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‘Gay Blood Drive’ Seeks to End Absurd FDA Ban On LGBT Donations

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on July 12, 2013

It’s true: Those Dastardly Gays want special treatment.

They want special rules for their relationships, like being able to marry the people they were born to love. They want special rules for the workplace, like the blanket security of not being fired strictly for their sexual orientation. They want special rules for being helpful, productive members of society, like being allowed to donate their icky blood.

While marriage equality is a terrific trickle-down approach to special equal rights for the LGBT community, there are equally pressing matters in the fight to ensuring gay men and women aren’t treated like second-class citizens. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed out of a Senate committee this week, and on Friday the National Gay Blood Drive will shine a harsh spotlight on the FDA’s dark practice of rejecting on sight blood from men who’ve had sex with men. Here’s what it’s all about:

The gay blood drive, which targets 53 donor sites across all parts of the country, is a well-orchestrated protest to the 1977 federal policy that bars gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

(Check out this site to see where you can participate.)

The protest’s organizers say gay and bisexual men “will show up to get tested at a specified donation center in their city and attempt to donate their blood. As each donor is rejected, their test result will be collected, compiled, and delivered to the FDA – visually conveying to them on a national level how much blood the gay community could contribute to the blood supply should they lift their current policy.”

“Now we’ve seen, with the testing that we have today, that the blood pool has shown to be very safe without having to go through this regulation,” Dr. Emily Blodget, an infectious disease specialist at USC, told USA Today. “To be honest, (HIV infection) could happen with anyone now. We need to be just as concerned with heterosexuals as homosexuals.”

Pass this along. Make this happen. One anti-gay group’s special treatment is another need to not feel like a second-class citizen.

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