The Food and Drug Administration's proposal to go from a lifetime blood donation ban for gay and bisexual men to a one-year (as long as you are abstinent) is up for public discussion for at least the next month. It sounds like good news, but the one-year-no-sex rule doesn't make LGBT rights advocacy groups happy. They have been calling the changes a "de facto lifetime ban."
The wording continues to drag on rules that have been based on discriminatory stereotypes.
“As the (American Civil Liberties Union) made clear late last year, this inadequate proposal must be seen as part of an ongoing process and not an end point. Deferral decisions should be based on activities presenting an elevated risk, not on the identity of a person or that person’s partner. The reality for the vast majority of gay and bisexual men is that this policy continues to stigmatize their intimate relationships and will indefinitely bar them from donating. In addition, this proposal leaves open the possibility that transgender individuals will continue to be needlessly barred from being able to donate," an ACLU statement said earlier this week.
The lifetime ban has been in place since the early 1980s.
The FDA first announced the changes in December. At the time, the ACLU came at them demanding they base their prohibitions on science not backward stereotypes.
Here's the proposal and make sure to comment on this abstinence nonsense: click here.