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EXCLUSIVE: Blood service defends gay discrimination

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  1. If their claim was true then they would apply the same standards to other “high-risk groups”. Of course gays are still the only minority that can be blatantly discriminated against with impunity in our society.

  2. Although I could not agree with you more about the inherent homophobia in blood donation standards, I am deeply troubled by the racialized comparison made in your article between the supposed non-discrimination of black Africans and the obvious discrimination against gay men. It seems to imply that there is no overlap between the two groups, and I do not mean just the obvious that there are gay men who are of colour but, rather, that both are victims of discrimination even if not in the same ways. By singling out African men as somehow benefiting from the lack of stigma attached to them in contrast to all gay men who are banned from donating blood, it is almost as if you suggest that they too should be discriminated against. I would expect better from Pink News than this shoddy attempt at analysis that is blatantly racist and particularly despicable because you claim to speak for the disenfranchised yourself.

  3. Noite, I don’t think that was at all the intention of PinkNews when they pointed out the disparity in the way differing “high risk groups” were stigmatized and discriminated against. I think you are reading racism into something where none was stated or intended.I’m certain that the ONLY point of bringing up black Africans in this commentary was to point out the fact that a specific minority group that has an almost identical rate of HIV infection as gay men is not put under the same restrictions and therefore the blood services claims about why gay men are refused just doesn’t add up since an equally affected group is not treated the same.PinkNews was not in any way calling for black Africans to be treated discriminatorily to bring them into line with gay men. Conversely, PinkNews was asking that gay men be considered for blood donation on an individual basis, taking all things into consideration, just the way they do with individuals from other high risk groups.I think the point is quite valid and the way it was presented was fair and reasonable.

  4. “Of course gays are still the only minority that can be blatantly discriminated against with impunity in our society.”Can we stop with the Oppression Olympics? You are whiny, and wrong. So the millions of people who are discriminated against on a daily basis because of their race, religion, sex, disability, etc. all go laughing to the courthouse to get their fair share while only the gays sit back and suffer in silence? Please. Get out more and see the world.As a gay man, I am fully against the discriminatory policy of banning gay men from donating blood. I’m not, however, foolish enough to think that gay people are the only disenfranchised group in our society.Why do so many gay white men seem to think that people of color (because, let’s be honest, that is what you are implying) and other disenfranchised groups have it “easier” than gay people? Does it not make sense to you that comparing oppressions is inherently regressive?This reminds me of the time Isaiah Washington called that other guy on Grey’s Anatomy a fag. So many gay white men screamed, “Well, why can’t we call someone a ni*ger but they can call us fags! Not fair!”I’m with you on a policy level, not on a personal level. I’m over people like you.

  5. what a load of old tosh, DinoFGASyour sophistic reasoning ignores the obvious and blatant evidence that gay people are routinely and disproportionately victims of discrimination, on a national, international, cross-cultural, institutionalised and endemic scale far and away above any other minority group.ethnic minorities are of course discriminated against; but usually by one or another ethnic group. conversely, all ethnic groups display homophobic attitudes and actions levelled at gay people, irrespective of their disability, religion, gender or indeed race.your syllogism that as other groups suffer discrimination, gay people suffer discrimination, therefore all discrimination is meted out equally, is utterly fallacious.i think you should be “over” your misguided logic, and accept that gay rights are the last bastion of sanctioned bigotry.and Noite, i think the intention of the analogy – that africans are not stigmatized in the same brushstroke as gay men – was to demonstrate that the NHS’s claim of ‘increased risk of HIV’ in gay men cannot be justifiably used to decline blood, when straight african men have similar infction rates. if the logic of denying gay men the ability to donate blood was prudence, then they should also ban others in high-risk groups based solely on their birth; ie, african or gay. lumping gay people, of any ethnicity, with IV drug users and prostitutes is clearly discriminatory, as it implies loose morals and other unbecoming traits that were hallmarks of discrimination from aeons passed.

  6. Aha, it’s nice that someone gifted you with a dictionary, since your first-year-at-university style of writing provided me with quite a chuckle.You obviously missed the point since you were too busy trying out new words like sophistic, syllogism, etc. The point is, it is utterly anti-rationalist to try to prove which group “has it worse”. Does a gay white man in London have it worse than a straight black woman in London? You’d probably say yes, but the whole point is that it’s not really quantifiable; oppression is not a zero-sum game. And the obvious end result is a lot of in-fighting which results in more bitterness rather than focusing on the true problem. For example, you make the idiotic and frankly confusing assertion that ethnic minorities are indeed discriminated against, but usually by other ethnic groups. What exactly does that mean? That is the equivalent of saying, women are discriminated against, but usually only by other people. Huh? Did you mean to say that ethnic minorities are usually discriminated against by other ethnic minorities?(If that is the case, there’s no helping you.)Also, if every ethnic group is homophobic, every ethnic group (this does include white folks, you know) is also racist. Do you not see how shoddy your circular reasoning is?Anyway, it’s obvious you want to play a zero-sum game and whine about how the ethnic minorities and women have a voice while the gays are completely and utterly disenfranchised. I’ve met people like you. You’re bitter and make an identity out of zero-sum victimhood. You seem to be a racist too, but I think you like being one.Ta.

