Calif. Assembly tells FDA to end gay blood ban

In a 41-28 vote Sept. 8, the California Assembly told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to end the 26-year-old ban on blood donation by gay men.

The ban applies to any man who has had sex with another man at any point in the past 31 years.

“The law prevents innumerable gay and bisexual men who are otherwise healthy from contributing to the nation’s blood supply, which faces chronic shortfalls due to a lack of donations,” said Equality California.

“Adopted in 1983, the rule targeted gay and bisexual men because of fear over HIV/AIDS transmission. (Today,) significant innovations in blood-screening technology make the fear of HIV/AIDS spreading through the blood supply nearly nonexistent.”

The resolution was sponsored by gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who commented: “The FDA is well aware of this technology as well as the erroneous and unscientific belief that the virus is only spread by gay and bisexual men. I hope President Obama hears our call to change this shameful and discriminatory practice immediately, so we can save more lives.”

The measure now advances to the state Senate.

By Rex Wockner


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