Everyone’s Blood is Red: Remove Restrictions on Gay and Bisexual Men from Donating Blood

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Target: Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Get the FDA to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood without additional requirements.

Despite our nation’s non-stop drive for blood, the requisite standards to allow gays and bisexual men to donate blood are extremely high.  Heterosexuals, even those who practice high-risk sexual behaviors, are subject to none of these same qualifications.  In the name of equality as well as replenishing our nation’s blood stores, gay and bisexual men should be able to give blood like any other American citizen following basic health screens.

The American Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks already support this reformation, and other countries have already implemented similar ones.  So why is the Food and Drug Administration lagging behind?

The notion that gay and bisexual men are more prone to disease is an outdated and degrading belief that has no place in health care or America.  It is simply illogical to exclude healthy donors based on their sexual orientation when thousands of people are in need of blood and our national stockpile is being continually depleted. It is much like excluding gays and women from active military service.  If they are willing to fight for this country, or in this case donate blood, let them. Everyone’s blood is red.

Please sign this petition and continue to progress our nation’s march towards true equality and, at the same time, fill America’s blood stockpiles.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mrs. Hamburg,

With a constant need for blood in this country, it seems ludicrous that the FDA holds gay and bisexual men who wish to donate their blood to higher standards than heterosexuals with high-risk sexual tendencies.

Even though the American Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks support reformation of this policy, the FDA has remained steadfast in restricting donors for reasons of sexual orientation. The idea that gays and bisexuals are more prone to diseases is an outdated and degrading notion that should be easily overturned in the face of equal rights and our never-ending need for blood.

There is simply no reason any healthy and willing donor should not be able to give blood. Everyone’s blood is red, please strike these restrictions from the FDA requirements to give blood and allow everyone to do their part.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Matt Buck via Flickr

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