Rep. Honda Advocates For End to Discriminatory Ban on Gay and Bisexual Blood Donors
San Jose, CA – At Monday afternoon’s press conference at the Santa Clara County government building, Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley), joined by Ryan Yezak from the National Gay Blood drive and Campbell Councilmember Evan Low, along with other officials, called on the FDA to end the lifetime ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
"The federal government has, using outdated science, effectively banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood,” Congressman Honda said at the press conference.
“The American Medical Association opposes the permanent ban, in favor of a policy that focuses on individual behavior rather than sexual orientation,” he added. “The current ban turns away many willing and worthy donors, and helps perpetuate decades-old stereotypes about gay and bisexual men.”
Congressman Honda has written to the FDA, calling on them to complete studies that would change their donation policies. “I’m going to keep the pressure on the FDA to complete the studies, and ensure that they are published by a specific date, so that we can end the ban,” Honda said.
The ban was brought to Congressman Honda’s attention in 2013, when then- Mayor of Campbell Evan Low organized a blood drive and discovered that he was ineligible to donate due to the FDA ban.
"With the risk of man-made and natural disasters that could injure thousands of people, it's inconceivable that we would be turning away gay-donated blood that has been scientifically tested to be safe,” said Councilmember Low. “I urge the FDA to join the U.K., Canada, and Australia in rescinding this lifetime, discriminatory ban.”
(In photo above from left: Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Congressman Mike Honda, Councilmember Evan Low, Ryan Yezak - National Gay Blood Drive, Lynn Walton.)
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