Today, two monumental steps toward equal rights for the LGBT community were taken. Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill for marriage equity into law. New Jersey State Senate passed a marriage equity bill with bipartisan support in a 24-16 vote. The New Jersey State Assembly will debate the bill on Thursday.
Despite these advances, however, there are still steps to be taken. A crucial issue facing the LGBT community is the FDA’s discrimination. Any man who has had sex with a man (MSM) since 1977 cannot donate blood – regardless of frequency of intercourse or safe sex practices. This stigmatizes MSMs as a threat to public health, sexually irresponsible, and social outsiders. It prevents MSMs from performing a civic duty often associated with humanitarianism and altruism. Not to mention it limits the blood supply which is already at critically low levels.
We have taken strides towards civil rights for LGBTs, but today we need to take another step. We need to educate the population about the FDA’s gay blood ban. From there, we can tackle the issue on a political level. Promote Red is in the Rainbow, support the LGBT community, and stand up for equal rights.