GRAND RAPIDS PRESS — Red Cross, blood centers lobby to end ban on gay men donating blood

“‘That anyone dares suggest lifting this policy and intentionally exposing Americans to a dramatically increased risk of potentially fatal disease is evidence of a politically correct insanity that borders on criminal negligence,’ said Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan. Glenn cited statistics that affirm that sexually active male homosexuals have HIV infection rates far higher than the general population. According to the Centers for Disease control, the rate of new HIV diagnosis among gay males is more than 44 times that of other men. ‘We strongly support the (Department of Health and Human Services advisory committee) vote to maintain the ban and marvel only that there were any votes at all to lift it and knowingly expose Americans to greater risk of infection,’ Glenn said.”

See the Obama Administration’s Food & Drug Administration citation of the statistics above: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm

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GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 28, 2010

Red Cross, blood centers lobby to
end ban on gay men donating blood

by Ted Roelofs


Tim Heacock, 24, stands outside the Michigan Blood donor center at 1036 Fuller
Ave. NE. He wants to be a blood donor but can’t, because current policy bans him
for life because he is gay.

Back in high school, Tim Heacock was proud to give blood.

“I think it’s something a good citizen would want to do,” Heacock said.

But that was before Heacock, who is gay, became sexually active.

And as such, he is now banned for life from giving blood. Heacock, the American Red Cross and other blood organizations think it’s time to change that policy.

“I am deeply angered by it,” said Heacock, 24, a graduate student at Grand Valley State University.

“It is something I want to do for my fellow countrymen. I want to help, but I am being told I can’t for very archaic reasons.”

Despite the urgings of the American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers and politicians including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, a government health committee voted earlier this month to keep the lifetime ban in place.

Cheryl Bremer, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids is “not happy” about that decision.

“Our stand is that we will continue to fight for impartiality while striving to maintain a good safe blood supply for us. We don’t have to have that fear. There is probably a whole lot more education that has to happen around what makes the blood supply safe.”

Proponents of the ban disagree. They assert the issue is not fear — but safety.

“That anyone dares suggest lifting this policy and intentionally exposing Americans to a dramatically increased risk of potentially fatal disease is evidence of a politically correct insanity that borders on criminal negligence,” said Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

Glenn cited statistics that affirm that sexually active male homosexuals have HIV infection rates far higher than the general population.

According to the Centers for Disease control, the rate of new HIV diagnosis among gay males is more than 44 times that of other men.

“We strongly support the (committee) vote to maintain the ban and marvel only that there were any votes at all to lift it and knowingly expose Americans to greater risk of infection,” Glenn said.

After two days of testimony, an advisory committee to the Department of Health and Human Services voted 9 to 6 to retain a ban that has been in place more than 20 years.

The guidelines were put in place before HIV/AIDS screening tests were available, and were designed to target subgroups deemed to pose the greatest risk for the spread of AIDs.

But today’s improved testing techniques have led more experts to question the lifetime ban.

The American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers, in a joint statement, called the ban for gay men “medically and scientifically unwarranted.” The two organizations account for about 90 percent of the nation’s blood supply.

FACT SHEET
The American Red Cross estimates that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Other statistics:

• More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day

• One out of every 10 people admitted in a hospital needs blood

• The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O

• A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.

• Replacing the lifetime ban on gay blood donations would yield 89,000 pints a year, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

According to the Red Cross, the current “window period” from the time an individual is infected and the time screening tests detect infection ranges from nine days for HIV, seven days for hepatitis C and up to 38 days for hepatitis B.

But a statement by Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the nation’s blood supply, questions the absolute reliability of such tests.

“HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect HIV 100 percent of the time,” it stated.

“It is estimated that the HIV risk from a unit of blood has been reduced to about 1 per 2 million in the USA, almost exclusively from so called “window period” donations.

“During this time, a person is infected with HIV, but may not have made enough virus or developed enough antibodies to be detected by available tests. For this reason, a person could test negative, even when they are actually HIV positive and infectious,” it stated.

Replacement of the lifetime ban by a one-year deferral would yield an additional 89,000 additional pints annually, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

The policy dates back to the 1980s, when fear about HIV and the AIDS epidemic was peaking. It states that a man who had sex with another man even once since 1977 is permanently barred from donating blood.

