For the past 31 years, gay and bisexual men have been banned from donating blood.
Today, the Food and Drug Administration said they wouldn't oppose replacing the rule with a new policy
that would make it OK for gay and bisexual men to donate IF they haven't had sex in the past year. Hmmm...What if you're in a long-term relationship? It's still assumed you may have a disease?
It sounds pretty discriminatory to me. Continuing to dwell into people's sexual orientation and all.
The American Civil Liberties Union wasn't happy about the celibacy request, either.
An ACLU press release said:
"The FDA’s proposal must be seen as part of an ongoing process and not an end point," said Ian Thompson, a legislative representative in the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "The reality for most gay and bisexual men – including those in committed, monogamous relationships – is that this proposal will continue to function as a de facto lifetime ban. Criteria for determining blood donor eligibility should be based on science, not outdated, discriminatory stereotypes and assumptions."
LGBT advocacy groups have called the one-year no sex rule a "de facto lifetime ban."
The ban became official in 1983 - when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was in full swing.
The FDA is going to submit the changes next year, and people will get to comment on the proposal before it's set in stone.