24 May 1988; Section 28


What impact do laws against homosexuality have on those “too young to understand”? It’s often something none of us thinks about.

That is not sex, he said. The teacher had just shown a series of sex education videos and asked us what we thought. I’d raised my hand and said they were good but did not mention gay sex. I was 11.

That is not sex, he said. It was 1988, the year a new law was enacted that forbade local authorities and teachers from “promoting homosexuality”. Today is exactly 30 years since that law (which was not repealed until 2003) came into effect. It was so vague as to muzzle everyone working in schools from mentioning gay people. It was the height of the AIDS epidemic.

In the confusion and furore surrounding Section 28 (often called Clause 28) of the Local Government Act 1988, teachers – those we entrust to prepare the young for the world – became mute through fear of contravening it. Pupils like me did not know at the time that teachers had been prohibited from talking about homosexuality, because they had been prohibited from talking about homosexuality.

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Comment France Announces End To Gay Blood Ban

I hope my follower Brian read this. Glad to see a country like France leading the way into sensible healthcare ideas for LGBT. Hopefully other countries will follow. Rock on FRANCE!!

PARIS (AP) — France will end its ban on blood donations by gay men, its health minister said Wednesday, calling the move the end “of a taboo and discrimination.”

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said beginning in the spring of 2016, no blood donors can be refused based on their sexual orientation. She spoke at a meeting in the Health Ministry on Wednesday after experts studied the issue.

The policy shift comes after a European Court of Justice ruling in April found that government bans must follow strict conditions. Many governments had imposed lifetime bans on gay men because they are more likely than other groups to have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Touraine said lifting the blood donation ban will proceed in stages, to allow the government to study whether and how the risks change. Lesbians were not covered by the French ban.

“Giving blood is an act of generosity, citizenship, that cannot be conditioned on sexual orientation,” she said in a statement.

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Here’s Why Gay Men Can’t Give Blood

Although this story speaks about Australia’s laws particularly, I felt the need to leave that part out of the title because it’s an issue here in the US. This is the 21st Century we live in. That we still treat people like this because of something they will probably never get is unacceptable. Now that we’ve achieved marriage equality here in the US, it’s time to focus on a new goal and I believe lgbt healthcare is it, with blood donation at the forefront.

In Australia, gay men who wish to donate blood are still forbidden from doing so despite advances in technology making it much safer.

First thing’s first: The ban isn’t simply on ‘gay’ men, it’s on any man who’s had sexual contact with another man (MSM) in the last 12 months.

That means any man, whether they’re single or in a committed relationship, must avoid all sexual contact with another man for 12 months in order to legally give blood. It also doesn’t matter whether that man always uses a condom, is regularly tested for HIV and other STIs or has a note form his doctor. The same rule applies to women who have sexual contact with MSM. (ie a woman with a bisexual partner)

There are similar rules in place around the world. In the U.S., MSM face a lifetime ban. In Canada the deferral period is five years and in New Zealand it is one year. In some countries, like South Africa and South Korea, there is no deferral period.

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Caring For AIDS Patients, ‘When No One Else Would’

Hello Lovelies!

I have to apologize to you all for dropping the ball this week and not addressing the fact that I missed World AIDS Day on Monday. I wasn’t aware until Monday night of what the day was. However, in my defense I wasn’t aware of much on Monday as I was in extreme pain with a bothersome wisdom tooth.

Anyway, as I was driving to work this morning, I had my radio tuned to NPR as always and I caught this week’s edition of Story Corps. This week they spoke with a woman living in Arkansas who cared for AIDS patients when they’d pretty much been abandoned by their families. She estimated she’s cared for nearly 1,000 individuals since the early 1980s.

While the story is pretty much typed out on the link here, I urge you to listen to it through the link provided on the story’s page.

Much love,


AIDS experts blast countries with anti-gay laws

If I were a conspiracy minded person, I would conclude that the Malaysian flight that was shot down last week was the result of Russia being so anti-gay that they decided to eliminate some people who were going to the World AIDS Conference in Australia. But I’m not. 😉

Campaigners at the world AIDS conference are taking aim at countries with anti-gay laws, accusing them of creating conditions that allow the spread of HIV.

