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Orlando: Thousands Line Up to Donate Blood - But Gay Men Can't


Orlando: Thousands Line Up to Donate Blood - But Gay Men Can't

- Common Dreams staff

Thousands of Florida residents formed long lines around blood centers in Orlando, Florida after an urgent call for donations in the wake of the worst mass shooting in US history.

"The line to donate blood in #orlando today
via George Takei pic.twitter.com/u1W6dPbjlR


From the article:

'The ban began in 1983, yet President Obama’s administration has made only very slow changes to the rule, including allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they have been celibate for one year....'

Which of course, makes absolutely no sense. What does the state of marriage have to do with with health? Ditto for being homosexual or bisexual. Further, how is one's sexual proclivities determined? From verbal or wriiten response to a questionaire?

It's difficult for me to see how such laws do nothing but prevent caring, compassionate people from helping their friends.


The ban is "discriminatory and not based on sound science." Well, that is pretty much the MO of the government these days, at all levels.


Pushing voters' fear and greed buttons to facilitate dividing and conquering has been a winning formula for politicians to get elected AND please their corporate paymasters..


There is also a ban on donating blood for people who lived in Europe for more than 6 months in the 80s and 90s. All in all about 60% of Americans cannot donate blood for one reason or another. Homosexuals are probably only a tint part of those 60%

Ans yes, there is a questionnaire at the blood clinic.


It's an example of sex discrimination, but the discussion will include samples of American xenophobia, racism and religious fundamentalism.

What also troubles me is the idea that this is the worst mass murder in US history. How about Wounded Knee (1890) as just one example of bigger mass murders against the indigenous people of what is now called ""America"?


End this ban. But let the recipients choose the donors.


In answer to your first question, one can't choose donors in such a case. But one may be able to have a directive that would perhaps be included in a living will.

If blood banks are the mess you make them out to be, they need to be fixed.


Reminds me of an old episode of M*A*S*H, where they played a prank on a racist soldier who demanded they not give him blood from a black person. They painted his face black while he was asleep, then pretended he'd turned black overnight because they'd given him the wrong blood.


Then why do they ask people whether they are gay and not whether they are promiscuous?


Or Isaac Asimov, contracted AIDS via a transfusion.


The TV show "Adam Ruins Everything" did a segment on misconceptions about donating blood. I checked the show's website, and they cite this article:


It points out a number of things, such as the spike in donations after a disaster results in more blood than can be used before it expires, and they end up throwing huge amounts away. Then between disasters they run low. There is not so much a blood bank as a blood pipeline. In a disaster, people who need transfusions depend on the supply already in the pipeline.

On gay men, the article says, "we need to look for new categories of blood donors. Gay men face a lifetime ban because as a group they have a statistically higher risk of HIV. The ban is too blunt an instrument: Most gay men are perfectly healthy, and the new lab tests at blood centers can quickly detect the virus. We need to loosen that ban as AIDS becomes an increasingly heterosexual disease."


That's probably not a very good idea. Who would want to be supplied with with possibly tainted blood? Unless it could be used on people who want to take a risk and have lower insurance rates.


"9.Defer for 12 months from the most recent contact a man who has had sex with another man during the past 12 months."

This excludes couples who have been monogamous for years, or even never had sex with anyone but each other, for no reason other than they are gay.


As a liberal, I side with choice.


Many of us had friends or know of people that died of AIDS, I follow science and act accordingly. But don't most of us refuse to be told what to think by any person or group that we don't agree with?

Personally, I may follow rules made by majority representation, even some I may not agree with, for the sake of peace and democracy. I'm getting old.