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Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

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Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO" »


Hate in the Mail for Gay Would-Be High School Blood Donor

Ronnie Childers, the senior class president at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, California, has received at least 50 hate letters since complaining about the Red Cross' policy banning gays from giving blood during a blood drive at the school late last year.

HarborhighChilders complained about the rules, established by the Red Cross in the 80's when officials feared that blood samples could be contaminated with the AIDS virus, after being denied the opportunity to donate.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Some of the letters sent to Childers deride gay people as 'evil' or admonish him to 'think about it. Sex with the same sex is weird and sick' Some were sent from the area as evidenced by local postmarks." Said Childers: "There are a couple key phrases [like], 'I know where you go to school.' I think adults need to understand that letters like this are inappropriate."

The school stands behind Childers, with the principal saying the school will be lobbying lawmakers to get the outdated donation rules changed: "We're going to put together some kind of letter. And instead of sending it directly to the FDA, where it will get ignored, we're going to start hitting federal and state legislators. Because if the state Legislature also gets behind this then maybe they'll listen."

Gay student gets hate mail for activism [santa cruz sentinel]


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