As I have written here on a number of occasions, the US Food & Drug Administration bans gay & bisexual men from donating blood. Is this fair? Of course not! The simple fact that the current lifetime deferral focuses on sexual orientation as the ONLY reason to deny should make it painfully obvious that the policy is unfair. Blood donations need to be safe. We don't deny that, but I ask you to join me in calling on the FDA to change its policy so that it focuses on sexual behavior and individual risk instead of denying all gay and bisexual men. The current ban rests on unsound science and perpetuates stigmas.
President Barack Obama has a lot of power and we are now, through a White House petition, urging him to join with us. The petition begins by saying "We petition the Obama Administration to: Call On HHS & The FDA To End Their Ban Against Gay & Bisexual Male Blood Donors." If you have not already signed the petition, I urge you to click HERE and sign. After signing, I urge you to forward this important petition to all of your friends.
Let's not rest there though. Campbell, CA Mayor Evan Low has been fighting this battle for over a year now and as a result of his good work, more and more people are aware of the discriminatory blood donation policy, but we need everyone to know about this and we need it to end. Share this blog post on your twitter or facebook accounts. Write emails to your friends urging their involvement. Write a letter directly to President Obama and write as well to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Get on the phone too. Call the White House switchboard. Call your other elected officials and urge them to sign the White House petition and to speak up for fair and equal treatment. Gay and bisexual men should not be treated as second class citizens!
It is high time this ban was ended. Let's make it happen! Changing this policy is so overdue.