  7. dinofgas, you make every post a personal attack; people like you are termed “trolls” and are horrible, disenfranchised individuals who seek out personal attacks and are unable to debate rationally without resorting to personal insultplease try to keep your postings about the issue with which you are trying to comment about, without purposely insulting people as you have done in your previous commentsfyi, just because you were proved wrong is no reason to demean others with barbs about an extensive vocabulary being faked, or words you knew not the meaning being inappropraitely used; if you are unable to comprehend something then please do not attack the author for illuminating your lack of erudition.it is not “anti-rationalist” to prove something; as being against rationale is akin to anti-intellectualism, which clearly is irrelevant to any point I or anyone has been making.that said, i will attempt to deal with your strange beliefs that you find so much joy in lauding over others.quite why you have injected race into a debate about NHS dicrimination is frankly incomprehensible; you seem to be under the impression that, as i already stated in my previous comment, all oppression is equal. your belief is a false syllogism, as it is derived from the idea that as one set of people suffer discrimination, and so do gay people, therefore all discrimination is the same.that is clearly erronious, as discrimination is perfectly quantifiable; for example in terms of the amount of groups who subject and employ discrimination against a certain subsect of a population.to make things stupendously clear, let me take exempli gratia the notion that appears to cause you most consternation: that ethnic minorities suffer discrimination mainly at the hands of other ethnic groups.rather than implying that one ethnic minority discriminates against another ethnic group, which is just plain fcuking mad LOL, my inferrance was that ethnic minorities suffer ethnic discrimination primarily from a base of ethnicity, such as whites against blacks.however, gay people suffer discrimination from a vast range of groups, not merely ethnic groups, but instead from whites, blacks, asians, muslims, christians, natives, foreigners, any number of peoplesyou miss the point of this: that while all ethnic groups contain racists and homophobes, which is not “circular logic” btw, those ethnic groups which are alien to a native population will always have a place where they will not suffer discrimination based solely on their ethnicity, such as black people in africa, white people in europe, native americans on reservations; whereas gay people from anywhere in the world do not have an equivalent home countryyou really are trying my patience with your tiresome nitpickingyou believe that gay people have no cause for complaint. you state that ‘ethinic minorities and women are no more disenfranchised than gay people’, which clearly cannot be true.you then personally attack me with absurdist claims of “bitterness” and some fcuked up notion of making an “identity” out of “zero-sum victimhood”my god, what planet are you on :oand then you say that not only am i a racist, but i “like being one” too! hello?i think that in actuality, you are an ethnic minority who seems to be upset that your black/asian/whatever discrimination is not popularized by gay rights people. either that or you’re just a wacked out white dude who’s taken one too many drugs personal jibes are never nice, are they if anything, YOU seem to be the bitter one, with your mealy-mouthed preposterous and personal rantings, decrieing how you are “over people like you [who actually acknowledge that homophobia is the last sanctioned and acceptable bigotry in the western world]“you appear to want to minimize homophobia; belittle its existance; proscribe its endemic and ubiquitous nature; deny its prevalence; refute its status as the most acceptable and ‘politically correct’ form of abuse and discrimination not frowned upon by the general public; you seem unable, unwilling and downright obnoxiously vitriolic at the thought of homophobia not being ‘just another ill of society’, ‘equal in its vociferousness and no more prevalent than other bigotries’. for sure ALL discrimination is wrong; but that is not to say that ALL discrimination carries the same impact on the sufferer, or ALL discrimination is equallastly, you seem to be under the illusion that gay people have just as much of a “voice” as ethnic minorities and womenthis exemplifies and epitomises quite how ignorant you are.if you happen to live in britain, ther are cases quotidianly of anti-gay or homophobic discrimination; ranging from unfair dismissal at work to television programmes to a national blood bank not accepting gay peopleby attempting to justify homophobia by equating it with other forms of bigotry undermines the actual and real menacing hatred levelled at innocent gay people, which far outweighs the subjective experience of other minorities in terms of its social acceptance, wide distribution of homophobes, and overwhelming pandemic ubiquitousness without the means of recourse available to other minority groups or victims of discrimination (such as black people or women)in language you may understand, no-one cares much for the plight of gay rights – at least when compared to racism or feminism. ‘homoism’ doesn’t quite have the level of acceptance yet, and to think otherwise makes you an apologist for homophobes, a denier of truth, and possibly a self-hating gay person who seeks to justify your abuse through convuluted schemes of logic and insane statements of fallacy, whilst simultaneously attacking and insulting anyone who dares to challenge your bizarre view of the worldi feel sorry for your having to concoct such an alternative reality to justify the evils of the world, but truth is truth and denying it will not cause the problem of homophobia or any discrimination to go away.Ta yourself aha!

  8. dinofgas, an example of gay people being discriminated against where other minorities are not can be seen in this very article: if you are a man who has had sex with another man, ever, then you are banned on the basis of “risk” from giving blood.if, however, you are a woman, and have had sex with a black african man – who have equal or higher rates of AIDS and STDs than gay men – then all you have to do is wait 12 months, on the basis of “risk”.that is clear discrimination on the basis of sexuality – just one example of many that occur daily.

