Gay Blood Ban Against EU Law – EU Commissioner

US-Navy Storekeeper 3rd Class Robert Franke do...
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John Dali, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, has stated that a blanked ban on Gay and Bisexual Men giving blood is against EU law.

In an answer to Glenis Willmott (S&D) and Michael Cashman (S&D) he explained that EU law warranted the deferral of those “at high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases” due to their “sexual behaviour”. Mr Dalli underlined that “‘sexual behaviour’ is not identical with ‘sexual orientation’”.

The Commission also noted that when implementing EU law, Member States must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. This means a blanket ban on all gay and bisexual men would be illegal under EU law.

According to the European Parliaments Intergroup on LGBT Rights, National Authorities often cite a 2004 Directive on technical requirements for blood and blood components to justify the ban. Most member states have a de facto ban on gay men from giving blood and this includes Ireland.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said the Commission’s answer “makes a lot of sense. Commissioner John Dalli reminds Member States that it is individuals who are at risk—not groups. Being gay or bisexual cannot automatically pose a threat to public health; but risky sexual behaviour in men or women, gay or straight, is a real risk. I hope the British government’s announcement later today will prefer scientific evidence to prejudice.”

Further commenting the Commission’s answer, Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup and Member of the Committee on Public Health added: “It is our highest priority to look after public health, and thus take care of the quality of donated blood. But health ministers must bear in mind that sexual orientation, ethnic background and other identity traits are fully irrelevant to a person’s health. Denying blood donation from these groups is discriminatory and goes fully against logic.”

 

Don’t Throw Stones

St Finbarre's Cathedral, Cork, Ireland
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Last night I attended Evensong in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork for a special IDAHO service. It was a beatiful service with an excellent choir. The Dean The Very Revd Nigel Dunne made everyone welcome and during the service we were all invited up to place a stone at the foot of the cross. That to me was very touching.

During the prayers a list of those killed because of their sexuality was read out and remembered (see end of post). The address given by Doleres Mannion was amazing and she shed light on how it is possible to be Gay or Lesbian and a Christian.

After the service we were all given tea and biscuits and got to talk with the Dean of Cork The Very Revd Nigel Dunne and the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Right Reverend William Paul Colton, as well as other members of the Congregation. They were very nice people and very engaging.

Last night was always my first time in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral (you never see whats on your doorstep) and I know there is an Anglican tradition in my family so I must visit it again some day.

A huge thanks must also go to Changing Attitudes Ireland for organising this event as well as to those involved with St Fin Barre’s Cathedral for facilitating it and taking part.

Those who were known to be killed in Ireland due to their sexuality:

  • Anthony McCleave (1979)
  • Charles Self (1982)
  • Declan Flynn (1982)
  • Harry McClarnon (1983)
  • David Templeton (1997)
  • Darren Bradshaw (1997)
  • Ian Flanagan (2002)
  • Warren (Aaron) MacAuley (2002)
  • Shaun Fitzpatrick (2008)

Remember prejudice is wrong and hurtful and can kill. All prejudice should be fought against. That is why we have IDAHO and other such days.

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IDAHO – International Day Against Homophobia

Homophobia
Image by flem007_uk via Flickr

Tomorrow is IDAHO and there will be an event in Cork to commemorate it. It is being organised by Changing Attitudes Ireland. A Choral Evensong will take place tomorrow evening (May 17th) at 7:00pm in St. Fin Barres Cathedral in Cork. The speaker will be Ms. Doleres Mannion. Other events will take place in Dublin and Belfast.

In Dublin there will be a service in Chirst Church Cathedral at 3.30pm with Sen. David Norris being the speaker. In Belfast a service will take place in St. Georges Church on High Street at 3:00pm. The speaker there is Colm McCormick

I am looking forward to this and it is nice to see a religous group organising it. The theme of the Services will be “Dont throw stones”.

Changing Attitude Ireland is a network of people, gay and straight, working for the full affirmation of Lesbian and Gay persons within Churches. All are welcome to these services, those of all religions and none and those of all sexual orientations.

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Did we get it wrong on the Pope?

Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...Image via WikipediaTallyman as an excellent post pointing out that the mainstream media and many blogs (including me!) got the Pope’s message wrong. Now I was working from what was reported in the media considering the Pope’s speech was in Latin.

Tallyman points out that there was “nothing new” in the speech but that the Pope was “following some very simplistic, narrow logic”. As he points out the “Pope regularly says things like this. This is something that we all understand to be Roman Catholic doctrine. How many gays still attend Church knowing this?”. I, like him, know lots!

The most important part in Tallyman’s post is when he points out that the Pope “does not single out the gay community in his New Years message.” (Emphasis his). In fact he points out the over arching theme of the message which was“Fighting Poverty to build Peace” which is a good idea.

He goes to point out that the Pope mainly called for teaching of abstinence to be considered a way of halting the spread of diseases, such as AIDS, and connects these diseases to poverty. Now while some people disagree with this way of halting the spread of AIDS, it must be admitted that it is one of halting the spread of the disease.

Tallyman concludes with the following

So, in one line the Pope has incensed the Gays, the Greens and certain sections of the media to declare him as inciting hatred. The Pope stuck to Catholic (albeit misguided dogma) in relation to what it deems to be a natural order. It didn’t tell all good Catholics to shun their homosexual neighbours, disown their homosexual children, or rise up in revolt against governments legislating for civil partnership. He asked us to me good Christians, to be mindful of the poor in this festive season and combat corruption and immorality in the name of the poor.

I don’t really see the harm in that.