Powerfully mixing concerns over human rights and health, the issue threatens to divide western donor countries where gay equality is making strides from poor beneficiary nations where anti-gay laws persist or have been newly passed, say some.

Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who co-discovered HIV and co-chairs the six-day conference, seized Sunday’s opening ceremony to lay down a barrage of criticism at laws targeting minorities who bear a disproportionate share of the global pandemic.

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Looking Back At “The Real World: San Francisco,” The Show That Changed The World

To be honest, the only thing I really remember about The Real World way back when it first started was that during my senior year of college, the girl who lived next door to me wanted to be on the show. I even recall her filling out an application. I think I watched a few episodes in her room because I recall the guy called Puck and how nasty he was and how he got thrown off the show.

I really don’t remember Pedro or the fact that he was not only gay and HIV positive, but had full-blown AIDS.This story is amazing because it’s been 20 years since the start of The Real World and they are revisiting San Francisco. The writer also interviewed the woman who, at the time of filming, was Pedro’s housemate, but also Pedro’s antagonist, then friend. She’s also a Conservative Catholic.

If you subscribe to the Celluloid Closet theory of LGBT representation — that straight homophobia and internalized homophobia alike were perpetuated by pop culture’s total erasure (or, if anything, horrific representation) of gay people pre-’90s — then you probably think that The Real World’s 1992 premiere on MTV should mark the moment when the world started to change. The show was born during the tail end of George H.W. Bush’s presidency, but it was more of a product of ACT UP’s Silence Equals Death aesthetic: From the first season on, The Real World asserted the then-radical idea that diversity, which included a gay cast member as a rule, was its DNA.

“If we were going to put seven people in a house together, we knew that how we would get our story would be through conflict,” said Jonathan Murray, who created the show with the late Mary-Ellis Bunim. “And that conflict would only come if the people living together wouldn’t normally live together. They would make mistakes, or they would be uncomfortable, or they’d have to figure out how to get along. They’d say things that weren’t appropriate. They would be struggling to figure out how to co-exist with someone who they’re normally not used to co-existing with.”

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Court decides if gay juror can be taken off case

I served on a jury in January of this year. I know both sides do what they can to stack the jury in their favour. It’s part of the legal process. Naturally, both sides are going to want people most likely to rule in their favour, so no matter how unfair this seems, it’s part of our legal system. The reasons given for his removal are all valid reasons. It’s not really fair to either side if you cannot be impartial. And in my opinion, the fact that this juror works for the court system is probably the #1 reason he was removed from the jury. They don’t want anyone who works in the legal system on a jury, no matter how insignificant their job may be. I think they view that as coming close to having a trial between three lawyers – one for the defence, one for the prosecution and one for the jury. The other reasons are probably just supporting reasons.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A multibillion dollar case between two giant pharmaceutical companies grappling over arcane antitrust issues has unexpectedly turned into a gay rights legal imbroglio that raises questions over whether lawyers can bounce potential jurors solely based on their sexual orientation.

The case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday centers on whether Abbott Laboratories broke antitrust laws when it increased the price of its popular and vital AIDS drug Norvir by 400 percent in 2007. But broader public attention likely will be given to the three-judge panel’s look at whether Abbott wrongfully removed a juror in the case brought by competitor SmithKlineBeecham.

The cost increase angered many in the gay community. SmithKlineBeecham, meanwhile, claims it was meant to harm the launch of its new AIDS treatment, which requires the use of Norvir. And the company contends “Juror B” was removed simply because he was gay.

“It’s a big deal,” said Vik Amar, University of California, Davis professor. “The headlines from this case are going to be about antitrust law — it will be about sexual orientation in the jury pool.”

Before trials, lawyers for both sides are allowed to use several “preemptory challenges” each to remove someone from the jury pool without legal justification.

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