'National Gay Blood Drive' Protests FDA Ban on Gay Donors



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After Marshall Duer-Balkind, 30, exited a blood donation center on Friday morning, he held up a long green form as evidence that he had been rejected as a blood donor.

On the form Duer-Balkind pointed out that section that disqualified him from being a blood donor because of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy that bans men who have sex with men from giving blood.

After Duer-Balkind showed the form to two volunteers from the National Gay Blood Drive demonstration, the volunteers pulled out a red ink pad and stamped “Rejected” on his forearm.

The stamp was proof that Duer-Balkind had taken part in a nationwide demonstration to protest the FDA policy, which bans men who have sex with men from donating blood, since they are considered at a higher risk for having HIV.

“I think it’s an absolutely ridiculous and antiquated policy,” said Duer-Balkind, who had come to participate in the demonstration during a vacation in New York.

There were more than 50 demonstrations planned as part of the National Gay Blood Drive in various U.S. cities on Friday. The drive was planned to help draw attention to the number of potential blood donors who are automatically disqualified due to their sexual orientation. In addition to men who have sex with men, women are disqualified from giving blood if within the last 12 months they have had sex with a man who at any point since 1977 has sex with another man.

At designated blood donation centers across the country, participants in the National Gay Blood Drive were tested for HIV and if they tested negative, attempted to donate blood at a blood donation center. When they were rejected due to FDA regulations, they received a stamp and turned in their HIV testing results to be sent to the FDA.

The FDA’s decades-long ban stared during the AIDS crisis and restricts any man, who has had sex with another man since 1977, from donating blood

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  • DonBahn1

    Maybe the sodomites could donate blood when they pay for the HIV, and Hepatitis blood tests.

  • Lee R

    As a regular blood donor I know there are many, many reasons (someone mentioned living in Europe for a long period of time being one of them) that a blood bank would defer a potential donor, and being a man who has sex with other men (or a woman who has sex with such a man – gee, do women who sleep with bi-sexual men also get to protest this rule?) is just one of at least 30 reasons. 
    If you have had certain kinds of transplants you can’t donate.  If you have had certain diseases (including some that aren’t sexually transmitted) you can’t donate.  If you have lived in certain countries you can’t donate. If you take certain meds you can’t donate (unless you stop taking them).  Some things are temporary deferrals but many of them are permanent.  And only the two I mentioned above have anything to do with one’s choice of sexual partners (operative word is choice; no one is deferred for simply BEING gay, but for their sexual behavior). 
    If they let in just about any donor, that would increase the cost of the blood for those who need it because blood banks would be throwing out tons of bad batches of blood, whereas they still have to test the blood, but there is a lot less of it that they would have to toss with the current rules in place.

  • CharlesHigley

    We had a very bad experience with contaminated blood when HIV turned up and the danger is still there. It would be too expensive to test everybody for HIV before donating, as they have to test every donation. It is simply practical to do a little filtering beforehand. 
    There are no civil rights involved here. It is what it is. If you have sex with other men, you make that choice and need to be adult and accept responsibility for your actions and their consequences.

    • RWD

      CharlesHigley I agree with you but unfortunately we seem to have fewer and fewer adults living among us these days.  The give me give me,  you owe me something class has learned to kick and scream in attempts to making wants in to rights.

  • LeonardW Giddens Jr

    Hell no. No freak blood in the blood bank. They have lost their freaking mind. They want to be considered normal, it’s not possible. They will kill many people to trying though. NO FREAK BLOOD period. Not now, not ever.

  • coachwkr

    Remember when homosexuals said, “Just leave us alone.”God, I wish these people would go back to those days. We, the normal people, are the ones saying, “Leave us alone.”

  • DavidNPolister

    As a veteran of the US Air Force, I to am banned from giving blood because I’ve spent many years in Europe… Mad Cow or Hoof in mouth disease is the reason. 
    I haven’t gone nuts for something that I feel should be trivial, but I’m sure there is a reason. I too thought that then they could mark mine for Europeans or Military with time overseeas like myself. I’ve not been able to donate for about 20 years, I use to donate regularly. 
    Actually the last couple time I did donate it was on the German economy in my village. No issues there.

    • LesMcc

      DavidNPolister I guess you grow up and deal with life! Obviously many people refuse to grow up and accept facts of life.