So this to me seams to be logical, so why then did the Mainstream media take up the Pope’s message wrong? Why were we led to believe that he was equating Homosexuality with Climate Change?

While I am no fan of the Pope, I don’t think it is right that when he says something, it is misrepresented. As Tallyman puts it “i find any distortion of the Pope’s message by LGBT groups, the media, and those looking for a sound-byte, a bit rich, worrying, and it has to be said, gay.” Sentiments I agree with completely.

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A reason to Love Cork

City Quarter, Cork
I love Cork and I am very patriotic about my home town, and events on Saturday made me love it even more. At the weekend my boyfriend was up from Kerry and he stayed around town on Saturday and we met up for lunch. At all times I was with him in town we were holding hands. Did we get a reaction? No

Russ and I

In fact most people registered no reaction especially Irish people. A few people stared and in fact two girls said “eww gays” and then burst out laughing! This is a major reason why I love Cork. I never get hassle about being gay or holding hands with guys. I have gotten hassle in other places, notable Dublin and Koeln, where I was shouted at, but it comes with the territory. (‘Queer’ in Dublin and ‘Schwule’ in Koeln).

Lots of foreign people ask me what it is like to be gay in Ireland and I must say being gay in Cork is grand as most Cork people don’t give a toss! Which is also an attitude I have!

So I LOVE Cork!

Gay Intolerence of Conservatives

I read a very interesting post over on GayPatriot today on the reaction of Conservative towards Gay Conservatives and the reaction of Gays towards Gay Conservatives. It got me thinking about my own experiences of being a Gay Conservative. The author is actually looking for peoples experiences so I sent along mine which I have reproduced below. (With salutations etc removed!)

I joined Fine Gael (The Irish Conservative Party) back in 2004 before I came out in 2005 during my first year of college. My colleagues in my branch knew me before I was ‘the gay’. When I did come out nothing changed among my colleagues in Fine Gael, and I am still a respected member. In fact I am actively turned to on issues of Gay Rights and that, to see what my opinion is. I have attended national conferences of both the junior and senior parties and spoken at the Junior Conferences and the fact that I am a gay conservative does not effect peoples view of this.

When I joined my college LGBT, I was lucky as the Auditor (Chair) at the time was also a member of Fine Gael, so it was okay in college in my LGBT being a gay conservative. I even ended up on the committee. Outside college its a different world though. I regular get strange looks when I brings up politics let alone Fine Gael among friends. There is no natural ‘Gay Rights’ party in Ireland, most parties are progressive on it. When I say I am a conservative I get strange looks and asked ‘how?’. Its strange like that. Gay people seam to think that just becasue I’m gay I must be a liberal or a socialist.

Fast forward to this year when I moved to Germany. I have not joined the Christian Democratic Party or its youth wing (or its LGBT wing) as I am not long enough here, but here it is acceptable to talk about politics in gay circles in pubs. When I say I support the CDU, I sometimes feel I have to duck or step back. People here dont understand either that you can be gay and conservative. While talking to anyone else straight conservative/socialist/liberal, its a non-issue. I may be asked a few more questions on my reasoning for supporting unions (not marriage!).

So what are your experences of being a Gay Conservative. If you want to let me know either leave a comment or email me stephen(DOT)spillane(AT)gmail(DOT)com. If you want your name to be kept confidential please tell me in the email.

Dumbledore is gay

Okay so now Damien’s twitter makes sense 😀

But while reading that article, I realise how much I hate Peter Tatchell! he actually said this

Gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “It’s good that children’s literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.

“But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore’s sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book.

“Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance.”

Its a kids book for gods sake! This is why Section 28 was brought in and that! God that man drives me mad at times!

God Hates Ireland really?

Well we have had Godhatesfags, Godhatessweden, godhatesamerica and my personal favourite godhatefredphelps. Now we have godhatesireland.

Where do people get off?

Now i know the WBC, does not speak for all americans, but this kind of hate speech belongs in the past. Calling David Norris a fag (A cigarette in Irish slang, something they have failed to notice) and putting a pink triangle with a shamrock on his picture is not going to offend Norris in any way. He has heard way worse.

This is disrespectful to the Irish Nation
This is disrespectful to the Catholic Church, while I have no love for the church myself, it cannot all be tarred with one brush.
This is disrespectful to Irish Law
This is disrespectful to the ECHR Court and Convention.

I feel sick after reading this line

“However, the worst part of the Catholic Monster would definitely have to be the fact that the priests “secretly” rape little boys and girls, and their parents pay the priests to do it!”

Never have I heard such stupidity. This is just completely wrong. That has never happened! no parent would do that.

I am very annoyed over that website, I know its only Fred Phelps et al, who very few people take seriously, Thank God!

Gays behind Satanist plot! WTF?

I am soooo annoyed with the Catholic Church. I read this story in todays Guardian (Yes I know the link is to CNN, but i cant find it on the guardian website). He claims he was pretending to be gay to get to the end of a Satanist plot! What the hell like!!!!!

Well I have some facts for Monsignor Tommaso Stenico

1. I am Gay
2. I am not a Satanist
3. I do not even believe in the Devil
4. I am a Christian

Its over stories like this that really have turned me off the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and I didn’t have any major hang-up with my religion, until I came out. I have lots of respect for certain priest who I know and do not judge or condemn people beacuse of their sexuality.

Also isn’t highly unethical for psychologists or psychotherapists to pose as something there not???

Youtube Stuff – camp and funny!

Monty Python’s Military Fairy

very camp gay ref

A Camp Song