  9. I disagree with the idea that (non)intentionality is excusable in the perpetration of racism. We have all heard the stories of how white missionaries thought they were doing God’s work while the communities they sought to serve were raped, enslaved, and disenfranchised (often even by missionaries themselves). Should I excuse their supposed lack of foresight because “they meant well”? In regards to the other discussion that rages on here, the point still being missed is that there are queers of colour amongst us. If you want to talk about quantifiable oppression, here is a little sum you could do: Quantify the oppression faced by a gay woman of colour and let me know what figure you come up with. DinoFGAS’ comment seeks to remind us that it is not about breaking oppression down into its discrete parts or using such oppression comparatively to say that x group is supposedly better off than y group. Yet, within oppressed groups, there is still a hierarchy. So saying, I disagree that “gay rights are the last bastion of sanctioned bigotry,” but that they are certainly still the last bastion of unquestioned white male privilege.

  10. I would suggest that black gay MEN are targeted for discrimination more than black lesbians. In fact, at least here in the States, I think it’s pretty clear that being a minority plus male makes you a greater “threat” to the general population than females of the minority.Male Muslims are more discriminated against in our society.Male homosexuals are targeted for discrimination more.Males of African decent are targeted for discrimination more.

  11. dinofgas, your ad hominem attacks give your game away.People who feel that their arguments are weak always resort to personal attacks and strawman rhetoric.You are clearly proficient in both.

  12. noite, lumping all discrimination into one big box is unfair to those suffering any form of discrimination.there are different causes of discrimination (such as on the basis of colour, sexuality or disability), different ways in which that discrimination is employed (such as flagrant abusive language, passing over for promotion, unwillingness to adopt wheelchair-access), and different results of those different acts of discriminationtheir impact can be quantified through the degree of hostility and resultant impact.classing all forms of phobic hatred, bigotry, oppression and discriminatory actions as exactly the same is disingenuous; it eradicates the fact that some people suffer more harm for who they are than others.two black people holding hands in public will most likely not be beaten to a pulp; that is not the case for two gay people.obvious signs of a person’s homosexuality will invaraibly lead to verbal or physical assault; that is not the case of diabled people.no-one is denying or forgetting gay ethnic minorities; but saying that all homophobia is equal to all racism is clearly incorrect.to answer your hypothetical mathematical question of the quantification of oppression:a “gay woman of colour” suffers oppression from men of her ethnicity, men of other ethnicities, homophobia and all the other forms of unjust treatment she could expect based on who she is. but that does not imply that she is ‘worse off’ than anyone else, and i have never stated that; my point is and always has been that not all forms of discrimination are the same.homophobia suffers from not being adequately frowned upon; and is legally and socially acceptable in many places. therefore homophobia is not equal to other forms of discrimination; morally, however, it is just as repugnant.is a disabled gay jew more at a disadvantage than a white, able-bodied gay man? he may suffer more discrimination from more people, all of which would be wrong. but undoubtedly, the regular white gay man will find life marginally easier in terms of bigotry suffered against.to say that all people suffering discrimination should be lumped under one umbrella as “the oppressed” is disingenuous, and prevents the dismantling of the causes of discrimination, whatever the causes and whatever the reasons.

  13. yes, it is quite clear that some people are targeted more for being gay or black + gay or black + gay + male than others

  14. The answer is quite simple, to stop spread of anti social homosexual disease.

  15. guys get over this, if you dont tell them your gay they cant stop you, giving blood isnt that exciting

  16. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Mar 2008, 11:59am

    Anonanon, if HIV were a gay disease as you purport then why do straights contract it? Why is it soaring among heterosexuals in Africa and elsewhere in the emerging countries? Your kind are becoming infected at a far higher rate per capita than gay people. Your distortion of the facts is tantamount to saying that cancer is a straight disease since more straights succumb to it than do gays, per capita just because there are more of them. You’re statement holds no credibility. Run along and play with your toys.

  17. It is a shame that Russell Hirst’s comments are so big on stupid claims whilst being staggeringly short on facts. The ban makes total sense when you look at it in the light that gay men are still more than eighty times more likely to be infected with HIV and that, during any 12 month period, almost 50% of sexually active gay men will have unprotected anal sex with someone of unknown HIV status.The simple fact is that current the testing technology isn’t up to dealing with a flood of donations from such a high-risk group of people. I fear that it is Russell Hirst who is ignorant (or just deliberately ignoring uncomfortable facts).

  18. I dont wish to make a big deal out of this or make a huge statement about it!I simply want to say that I have always felt it is Highly unfair that gay men are banned from doing a simple good deed and wanting to help someone when there is a very low risk of us donating blood When it is tested anyway.Especially now that if anything Gay men are far more educated on sexual health then straight men or women. This was due to the prejudice and abuse given to us when Aids became an increasing disease in Britain. Gay men were blamed, this is no longer the case. It is not our fault, Straight men and women are jsut as much to blame.Its just DISCRIMINATION hidden behind a veil of lies, fear and underlying Homophobia!

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