Big Gay News – May 3, 2012
Newt Gingrich Encourages Anti-Gay Ballot Measure
Huffington Post reports that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich released a video saying that marriage is under attack, and encouraging North Carolina voters to go to the polls on May 8 and pass Amendment 1, an initiative that would constitutionally ban gay marriage. The ballot will read: “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” On the same day, state residents will choose a Republican presidential candidate.
Gay Romney Aide Deletes Tweets Bashing Prominent Females
Huffington Post reports that Mitt Romney’s decision to pick openly gay Richard Grenell as his foreign policy spokesperson has not only caused trouble with social conservatives, but also with women. Grenell’s has reportedly removed 800 Tweets recently. His feed was ride with jokes and snide remarks about female political figures like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Callista Gingrich. For example, Grenell tweeted: “Hillary is starting to look like Madeleine Albright,” “Callista stands there like she is wife #1,” or Michele Obama was “sweating on the East Room carpet” after working out. Grenell has apologized for his remarks.
Gay-Rights Advocates Meet With LDS Officials
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that gay group Soulforce’s 2012 Equality Ride met with Mormon church Latter Day Saints officials on Monday in Salt Lake City to draw attention to policies perceived as harmful to the GLBT community. The gay group brought up four specific requests for the LDS Church: to cut all ties with and denounce a group treating gays with “reparative” therapy; to stop funding groups that are fighting civil marriage equality across the country; to encourage LDS Business College to bring its policies on homosexuality in line with current Mormon teachings; and to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the faith’s policies for church employees. Co-director of Equality Ride Jason Conner qualified the meeting as “overall positive.”
Israel’s Conservative Movement OKs Gay and Lesbian Rabbis
The Washington Post reports that the Israeli branch of Conservative Judaism announced in a landmark decision that its rabbinical school will start enrolling gay and lesbian students for ordination in September. Rabbi Andy Sacks in Israel welcomed the policy change as “a victory for all who understand that Judaism holds respect for human beings as a supreme value. All people were created in the image of the divine. Morality and Jewish law do coexist as long as those who practice traditional Judaism understand this.”
Missouri ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill: GOP Sponsors Wary Of “Homosexual Agenda”
Huffington Post reports that a group of twenty Republican representatives in Missouri introduced the so-called “don’t say gay” bill last week to ban the teaching of sexual orientation in public schools as a way to prevent students from being exposed to the “homosexual agenda.” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Andrew Koenig said: “When it comes to sexual orientation, that is a discussion that should be left for the most part up to the parents. I know there are a lot of parents that do not want the homosexual agenda taught in the schools.” When questioned about what he called a “homosexual agenda” being taught in the schools, Koenig could not think of an example.
Catholic Nuns Group “Stunned” By Vatican Slap
Reuters reports that a prominent U.S. Catholic nuns’ group said on Thursday it was “stunned” that the Vatican reprimanded it for spending too much time on poverty and social justice concerns and not enough on abortion and gay marriage. The Vatican said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious had failed to make the “Biblical view of family life and human sexuality” a central plank in its agenda.
Anti-Gay Group Accuses IRS of Leaking Romney Donation Details
Fox News reports that anti-gay marriage group National Organization for Marriage is accusing the Internal Revenue Service of leaking private tax files that listed Mitt Romney as a contributor. The anti-gay marriage group is calling for an IRS investigation and has fired off a warning letter to the Human Rights Campaign to take down the published documents. The National Organization for Marriage claims somebody within the IRS fed the Human Rights Campaign the documents listing 2008 contributors. On the list was a $10,000 donation from Romney’s political action committee. While the National Organization for Marriage says the leak was illegal, the HRC says the anti-LGBT group is actually “embarrassed its true agenda is out in the open.”
It’s Time to Revise The Ban On Gay Men’s Blood Donations
The American Council on Science and Health reports that any man who has ever had sex with another man is barred from donating blood for life even though HIV tests can now detect the virus as soon as 12 days post-infection. The FDA enacted the lifetime deferral nearly thirty years ago when AIDS was considered an epidemic and tests could not ensure that donated blood was virus-free. Many question the ban on gay men’s blood donations considering the severity of blood shortages and the vastly improved accuracy of current HIV tests. Dr. Josh Bloom says “It makes no sense that men who have sex with men are singled out for lifetime exclusion from blood donation, while men known to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex with prostitutes, are not.”
Gays With Many Partners Should Take Daily Pill to Ward Off HIV
The New York Daily News reports that a cost-benefit analysis showed that gay men who have at least five sexual partners per year are part of a high-risk group that could benefit from a daily pill to ward off HIV. As many as 63,000 infections could be avoided if 20% of the gays took the Truvada pill daily. Past research found using the pill for preventive purposes would not make financial sense if taken for life. New data may indicate a 20-year period of pill-taking would be cost-effective. Some people with HIV combine Truvada as a treatment with other anti-retroviral drugs.
Gay Marriage Foes Assume Own Marriages Are Stable
Huffington Post reports on a new study suggesting that no opponents of gay marriage really thinks their own heterosexual relationships are threatened. Opponents rather believe that other people’s marriages are at risk. The study is an example of the “third-person perception,” a psychological bias in which people are convinced that others are more influenced by outside sources than they are themselves. People who strongly regard authority and tradition were the most likely to demonstrate this third-person effect when discussing gay marriage. Study researcher and psychologist Matthew Winslow said: “Most of the people who were really vehemently against gay marriage were not likely to say they were worried about their own marriages, but they talked about how if we allowed gay marriage it was going to be bad for society in general. If you believe you are not going to be affected by [same-sex marriage], just recognize that probably other people believe the same way, so the good news is that probably people aren’t going to be affected by it that much.”