I was going to try and say all this as a response to MikeL's blog entry but it seems I have way to much to say for that.
Mike is right in that the 5 things gay's cannot do need to be fixed, but I don't see them all as "gay" issues. They strike me more as human rights issues and at least three of them hit the "straight" community just as hard.
Donating blood - I can understand why they banned it in '85. Back then they barely knew what HIV was. It was a logical step to reduce the possibility of transmission. With new testing methods is it still necessary? Well - I would rather modify the ban for a bit before completely lifting it. Testing history showing a potential donor clean before donation ( and I think that should go for all donors - not just gay ones) could be a place to start. A simple card provided after routine blood work would be easy to present at the time of donation. The government sees fit to supplement the incomes of hundreds of thousands of people who should not be on public assistance, I feel this is something they SHOULD be supplementing. When you go for regular blood work tell them you are a blood donor so the extra tests can be done on the governments dime. Something i would not mind my tax dollars going towards.
They should also allow directed blood donations. If I can donate and store my own blood against a surgical procedure that is pending for religious reasons, why cant similar arrangements be made if my gay neighbor with the same blood type wants to help me out in my time of need? I would rather get blood from him, a man i know and trust than some stranger that could have slipped thru the testing cracks.
Eventually blood supply monitoring will prove itself reliable enough to lift the ban, and none of these actions will be necessary. But till then its better to be safe than sorry, and ALL donations should be carefully screened.
Adoption should be an option to ANY person with the love and the means to raise a child. A single parent family that is a loving family is much better than foster care. Sexuality certianly adds to the obsticles when it should not, but there are other hurdles that need to be cleared as well.
Medical decisions are something EVERYONE should make preparations for. When my mother was ill and became unable to make her own decisions, a decline that occurred very rapidly, I legally could not make decisions for her - that should have fallen to dad. He however was unable to do so do to his own medical problems after a stroke. Had my parents thought ahead and arranged a medical power of attorney before things became so screwed up I would not have needed a small army of lawyers in addition to the army of doctors to take care of them. My point here is again - the system needs fixing, it isn't just gay couples affected, and in the interim a lot of planning needs be done to prevent landing in an impossible situation.
Seek legal recourse for unjust dismissal? Sorry - while there may be no laws specifically banning dismissal on sexuality there is always a way to find legal recourse. If some idiot can sue McDonnalds because her hot coffee was hot then unjust dismissal is fair game with or without specific laws. You just need the right attorney and I would suggest the ACLU to help with that if you are unsure of where to turn.
The scouting issue - well that whole situation is just wrong and I will gladly lend my voice in hopes that nonsense like that can be eradicated!