Critics call the lifetime ban hypocritical. They note there is only a one-year ban for a heterosexual man who had sex with an HIV-positive woman, sex with a prostitute or sex with multiple partners.

“Our stance is that it is not fair to the gay community that wants to donate blood,” said Monica Stoneking, communications director for the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross.

“We are basing everything on research and potential risk.”

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/06/red_cross_blood_centers_lobby.html
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WEYI-TV — AFA-Michigan opposes House vote to repeal "Don't ask, don't tell"

Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Please note that despite the opposition of top military leaders, every Democratic member of Michigan’s Congressional delegation voted in favor of changing federal law to force the U.S. military to enlist individuals openly involved in homosexual behavior, while every Republican congressman from Michigan voted against the bill. Michigan’s two Democratic U.S. senators and President Obama also support the bill.

This Memorial Day, please join AFA-Michigan in praying that the Lord will intervene to stop this assault on the integrity, morale, and combat readiness of our armed forces in a time of war, and thus on our national security itself.
We deeply appreciate your support.

Salute!
Glenn's signature
_____________

GG at Ft Sill closeup“Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan, who also served in the Army, …says, ‘Serving our nation in the military is not a right. It is a privilege, and it is simply outrageous that these politicians, many who have never worn the uniform, would vote to force the brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our country, to integrate and live and share showers and living facilities with people who are involved openly in homosexual behavior.’

Glenn says there are health risks that heterosexual service members should not be subjected to. ‘We think it should return to a situation in which homosexual conduct prohibits service in the U.S. military out of respect for the men and women willing to put their lives on the line for us.'”

Watch video: http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=463696

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WEYI-TV
NBC Channel 25
Flint, Michigan
May 28, 2010

House votes to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’
by Dan Armstrong

The U.S. House of Representatives approves a measure to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. The effort to repeal the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is being spearheaded by Michigan Senator Carl Levin.

NBC25 spoke with those who support it and those who oppose it.

Michigan Senator Carl Levin says, “The policy should end.” Levin says the current policy discriminates.

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Genesee County, also known as PFLAG, supports the House’s decision. The president of Genesee County PFLAG, Terri Dinsmore, says “This is a good first step into repealing that act.” However, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan, who served in the army, disagrees.

Glenn says, “Serving our nation in the military is not a right. It is a privilege, and it is simply outrageous that these politicians, many who have never worn a uniform, would vote to force the brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our country, to integrate, and live, and share showers and living facilities with people who are involved openly in homosexual behavior.”

Glenn says there are health risks that heterosexual service members should not be subjected to. “We think it should return to a situation in which homosexual conduct prohibits service in the U.S. military out of respect for the men and women who willing to put their lives on the line for us.”

Supporters say, it’s an issue of fair treatment. Dinsmore says, “It is an equal rights thing. Nobody should have to hide who they are.”

To become law, the senate would have to pass a measure and have presidential approval.

Those who support the measure would also have to show there would be no adverse effects.
Opponents say, it would affect the military’s cohesiveness, readiness, and recruitment procedures.

http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=463696
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DNA Commentary by Gerald E. Evans

Commentary

DNA determines the truth of our identity
by Gerald E. Evans

Scientists are proving the theory of a design of all things by including the use of Quantum Algebra to theorize the age of our universe and earth to be six to ten thousand years old, using the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics.

Every living thing known to man contains DNA that is the instruction book used to form all known forms of life.

DNA in mammals determines size, color of eyes, skin and hair, the number, size and location of appendages such as fingers, toes, ears and other organs that determine sex.

Law enforcement uses DNA to determine the ethnicity and sex of decomposed bodies during identification and can even determine lineage, or family connection, as witnessed when the World War II Unknown Soldier — buried in Arlington Cemetery — was identified and his remains returned to his family.

Psychiatry claims that Gender Confusion Syndrome is a mental illness that can be treated, and in some cases cured, but regardless of what we think our gender is, it is our DNA that is the final determinate that decides if we are male or female. It is not a culture, a body mutilation, a defective mind, or a desire to be what we want no matter who we offend, inconvenience, or how we negatively affect the lives and livelihoods of others.

