FDA opens door to ending gay blood donation ban

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration signaled Tuesday that it is reevaluating its policy on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, less than a year after changing its former policy and less than two months s...
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[Video] Anti-bully bill needs revision but finds support in Ga. House education subcommittee

Keisha Waites

Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) fielded questions on her anti-bully legislation, HB 429, today before a Georgia General Assembly education subcommittee.

As written, HB 429 would expand the state's anti-bullying laws and require schools to issue annual reports on instances of bullying where a student is disciplined. Waites is one of three openly gay members of the Georgia General Assembly.

Committee members, including Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), questioned the need for additional punishments against students who bully, but seemed favorable to the idea of requiring schools to submit annual reports on instances of bullying.

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[Updated] Ga. Democrats to take on anti-gay discrimination in state funding for private schools

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Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly rolled out their legislative agenda for 2013 today which includes a bill “to prevent student scholarship organizations from funding private schools that discriminate against Georgia’s children.”

Dubbed the Anti-Discrimination Act, the bill is sponsored by Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens), according to Emily Oh, spokesperson for the House Democratic Caucus.

Bell is the first openly lesbian African-American state lawmaker in the country.

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R.I. House votes for marriage equality; bill also introduced in Hawaii

R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee

The Rhode Island House of Representatives today approved a bill that would allow legal marriages between same-sex couples. The vote was 51-19.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent, last week urged his state's legislature to move forward on marriage and to give him a bill to sign. Democrats listened and quickly advanced a marriage equality bill through the House.

“Rhode Island, as you all know, has a legacy of tolerance. It is the ideal upon which we were founded,” Chafee said Jan. 14. “It is time to honor and affirm that legacy by ensuring that same-sex couples can enjoy the same fundamental rights, benefits and privileges as all other citizens of our state.”

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Anti-gay boobs on the Hill, or DOMA defense renewed thanks to House Republicans

US House

Today marks the first official day of the 113th session of the United States Congress. With new appointments, incoming freshmen legislators and the drama of the fiscal cliff behind them, things are returning to what Washington considers “normal.”

One of the first acts of the Republican leadership in the House was to extend funding to continue the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in its court challenges.

The Supreme Court announced in December that it would hear a challenge to the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. Lower court rulings have consistently found the law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice announced last year it would no longer defend DOMA in its many court challenges.