National blood drive fighting FDA ban on gay donors


TIME: The National Gay Blood Drive is raising awareness about the 1983 Food and Drug Administration ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood—a ban the organization finds outdated.

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TIME: The National Gay Blood Drive is raising awareness about the 1983 Food and Drug Administration ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood—a ban the organization finds outdated.

This is the second year of the National Gay Blood Drive, which drew about 1,000 participants last year. Gay men come to the blood drive locations with an ally or proxy — a straight friend or family member — who donates blood in their place. Gavzy has two friends donating for him. “There’s a such a need for blood, to have restrictions like this is a shame,” says Kian Bichoupan, 25, one of Gavzy’s proxies. Some of the gay men will fill out the paperwork only to be denied, so that the organizers can send the paperwork to the FDA to show the number of gay men willing to donate if they could.

The group also launched a White House Petition on July 1 calling on the FDA to change its policy. If the petition gets 100,000 signatures by July 30, the Obama administration will issue a response.

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