In a free society, we all enjoy our liberties as long as our liberties don’t interfere with or restrict the liberties of those around us by ignoring or refusing to accept responsibility for our actions.

Gerald E. Evans of Ellsworth is a long-time supporter of the American Family Association of Michigan.
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WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Does Romneycare = Obamacare? Cato says yes

WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Washington, D.C.
April 15, 2010

Does Romneycare = Obamacare? Cato says yes
by Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor

WATCH VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IJsiBHYTFg&feature=player_embedded

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is widely considered to be the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, but the biggest obstacle he may have to overcome could well be Romneycare, one of his signature programs while serving as the Bay State’s chief executive.

More than a few people within and without the GOP – including most notably President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – contend that Romney’s much celebrated health care reform of 2006 is quite similar to the Obamacare program that became law in 2010.

Romney strongly disputes that characterization, but the very fact it is becoming an issue is indicative of its seriousness as an obstacle to his winning the GOP presidential nomination.

Now comes the Cato Institute with a searing video critique of Romneycare that focuses on the major ways in which it resembles Obamacare. Watch this video and you will have a sense of the urgency of this issue for the Romney candidacy:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Does-Romneycare–Obamacare-Cato-says-yes-90982654.html
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FOX NEWS — Maine commission moves to ban gender specific bathrooms, sports teams in schools

Massachusetts, then Maine, then Michigan?

Please urge your state legislators to oppose House Bill 4192, which — by prohibiting “discrimination” based on so-called “gender identity” — would impose on our entire state this same bizarre attack on reality.

Contact your state representative: http://house.michigan.gov/find_a_rep.asp
Contact your state senator: http://senate.michigan.gov/SenatorInfo/find-your-senator.htm

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“‘When we separate biology it gets very confusing for everyone,’ Mike Heath, president of the American Family Association of New England, told FoxNews.com. ‘Now we’re talking about bathrooms where ladies will entertain the possibility of men being in the restroom with them, and every woman I’ve talked to has indicated that they wouldn’t be comfortable with that.’ With the law affecting schools ranging from nursery level to post-doctorate studies, Heath says he’s concerned with the ramifications of opening up ‘this can of worms,’ especially when it comes to younger students. ‘I get a little more upset with the topic when it touches on young children and what they’re going to have to think about and process,’ he said.

Critics seem especially concerned about the mixing of genders in bathrooms and locker rooms. The commission’s proposal reads: ‘Transgender students must be allowed access to the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity or expression or, if they prefer, to existing single-stall bathrooms.'”

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FOX NEWS
New York, New York
April 9, 2010

Maine commission moves to ban gender
specific bathrooms, sports teams in schools

The Maine Human Rights Commissions is taking heat over a proposal to ban schools from enforcing gender divisions in sports teams, school organizations, bathrooms and locker rooms, saying forcing a student into a particular room or group because of their biological gender amounts to discrimination.

by Diane Macedo, FOXNews.com

AUGUSTA, Maine — The little girls’ room won’t be just for little girls anymore, if the Maine Human Rights Commission has its way.

The commission is taking heat over a controversial proposal to ban schools from enforcing gender divisions in sports teams, school organizations, bathrooms and locker rooms. It says forcing a student into a particular room or group because of his or her biological gender amounts to discrimination.

The issue came to light last year when the commission ruled that, under the Maine Human Rights Act, a school had discriminated against a 12-year-old transgender boy by denying him access to the girls’ bathroom.

Now the commission aims to issue guidelines on how schools should deal with similar situations in the future. It would make Maine the first state to implement such guidelines for schools as young as preschool and nursery — and even some private schools.

But not everyone in the state is on board with the current proposal.
Some school districts and organizations have criticized the commission for making its initial ruling without getting enough input from conservative groups, and then for coming up with proposed guidelines in what some described as closed-door sessions.

“The conservative side was never brought in on the discussion in the first place, if you look at who gave testimony, written testimony, etc., in the beginning,” Rev. Bob Celeste of Harrison told FoxNews.com. “When you only bring one side in, you’re not looking for an honest debate. You’re looking for an agenda.”

Once it came time to vote on the guidelines, the commission again came under fire for not doing enough to inform Mainers of the vote, and for not allowing the public to speak at the hearing where it was held.

