FDA releases plan to ease restrictions on gay blood donation

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is outlining its plan to end the nation’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 32-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.

The FDA on May 12 released proposed guidelines for screening blood donors at increased risk of carrying HIV. Under the proposal, the current blanket ban on donations from gay men would be replaced with a policy barring donations from men who have had sex with another man in the last year. The Obama administration previously announced the policy shift in December.

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Indiana restaurant raises $160,000 after supporting ‘religious freedom’ law

By : Wire Report
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Supporters of an Indiana pizza restaurant that was thrust into the national spotlight after one of its owners said she wouldn’t cater a gay wedding have raised more than $160,000.

Donations for Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, have poured in to the website gofundme.com on April 2 to help “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith.” The site had collected 5,777 donations totaling $163,621 as of 1:15 p.m. Thursday in New York.

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22nd Annual Garrison/Reed Thanksgiving Food Drive

By : Mark Cady
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Volunteers gathered Nov. 24 at Joy Metropolitan Community Church in Orlando for the 22nd Annual Garrison/Reed Thanksgiving Food Drive. They packed food bags for 353 families from 8 Central Florida agencies.

Last year they filled 376 bags and in 2004, the drive had its biggest year ever with 1300 families fed.

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First look at renovation plans for the GLBT Center

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The GLBT Center will receive $147,000 in grant funding that will go toward a major renovation of The Center’s headquarters on Mills Ave.

The grant, announced at the organization’s Black and White Gala fundraiser held at the Orlando Museum of Art Oct. 4, is a Community Development Block Grant comprised of federal funds approved and distributed by the City of Orlando. The grant dollars represent 75 percent of total renovation funds. In order to receive the full amount, The Center must raise the other 2 percent – about $50,000—by the end of 2014.

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AIDS Walk Tampa Bay returns Sept. 6

By : Dylan Drobet
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St. Petersburg – This year’s AIDS Walk Tampa Bay is on course to be a record breaker. The 11th annual walk along St. Petersburg’s waterfront returns Sept. 6 and early fundraising numbers have nearly doubled those of 2012, the walk’s most successful year.

“At this point in 2012 we were only at $48,000,” said Jay Aller, the resource development manager for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas.

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