The following statement from The Episcopal Church in Vermont’s the Rev. Thad Bennett was printed in the Brattleboro Reformer on January 2nd. We thank him for his witness and courage.
F.D.A. Easing Ban on Gays, to Let Some Give Blood… But I live in Vermont and have been married to my spouse for over 10 years. Both the Episcopal Church, to which I belong, and the State of Vermont recognize my marriage and even work to support it and our relationship. Now, the F.D.A. says that if I have sexual relationships with my spouse I will be banned from donating blood to help my fellow citizens (I am a “universal donor” and before the ban I had donated gallons of blood). It appears that the F.D.A will not and does not acknowledge the sanctity of marriage, will continue its policy of prejudice and stay with its misperception that “all gay men are alike.”
During this time of the Christmas season, when we celebrate that God became human, I wish we could have done better. When might we expect a public policy that acknowledges the good in man (yes, even “gay man”) to be caring, responsible, and even sexual while at the same time being a good citizen and having the best for our fellow citizens in our hearts, minds and bodies.
I wish the F.D.A would allow me to love my neighbor as myself and give blood to help that neighbor.
The Rev. Thaddeus Bennett, Newfane, VT