“We found out about this hearing by accident. We were never informed of it,” said Celeste, who was the first person to speak out at the March hearing.

“When I went to the hearing I expected to ask, ‘Why are they doing this?’ And they said that they weren’t going to have public hearings,” he said. “I said ‘Mr. Chairman, it’s getting late, when are we going to be able to ask questions?’ and he said, ‘You can’t.’”

Celeste says he then walked out of the meeting, but other outraged citizens got very vocal after his departure and apparently persuaded the commission to postpone the vote.

Now those critics are looking to get their voices heard again at a public hearing on the issue next month.

“When we separate biology it gets very confusing for everyone,” Mike Heath, president of the American Family Association of New England, told FoxNews.com. “Now we’re talking about bathrooms where ladies will entertain the possibility of men being in the restroom with them, and every woman I’ve talked to has indicated that they wouldn’t be comfortable with that.”

With the law affecting schools ranging from nursery level to post-doctorate studies, Heath says he’s concerned with the ramifications of opening up “this can of worms,” especially when it comes to younger students.

“I get a little more upset with the topic when it touches on young children and what they’re going to have to think about and process,” he said.

Critics seem especially concerned about the mixing of genders in bathrooms and locker rooms. The commission’s proposal reads: “Transgender students must be allowed access to the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity or expression or, if they prefer, to existing single-stall bathrooms.”

“There’s not a whole lot of places a girl can expect privacy, but the bathroom should be one of them,” said Celeste. “And there’s not a whole lot of places a boy expects privacy, but the bathroom should be one of them. Married couples close the door when they go to the bathroom.”

Ken Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, says the guidelines set out in the commission’s draft brochure pose some serious safety issues as well.

“If my kid walks into a girls’ bathroom and sees a man in there, the child is going to instinctively feel that something’s wrong. If you create an entirely new climate where anything goes, you’re going to create increased confusion, and those with ill intentions could take advantage of that confusion and decreased ability to make a distinction,” Trump told FoxNews.com.

“The reality is, every day we’re seeing more and more cases of exploitation of children and others, and this would be creating an environment where the risk is increased for that exploitation.”

Because the commission suggests that people won’t be obligated to supply medical documentation that proves they are transgender, Trump says the policy also paves the way for increased sexual activity on school grounds – both consensual and non-consensual.

“Educators at the middle school level struggle every day in trying to keep student hormonal issues under control so that the focus can be on education,” he said. “We certainly don’t need to create an environment to accelerate and exacerbate the issue and further the experimentation, the inappropriate comments, inappropriate touching, groping, grabbing, sexual assaults and in some cases, rapes in schools.”

Karen Kemble, the Director of Equal Opportunity for the University of Maine, says the university has not taken a position for or against the proposed guidelines, but she shared concerns over some of them, including schools’ inability to ask for “proof” of sexual orientation.

“This would leave the institution without any way to determine the bona fide nature of the gender identity or expression,” Kemble said in a letter to the commission.

“It is routine practice to seek documentation of non-obvious disabilities in the event of an accommodation request. Even in the case of religious accommodations, an employer may sometimes seek additional information regarding either the religious nature of the request or the sincerity of a particular belief,” she added.

As an NCAA institution, Kemble says the University of Maine system could also face many hurdles when it comes to incorporating the guidelines into its athletic program.

“Some of the issues that we face are that the NCAA has rules that if we, for example, allowed a transgender student to participate in gender-segregated sport, then that may raise concerns about fairness and also may spark action by the NCAA, she said.

“We certainly want to have a welcoming environment and are doing everything we can to support the right to gender identity and gender expression,” she added.

John Gause, counsel for the Maine Human Rights Commission, told FoxNews.com that the commission is still in the process of developing guidelines on how the Maine Human Rights Act “applies in the context of sexual orientation in schools and colleges.”

“A date and location for the public comment session will be finalized in the near future,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The commission said more information on the public hearing will be posted on its web site once those details are finalized.

