Today on the Scramble, we talk to two cartoonists about the road ahead from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I'm still wrestling with some of my own questions about what this story means to the world of satire, which I consider vitally important to the health of the world.
Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 8:46 am
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration recommended a change in the discriminatory and unscientific policy that effectively prohibited men who have sex with men from donating blood for life. Those guidelines kept any man who had sex with another man — even just once — since 1977 from donating blood forever.
While gay discrimination has been reduced in so many other areas of life, up until now, there hasn't been enough medical or political will to intervene on the blood ban. That policy perpetuated stigma without improving safety.
Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 4:15 pm
Tim Cook, the head of the world's most iconic technology company, has come out today in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he's never denied his sexual orientation but "I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now.
"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook writes.
Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 11:00 am
Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET
As we reported earlier, a synod of Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican has released an interim document that signals the likelihood of a dramatic overhaul in the church's stance on gays and lesbians, as well as its view on divorced members.
Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 8:29 pm
Technically, the Supreme Court Monday did not establish a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. It merely declined an opportunity to rule definitely one way or the other on the question.
But in the not-too-long run, the consequences may well be the same. Because the situation the court created — or acknowledged — will almost surely continue trending in favor of same-sex couples who want to marry.
Conversely, the legal ground is eroding for states that want to stop such marriages or deny them legal recognition.
Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 7:22 pm
On Monday, the Supreme Court surprised many when it refused to enter the contentious debate over gay marriage.
The court left intact decisions by three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on gay marriage in parts of the South, West and Midwest. Attorneys general in five states asked the court to review those decisions and overrule them. But the court instead stepped back, leaving the lower court rulings intact.
Talk to any demographer. Marriage is in irreversible decline. According to Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of "Generation Unbound," 40% of young people are unmarried. Now, that doesn't mean people will stop getting married. You've been to a bunch of weddings this year. What it means is that marriage as a precondition to parenthood is no longer the established norm from which everything else is a deviation.
The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.
The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.
On Monday, we do The Scramble. And on the Scramble, we always start with a SuperGuest, which means that in defiance of public radio logic, we pick the person first and then figure out what the topics will be.
This week we started with June Thomas, one of my favorite Slate.com writers and talkers, and someone I assumed would want to riff at least a little bit about pop culture. Instead, her top two choices are Gay Pride month and dentistry.
The Family Medical Leave Act's benefits will be extend to married same-sex couples in all of the U.S., under a White House announced today. The change comes as the Obama administration alters federal policies to fit the Supreme Court's repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.
It's not something you'd immediately associate with staying healthy: video games. A professor at Quinnipiac University is exploring whether or not digital avatars can encourage gay men in Mexico City to get tested regularly for HIV.
The story of an inmate at York Correctional Facility, known simply as Jane Doe, has caught the attention of Governor Dannel Malloy. She’s a 16-year-old transgender female at the center of a rare transfer of custody from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections.
Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:20 pm
A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.
Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.
Fear of Flying sold 18 million copies worldwide and helped tip feminism into a new focus on fulfilled sexuality. But it also introduced a meme so pervasive that the book's author, Erica Jong, worried the phrase "zipless f--k" would appear on her tombstone.
Jong recenly defined the phrase on NPR's Weekend Edition:
The zipless f---- was more than a f----. It was a platonic ideal. Zipless, because when you came together, zippers fell away like rose petals. Underwear blew off in one breath like dandelion fluff. Tongues intertwined and turned liquid. Your whole soul flowed out through your tongue and into the mouth of your lover.
So how does the world of 2013 look to the writer who gave us Isadora Wing?
We talk with Jong about feminism and gender in American pop culture and politics.
On Thursday morning, the Board of Regents governing Connecticut state colleges unanimously passed a sexual assault policy which would, among other things, require campuses to give victims detailed descriptions of what they can do.
In the space of a lifetime, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States and Western Europe has been transformed. So to watch a play like "A Song at Twilight," written by Noel Coward in 1966, is to journey back in time and then wonder how far, really one has traveled.
I'm as excited as anybody else about Jason Collins, but can the NBA really be having its Big Gay Moment when one of its stars from the past frequented gay bars, dyed his hair green and --during his playing days -- wore feather boas and a wedding dress?
There's something exciting about a critic who challenges your perceptions in a compelling way. I love the movie American Hustle but when I read Willa Paskin's take-down of it in Slate, she really got me thinking.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:01 pm
The applause was warm and some fans stood Sunday night in Los Angeles when basketball player Jason Collins made history by walking onto the court during an NBA game.
By checking in during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets became the first openly gay man to play for a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports.