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Posts from the ‘Gay Rights’ Category

Crimes Never Committed: Thoughts on The Imitation Game

By Adam Turner

Spoiler Alert: This isn't exactly a movie review (if you'd like one, I recommend Alex von Tunzelmann's review in The Guardian) but it may give away elements of the film. Be forewarned.

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Stay Positive: A Radical Alternative to the Gay Blood Ban

In December last year, the FDA lifted its longtime policy of deferring any blood or tissue donations coming from men who have had sex with other men at any time since 1977. The new policy defers only those men who have had sex with other men within one year of donation. This might seem like a positive change in U.S. blood and tissue donation policy. Any shift towards inclusion should be considered a step in the right direction, right? The history of the "gay blood ban," its implications in sexual politics and the state, and the prevalence of HIV criminalization policy, however, render this potential shift meaningless at best and harmful at worst. A more radical HIV tissue and blood donation policy based on informed consent would not only dramatically increase the supply of U.S. blood and tissue banks, but also fight HIV stigma and dismantle the pathologization of gay sexuality, which such discriminatory HIV policy engenders.
By Scott Olsen

The stigma against gay sexuality in current U.S. HIV policy, however, is not a novel means of marginalizing men who have sex with men. Policies like blood and tissue deferral and HIV crimin

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The Long and Short of It: Looking Back on the History of Same-Sex Marriage, One Year after Windsor

by Rachel Hope Cleves

Without a doubt, there has been tremendous change to the legal landscape of same-sex marriage during the past year. Even supporters might be feeling winded by the sudden acceleration of the marriage equality movement. So perhaps it is a good time to pause, take a breath, and reflect on the history of this moment, looking beyond the past year’s changes to the centuries-long tradition of same-sex marriage in the United States. During oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, Justice Samuel Alito, speaking from the bench, declared that same-sex marriage was “newer than cell phones.” His comment, intended to discourage his fellow judges from striking down DOMA, betrayed a profound misunderstanding of American history. Same-sex marriage is a minority tradition older than the nation itself.

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Ireland’s Panti-Gate: The Continuing Debate Over Gay Rights

By Helen McBride

As Ireland moves away from its uneasy coalition with the Catholic church, the issue of gay rights in Ireland is gaining more traction. The upcoming same-sex marriage referendum has resulted in gay rights being discussed on Irish television. On the January 11 edition of the Saturday Night Show on RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, Rory O’Neill (aka Ireland's arguably most famous Drag Queen, Panti Bliss) became the center of a national controversy over gay rights and homophobia in Ireland. During his live on-air interview with host Brendan O'Connor, O'Neill described a number of Irish journalists as well as a pressure group named the Iona Institute as homophobic in their views toward same-sex marriage.

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Women’s Music Festivals: More Than Music, More Than Bodies

By "Anonymous"

For the last 14 years, University of Oregon’s Women’s Center has coordinated OUT/LOUD, one of the only queer focused women’s music festivals nationwide. Following the controversial cancellation of Bitch as the OUT/LOUD headliner in 2010 due to questionable comments made in a blog about her then  partner, discussions began about the oppressive nature of including performers that would be exclusive to the  community and musicians that have been featured at traditionally -exclusive events. Though it seems implicit that trans* people would be included in a queer festival, the women’s festival circuit is guilty of a long history of exclusion of trans* and gender variant folks from queer and women’s spaces. Aside from marking a debilitating division within these communities, these exclusionary practices stem from an extensive history of defensive rhetoric regarding -exclusion policies and criticism of  women’s identities from academic authorities and women-only spaces.

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Visual Campaigns against AIDS, Then and Now

by Rachel Epp Buller

Once upon a time, AIDS was a focal point for artists in the United States.
My design students and I recently read Maud Lavin’s Clean New World: Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design, in which she discusses the rise of political art and design in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan.[i] The Eighties – the decade when the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and social services were cut dramatically. Lavin asserts that, because the liberal mainstream seemed to disappear almost completely during the years of Reagan popularity, a variety of artist collectives took on the mantle of politics, social action, and public health.

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Reflections on Transitions: How my Transgender Issues Class has Changed in the Last Fifteen Years

By Elizabeth Reis

In 1998 I taught a new class at the University of Oregon called “Transgender History, Identity, and Politics.” Back then there were only one or two students who knew what “transgender” meant when I asked them on the first day of class. The others had enrolled either because the class hours fit their time schedules or because they had taken other classes with me and liked my teaching style (or had received a good grade!). I have taught the class several times over the past fifteen years, but this term I have noticed a distinct difference; it’s astonishing how the class composition and its general knowledge about the subject has been transformed in such a relatively short time. Change happens.

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Banning Heterosexuality in the Workplace

By Jacqueline Antonovich
It has recently come to our attention that some of our employees are offended or distracted by our LGBT employees who flagrantly display their sexual orientation in the workplace. Management has expressed concern that worker productivity is at risk if we fail to take action on this matter. This feeling of unease, we would like to assure you, is not isolated to our own company. Recent news reports make it abundantly clear that “overt displays of sexual orientation” (ODSO) is on the rise across the United States and that various government officials are beginning the arduous task of addressing ODSO in the workplace.

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Do Yourself a Favour: DIY a Rainbow

By Sean Cosgrove
Usually DIY anything means hours of pain and frustration: IKEA flatpacks, or a lost Sunday at the hardware store trying to work out how to correctly measure a straight line so you can progress further towards that table-making course which seemed so attainable months ago (clearly I’ve never experienced that...) The #DIYrainbow, however, is of a completely different ilk. I promise.

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“Born This Way” Or Not: No Justification Required

By Adam Turner
In the past few weeks I've heard the "born this way" argument pop up all over the place in classes and everyday conversation. I quite appreciate its value as a strong, proud anthem of self-empowerment (implicitly in the face of an unaccepting world). It's also a pretty sweet jam. The foundation associated with it seems also to be up to some great things, and I certainly agree with their mission "to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated." I'm not here to critique the song. But it is a handy jumping-off point for a larger issue

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