Neither Gause nor the commission’s executive director, Pat Ryan, returned follow-up e-mails and phone calls seeking a response to concerns raised over the guidelines.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/08/maine-commission-moves-ban-gender-specific-school-bathrooms-teams/
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ONE NEWS NOW — The (medical) truth about homosexual sex

“At the CDC’s National STD Prevention Conference, the data indicated that the rate of new HIV cases among men who have sex with men is over 44 times that of other men. …In an effort to look at these figures from a purely scientific and public health perspective, let’s substitute smoking and cancer for homosexual sex and HIV. If the CDC released information which made a direct correlation between smoking and extremely high rates of getting cancer, people would take notice. The media would write about it. Public health organizations would make sure the news was spread. Campaigns would be launched to save lives by discouraging smoking. Public funds would be spent to deter people from engaging in such dangerous behavior. Schools would teach children about the dangers of smoking. …There is no hiding from the CDC’s numbers when it comes to the health dangers of homosexual sex. But political correctness and fear of being accused of bias seem to have stopped everyone from stating the simple truth: that it carries serious health risks. …No one wants to hear it. No one wants to say it. But the cold, hard truth is that homosexual sex is risky at best, life-threatening at worst.”

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ONE NEWS NOW
American Family Association
Tupelo, Mississippi
April 6, 2010

The truth about homosexual sex
by Marcia Segelstein, OneNewsNow Columnist

Caution: This column contains descriptions that some may find offensive.

The Centers for Disease Control recently released information from a data analysis regarding the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Presented at the CDC’s National STD Prevention Conference, the data indicated that the rate of new HIV cases among men who have sex with men (referred to in shorthand as MSM) is over 44 times that of other men.

In an effort to look at these figures from a purely scientific and public health perspective, let’s substitute smoking and cancer for homosexual sex and HIV. If the CDC released information which made a direct correlation between smoking and extremely high rates of getting cancer, people would take notice. The media would write about it. Public health organizations would make sure the news was spread. Campaigns would be launched to save lives by discouraging smoking. Public funds would be spent to deter people from engaging in such dangerous behavior. Schools would teach children about the dangers of smoking.

Of course, as we all know, that scenario is real. Because of the now-known dangers of smoking, a warning from the Surgeon General appears on every pack of cigarettes. Public service ads saturated the airwaves over a period of years discouraging smoking. The dangers of smoking are a standard part of most health classes in schools. And it has all worked. Thirty years ago there was nothing unusual about seeing a person smoking in a restaurant, or in an office, or in a public place. Now it’s jarring to see someone lurking outside an office building, lighting up and puffing away.

There is no hiding from the CDC’s numbers when it comes to the health dangers of homosexual sex. But political correctness and fear of being accused of bias seem to have stopped everyone from stating the simple truth: that it carries serious health risks.

Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention had this to say about the findings: “While the heavy toll of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men has been long recognized, this analysis shows just how stark the health disparities are between this and other populations.”

Dr. Fenton was in no way suggesting that, considering the data, perhaps the whole notion of homosexual sex should be reconsidered or re-examined, or, heaven forbid, discouraged. On the contrary, he went on to toe the politically correct party line — i.e., that prevention is the key. “It is clear that we will not be able to stop the U.S. HIV epidemic until every affected community, along with health officials nationwide, prioritize the needs of gay and bisexual men with HIV prevention efforts.”

The CDC is focused on prevention. That sounds good, right? But if prevention efforts work, why was the number of new HIV/AIDS cases among MSM in 2005 11 percent higher than the number of cases in 2001, according to the CDC’s website? The CDC lists 1981 as the year when HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed among MSM. Nearly 30 years of prevention and education efforts touting the use of condoms and regular testing have failed to pay off, for a number of reasons.

Dr. Miriam Grossman, in her book You’re Teaching My Child What?, tells the story of Dr. Ruth Jacobs, an infectious disease specialist in Maryland, who has worked closely with AIDS patients for many years. A few years ago, at the request of a concerned parent, she reviewed a video called Protect Yourself, shown to tenth-graders in Montgomery County as part of a course called “Family Life and Human Development.” The video stated that condoms provide 98 percent protection against pregnancy and STDs, including HIV. According to Grossman, the video “implied that this nearly perfect level of protection was effective during vaginal, oral, and anal sex.”

Dr. Jacobs knew that was just plain wrong. The 98 percent figure was applicable only to pregnancy prevention, and even then, only in “perfect use” situations.

