Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Drop Dead Diva Addresses FDA Gay Ban

The new Lifetime episode of Drop Dead Diva that airs on Sunday, August 19th at 9P addresses the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ban on biological donations by gay men. In this episode titled "Family Matters," a man who is fighting for visitation rights of his biological child sees his chances of caring for his son drastically reduced based on the fact that he is a gay man who donated sperm. The episode highlights the 2005 FDA ban on donations of sperm by gay men, citing intercourse between two men as a "risk for sexually transmitted diseases." Other FDA cited risk factors leading to a ban on donations include IV drug use & prostitution. The FDA also prohibits gay men who have had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood. The ban on blood donations has been in place since 1983 & was upheld in November 2010. Herndon Graddick, President of GLAAD, stated "The creators of Drop Dead Diva have once again used their platform to shed light on injustices that require greater attention. Storytellers & television have a powerful ability to help enact social change by first reaching people through entertainment. This episode demonstrates how unfair this outdated & biased ban really is." Openly gay writer Josh Berman, whose credits include the upcoming FOX series The Mob Doctor, Bones, CSI & Vanished, is the creator of Drop Dead Diva. Berman executive produces the series alongside award-winning duo Craig Zadan & Neil Meron who received the Vito Russo Award this year at the GLAAD Media Awards. The Award honors out media professionals who have made a significant difference in raising visibility of LGBT people & issues. Drop Dead Diva is produced by Sony Pictures Television. Updates to Come…:)

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