Rep. Jared Polis has called the attention of Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban against the blood donation of gay men in the US, after the disapproval of the blood bank in receiving donations for the Orlando mass shooting.
A mass shooting transpired in an Orlando gay bar which resulted in 49 deaths. A lot were ready to give blood donations after the city blood bank has requested everyone to donate. Unfortunately, most members of LGBT were prevented by a federal policy. Even partners of those who were deeply wounded were not allowed to donate.
The federal policy states that a man who had sex with another man for the past 12 months is not allowed to donate blood. This is to ensure that all blood-transmitted diseases, especially HIV, will not be spread, especially during a crisis like this.
However, several members of the LGBT, including Rep. Polis, were not happy about the aforementioned policy. It was discriminatory and baseless, according to them, especially that the blood being donated are being tested whether it is infected or not. Additionally, the community has also stated that everyone can acquire HIV, even those who do not engage in same-sex marriage.
Polis is leading the fight against the discriminatory blood ban. After stating his deep condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones, he tweeted these:
The FDA policy was established in 1985, during the AIDS epidemic. All members of LGBT who are sexually active are not allowed to donate. During the Obama administration, it was already lifted which made the community pleased. Unfortunately, many were not informed that they need to celibate in order to donate blood.
Other Democratic lawmakers are also throwing their support behind the move. They have posted tweets about their drive towards the demolishment of the FDA policy against gay men’s blood donation.