“Dr. Jacobs wanted students to hear what she told her patients – that due to anatomy and physiology, anal sex has been estimated to be at least 20 times riskier than vaginal,” Grossman writes. “Also missing was the information that condoms are more likely to fail during anal sex – a danger acknowledged on condom wrappers that warn consumers: ‘Non-vaginal use can increase potential damage to the condom.'” Despite Herculean efforts on the part of Dr. Jacobs – including the presentation of scientific research and the support of peers in the medical community – the Board of Education refused to listen. The video would remain as part of the course for tenth-graders.

Grossman doesn’t hold back on the subject of what many sex education curricula teach – and don’t teach – about anal sex, no matter what genders are involved. “The truth of biology – anal sex is too dangerous – is squelched, because it contradicts the ideology of ‘anything goes – no judgments allowed.’ …Kids are encouraged to explore their sexuality, and told precisely how; with the experts’ blessings, they go out and play in traffic….And then we wonder why, after 25 years, HIV is still going strong.”

No one wants to hear it. No one wants to say it. But the cold, hard truth is that homosexual sex is risky at best, life-threatening at worst.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=962774
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ASSOCIATED PRESS — Michigan Secretary of State candidates make gender an issue?

“Gary Glenn, president of the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan, wants the issue to be front and center in the race. ‘There are … serious implications for women’s privacy rights and comfort, since women and girls would legally be forced to share public restrooms, showers, locker rooms and changing areas with men who, if challenged, can present an official government ID “proving” their claim to be women,’ he says.”

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Detroit, Michigan
February 13, 2010

Michigan Secretary of State candidates make gender an issue?
Gender designation on driver’s license discussed

by Mike Householder

DETROIT (AP) — People in Michigan make changes to their driver’s licenses all the time. They get a new picture, switch addresses or become an organ donor.

What’s much less common is changing their gender designation from an “M” to an “F” or vice versa.

Republican Paul Scott is trying to make gender designation an issue in the race to replace term-limited Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. The state representative from Grand Blanc says people who have undergone gender change operations shouldn’t be able to change their licenses to reflect their new identities.

He brought up the issue in a letter announcing he was jumping into the race for the GOP secretary of state nomination.

Scott, state senators Michelle McManus and Cameron Brown and Calhoun County Clerk Anne Norlander are running for the GOP nomination, while Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Wayne State University law professor Jocelyn Benson are seeking the Democratic one. Party activists will formally nominate their candidates in late August.

Scott’s letter has drawn a variety of responses, from ire on the part of transgender advocacy groups to praise by conservative activists.

Some are wondering why it’s an issue at all. Gender change requests for driver’s licenses are rare, and the secretary of state’s office doesn’t track them, says spokeswoman Kelly Chesney. Arlene Kish and Tina Seitz say the issue is personal, not political. Both were born men and have undergone sex change surgery.

Kish, a 59-year-old business owner from Southgate, had the procedure done last month and soon after had her driver’s license changed to reflect that she now is a woman. She took a signed document from her surgeon to a secretary of state branch to back up her request.

When she heard Scott was making an issue out of what’s already a standard practice, she was outraged. “It’s very disturbing, because we’re such a small segment of the population,” she says.

Seitz, who also lives in the Detroit area, had sex-change surgery 2 1/2 years ago and also had her driver’s license updated.

“I think that it should not be one of the major issues of a campaign,” says Seitz, a 52-year-old engineer. “I think that it’s ridiculous to single out any group of people where it affects so few people and call that a major campaign issue.”

State policy says a person’s gender designation on a driver’s license can be changed only when the person provides a court order or doctor’s statement certifying that the applicant has completed the medical treatments necessary to switch their gender.

The long-standing policy was briefly modified five years ago before Land ordered that it be changed back to be consistent with the approach taken by other state government departments.

Scott says he “didn’t raise (the issue). Secretary Land raised it when she temporarily changed the policy in 2005. “In his announcement letter, though, Scott writes: “I will make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance.”

Scott, a first-term lawmaker, doesn’t consider raising the issue a political ploy. “My personal belief is you are who your DNA says you are, regardless of what surgical procedures you may have thereafter,” he says.

William Rustem of Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing think tank, says Scott may have found a way to distinguish himself from his three GOP rivals.

