As health officials plead for blood donations following the horrific attack in Orlando over the weekend, HRC marks World Blood Donor Day. However, it is important to note that there continues to be a ban preventing men who have sex with men from donating life-saving blood.
“Now is the moment to lift the ban. It’s dated, unfair and stigmatizes the LGBT community,” said David Stacy, Director of Government Affairs. “Dozens of LGBTQ people are in need of urgent care in Florida today. So even as we honor World Blood Donor Day, we need to be honest about a policy that’s no longer justifiable.”
In Orlando, there is an urgent need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood donors. To find a donation center or Big Red Bus near you visit http://www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9.Donate.
Earlier today, Congressmen Mike Quigley, Xavier Becerra, Jared Polis, Sam Farr, Brian Higgins, Alcee Hastings, and Sean Patrick Maloney and Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Norma Torres, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Diana DeGette held a press conference on Capitol Hill and call on the Food and Drug Administration to end this discriminatory policy banning blood among gay and bisexual men once and for all. HRC Director of Policy David Stacy also spoke.
The American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers, and the American Association of Blood Banks have characterized the blood ban as medically and scientifically unwarranted as far back as 2006.
The federal policy that bans gay and bisexual men from giving blood is unfair and outdated. Based on the most recent science, it’s not only unjustifiable -- it’s stigmatizing. If there was ever a moment that shows the blood ban should be lifted, it’s right now-- when dozens of LGBTQ people are lying wounded in hospitals across Orlando in need of urgent care.