Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oral arguments held in CA Prop 8 case in federal court; more reassurances on blood issue

The American Foundation for Equal Rights has sent a link for the closing arguments in federal court in California for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, link here.

The refusal of HHS to soften the ban on blood donations from MSM could conceivably set a logical trap for the Pentagon’s review of lifting “don’t ask don’t tell”, according to some conservatives, and some letters written especially to the Washington Times. But first, the blood issue does not apply to women (and therefore lesbians) at all. Second, the military is not supposed to pressure members to give blood; men are supposed to be able to self-defer without there being an implied contradiction to DADT; servicemembers have told me that all the services are pretty good about this. (I wonder if SLDN has archives on this, as nothing significant comes up in a search of the site; see my own experience as a civilian in Monday’s post.) Actual battlefield donations are rare; the military has a tremendously successful record in getting wounded soldiers from combat back to treatment centers where properly screened blood is immediately available.

Nevertheless, we would be sitting more comfortably if HHS and FDA would put in a reasonable look-back period (say 90 days) for MSM and lift the blood donation ban, which seems unnecessary in practice.

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