“It’s an issue that divides, and it certainly could help him get a nomination,” Rustem says. “It’s a political strategy to grab a hold of the most conservative voters and say, `They’re mine.”‘

Some of Scott’s competitors see the issue as being too narrow to be of much consequence.

“It happens very, very infrequently” and “is not at the top of my agenda,” Republican Norlander says. Benson, a Democrat, doesn’t believe the issue has a place in the campaign.

“I don’t think it’s the government’s role to get in between an individual and their choice of gender expression,” she says. It’s “being used solely to throw divisiveness into a campaign that should be about how to make government work better for all our citizens.”

But Gary Glenn, president of the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan, wants the issue to be front and center in the race.

“There are … serious implications for women’s privacy rights and comfort, since women and girls would legally be forced to share public restrooms, showers, locker rooms and changing areas with men who, if challenged, can present an official government ID `proving’ their claim to be women,” he says.

Kish just wants to see the issue go away. “I’m not sure exactly why it’s an issue for them, except that they’re just ignorant of our situation,” she says.

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/capitol_region/MI_SOS_candidates_make_gender_an_issue
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BETWEEN THE LINES — Homophobia: The Cost to Gay Men's Health

Centers for Disease Control confirms homosexual men share
common pathologies, including sexual abuse as children…

“‘In terms of childhood sexual abuse, men who have sex with men report rates that range between 12 and 37 percent in the literature. This is much higher than rates for other men, which typically range from 1 to 4 percent,’ (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher Richard J. ) Wolitski said. …(Researchers) found high rates of distress and depression, attempted suicide, childhood sexual abuse, HIV infection, substance use, and partner violence.

‘It seemed to me that a lot of them were interconnected. …It suggested to me is that we have at least four psychosocial conditions intertwining with each other that are driving HIV risk, and in turn driving an infectious disease. You had a syndemic situation going on among a group of men, 80 percent of whom were college graduates, three-quarters of them were white, who were living in some of America’s richest zip codes, and yet they had a health profile that looked like they were living in a (hillside slum) in Brazil.'”


BETWEEN THE LINES
(homosexual activist newsmagazine)
Detroit, Michigan
February 26, 2008

Homophobia: The cost to gay men’s health
by Bob Roehr

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher Richard J. Wolitski, speaking before a packed session on LGBT health at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), in Washington, DC Nov. 5, told those gathered, “Fifteen to 22 percent of gay and bisexual men experience physical abuse from an intimate partner during their lifetime. These rates are similar to what women experience from their male partners, but they are higher than that for men or women with female partners.”

“In terms of childhood sexual abuse, men who have sex with men report rates that range between 12 and 37 percent in the literature. This is much higher than rates for other men, which typically range from 1 to 4 percent,” Wolitski said.

Wolitski said gay and bisexual men largely have been invisible in health disparities research. Much of the work that has been done has focused on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and substance abuse, where the rates of occurrence often are several times higher among gays. However, many of those studies have used questionable methodology such as recruiting participants from gay bars or STD clinics, so those studies likely give a skewed picture of the community.

Wolitski acknowledged that individual behavior can play an important role in some of these disparities, but added “it is important to recognize that a focus on individual behavior alone is not going to be sufficient to address these disparities.” As proof of the scope of homophobia, he cited a 2006 poll where 40 percent of Americans believed that sex between same-gender partners should be illegal. Lack of acceptance by family can also add to the burden of stress, sometimes affecting both mental and physical health.

Ronald Valdiserri, a CDC alumnus who is now a senior consultant at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said part of the explanation for higher rates of STDs is that men are men. “Regardless of the culture and regardless of the sexual preference, men on average consistently desired a larger number of partners than women,” according to an international survey of 16,000 men and women in 52 countries. “So if you put two men together and they have those preferences, that is yet another reason for differences in disease rates.”

Urban Mens Health Survey

The Urban Mens Health Survey “generated a whole set of really dismaying papers” on gay men’s health, said Ron Stall, who worked on that study at CDC and is now at the University of Pittsburgh. It was an in-depth telephone survey of nearly 3,000 men in San Francisco, New York, Los Angles, and Chicago, conducted from late 1996 to early 1998.

It found high rates of distress and depression, attempted suicide, childhood sexual abuse, HIV infection, substance use, and partner violence. “It seemed to me that a lot of them were interconnected.” Stall used the term “syndemic” to describe a number of interconnecting epidemics that “together drive these risks among gay men.”

