000 to help Reyes win election and return as Attorney General of the state.
And when folks began questioning the donation, a spokesman for Facebook replied like this:
“Facebook has a strong record on LGBT issues and that will not change, but we make decisions about which candidates to support based on the entire portfolio of issues important to our business, not just one. A contribution to a candidate does not mean that we agree with every policy or position that candidate takes. We made this donation for the same reason we’ve donated to Attorneys General on the opposite side of this issue – because they are committed to fostering innovation and an open Internet.”
You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Facebook, for saying you’re one thing and then proving your another through your actions and your campaign donations.
Funding a candidate who is aggressively working to deny equality to a community you say you support is the lowest of the low. You really need a ‘Hate’ button for that.
Go to Change.org to sign a petition asking Facebook to donate an equal amount to Reye’s opponent.