Tammy Baldwin, 84 Dem Lawmakers Urge End to Gay Blood Donation Ban in Letter to HHS Sec’y Kathleen Sebelius

Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading an effort by Democratic lawmakers to end the U.S. ban on gay men donating blood, Gannett reports:

BaldwinShe sent a letter signed by 84 other Democratic lawmakers Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concern that the ban “continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination.”

Baldwin, who is the first openly gay U.S. senator, and her colleagues are urging that blood donors be selected based on health factors and not sexual orientation.

“Our current policies turn away healthy, willing donors, even when we face serious blood shortages,” they wrote.

The current policy, which prohibits blood donation by any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, was put under review by HHS in March 2012, but there has been little movement since.

Gannett adds:

It’s unclear how the study is progressing or when it will be finished. An HHS spokeswoman said only that the study is “not yet complete” and that “HHS is committed to continuously improving the safety and availability of the nation’s blood supply” and “is in the process of conducting additional studies to help inform our policy discussions.”


  1. Kevin_BGFH says

    I’m HIV-negative, I’ve never had an STD. My blood is as healthy as anyone’s. I would totally sign up to be a regular blood donor if I were allowed to.

  2. Mike Ryan says

    I’m AB- and only 1% of the white population has that type. It came from my mother’s side of the family and the Red Cross was always knocking/calling to get my mother and her sister to donate – excessively. At 17 I signed up wanting to do my civic duty and realized how demanding these people could be. Then they found out I was gay and they said no and they were adament (I’m NOT HIV positive to this day). If that were to change I’d start receiving requests and my answer would be a resounding no. My Government and the Red Cross discriminated against me in the past and I won’t forget that. Now if one of my AB- relatives needs a pint or two I will be happy to donate. Beyond that no.

  3. Dc20008 says

    Female prostitues can donate–as can their Johns but married gay men cannot!??? Ridiculous.

    Either the testing done to blood is effective, or it isn’t. Who the donor is isn’t the problem. False message of a safe blood supply IS the problem.

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