Red Cross rolls out new blood donation policy, judge dismisses ‘transgender-free bathrooms’ suit, and more

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: August 9

Happy Wednesday! Take a look at the top queer stories today, including the World Bank pausing new funding to Uganda, queer veterans suing the Department of Defense and more. 

1. Red Cross rolls out metrics allowing gay men to donate blood
2. World Bank pauses new funding to Uganda because of anti-queer law
3. Queer veterans sue Department of Defense over discriminatory discharges
4. Investor sues Target over backlash to LGBTQ2S+ merchandise
5. “Transgender-free bathrooms” lawsuit dismissed

1. Red Cross rolls out metrics allowing gay men to donate blood

The Red Cross has started applying new screening metrics that allow gay men to donate blood—as long as they have not had new or multiple anal sex partners in the preceding three months. These criteria apply to everyone who wants to donate blood. 

“We understand how blood donation deferral related to anal sex may feel like it unfairly targets gay and bisexual men,” the Red Cross said in a statement. “Please know, the Red Cross is committed to achieving further progress and will continue to provide data to the FDA in support of making blood donation even more inclusive.”

2. World Bank pauses new funding to Uganda because of anti-queer law

The World Bank announced yesterday that it will pause lending to Uganda over its anti-LGBTQ+ law, which in some circumstances punishes same-sex intimacy with the death penalty. 

After the law was implemented, representatives from the World Bank went to Uganda and decided that the law “fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values,” and that any new funding would be halted until new measures for the World Bank’s projects were implemented in light of the new law. Uganda’s leaders dismissed the World Bank’s rationale, calling them hypocritical and “imperialists.”

3. Queer veterans sue Department of Defense over discriminatory discharges

A group of queer veterans who had been discharged because of their sexuality filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense on Tuesday. The group said that the department had violated their constitutional rights by failing to change their dishonourable discharges to honourable ones—dishonourable discharges deny the veterans “privacy, benefits and pride in their service,” the lawsuit reads. 

The lawsuit also said that although the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy had been repealed for years, no steps had been taken to correct the discrimination these veterans faced in the years since. 

 

4. Investor sues Target over backlash to LGBTQ2S+ merchandise

With the help of conservative legal organization America First Legal, an investor is suing Target for misrepresenting its risk-management strategies after backlash to its queer-oriented products.

The investor, Brian Craig, is saying that the company misstated that it was accounting for social and political risks surrounding the products while only caring about the possibility of failing to achieve its ESG and diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Craig is pursuing damages with the decline of Target’s share price and for ruling that Target violated U.S. securities laws.

5. “Transgender-free bathrooms” lawsuit dismissed

Trump-appointed judge Michael J. Newman handed down a win for trans people in Ohio after he dismissed a lawsuit asserting that Christian and Muslim students have a right to bathrooms free of trans people.

The lawsuit, which was brought by Muslim and Christian groups in the state, had attempted to bar trans students and teachers from using the correct bathrooms and to remove LGBTQ2S+ teaching materials in the classroom; the judge dismissed both assertions, saying that the plaintiffs had no right to control a school’s policy about student bathroom use.

Jackie Richardson is a freelance writer based in Western New York. She has worked at The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and The Sophian.

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