He looked for interconnections and found that gay men with current high levels of substance use were more than twice as likely to have current partner violence and were more likely to be depressed.

“There is a very strong dose effect–the more of these problems that the guys had, the more likely they are to have high risk sex, and the more likely they are to be HIV positive…It suggested to me is that we have at least four psychosocial conditions intertwining with each other that are driving HIV risk, and in turn driving an infectious disease.”

“You had a syndemic situation going on among a group of men, 80 percent of whom were college graduates, three-quarters of them were white, who were living in some of America’s richest zip codes, and yet they had a health profile that looked like they were living in a favela [hillside slum] in Brazil.”

“If you look at the literature on gay men ages 18-22, you see immediately that the syndemic conditions are all in place among very young gay men. Something horrible is happening to young MSM as they are coming of age.”

The hypothesis

Stall said most studies of homophobia have looked at how it affects adults. Part of the reason for that is the difficulty of obtaining informed consent from parents to conduct research among minors. “But if homophobia is a culture-wide phenomenon, it affects everyone–including kids.”

“The experience of homophobic attacks, particularly at a very young age, leaves men vulnerable to greater rates of mental health and substance abuse disorders, that together spin out of control.”

Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time of sexual awakening that often is accompanied by the lack of a secure sense of identity. “Many kids don’t have the social support that we as adult men can get when somebody calls us a bad name or tries to beat up us. They can’t go anywhere, they can’t talk about it, they don’t understand what is happening to them, they don’t have the coping skills.”

Stall said, all activity of young boys “is about competition for masculinity…they knock the socks off of you if you lose. You are socially shamed for not winning masculinity…Kids who lose at competing for masculinity become the object of masculinity panic. It happens to any kid who doesn’t fit in.”

He said they have identified three tiers of kids based on when they became aware they were gay. “The early bloomers first realized they were attracted to another boy in the second grade. They first started wondering whether they were gay by the fifth grade. By the ninth grade they had their first sex, and immediately decided they were gay. And they told somebody before they left high school.”

“It turns out that the kids who come out early ended up being punching bags. About a quarter of them were beaten up by their parents before they were 17; about three-quarters were harassed by 17; and 1 in 5 had forced sex before they were 18. Even the late bloomers had very high rates of violence and victimization as they were coming of age.”

Looking at the literature, he said, gay men are about three times more likely to have been the victim of violence as a child. There also is a correlation between the amount of violence experienced as a child and poorer health status later in life.

Stall believes it is vitally important to build support networks for youth who do not fit into the traditional stereotype roles of masculinity. It also is important to change the expectations of society on gender roles. Unfortunately, there is virtually no good long term data on what does and does not work toward accomplishing those ends.

http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=28266

MICHIGAN MESSENGER — "Gay Disease" Comment Proves Homosexuality is Risky, Family Group Says

The author of this article for the liberal Michigan Messenger is also a reporter for Between the Lines, a homosexual activist newsmagazine in Detroit…

MICHIGAN MESSENGER
Lansing, Michigan
February 14, 2008

“Gay disease” comment proves
homosexuality is risky, family group says

by Todd A. Heywood

“‘Gary Glenn is certainly no Christian and has no compassion for his fellow man and should be ashamed of himself for using these comments to further marginalize gay people. Leave it to Gary to manipulate and distract people with this kind of ugly bigotry. I want to know if he has ever lifted his finger in his life to help solve the AIDS crisis,’ (homosexual activist and lobbyist Sean) Kosofsky continued. …’I don’t think Gary Glenn or the AFA have any compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS. They have no interest in public health, even though they claim to.”

http://www.michiganmessenger.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=863

Concerned Women for America Interviews Gary Glenn, AFA-Michigan

CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA
Washington, D.C., February 14, 2008

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force admits HIV is a “gay disease”

The outgoing president of the National Gay and Lesbian Task force has shaken the homosexual activist movement with his startling admission that HIV/AIDS is predominantly a homosexual problem.

Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, discuss this move which, if followed, could more effectively direct AIDS prevention efforts.

Click here to listen: http://www.cwfa.org/play.asp?id=cw20080214a