SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Bay Area congressman is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban preventing gay and bisexual men from donating blood, a California-based NBC news affiliate reports.
Mike Honda (D-San Jose) started an online petition to try to get the FDA to overturn the ban. He says the ban is outdated, discriminatory and based on decades-old fears that have been discounted by science.
“The FDA should end the ban and revise its policy and focus on behavior and individual risk, and not on sexual orientation,” Honda said Monday.
After holding a news conference Monday afternoon, Honda was joined by other leaders — including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and County Supervisor Dave Cortese — for a blood drive outside the county administration building on Hedding Street.
“Despite tremendous advances in the medical and biotech fields, the Food and Drug Administration still bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men,” said Honda. “The American Medical Association now opposes this discriminatory and outdated restriction. Our society is increasingly supporting equality for LGBT people. I will fight this ban that only marginalizes, stigmatizes, and stereotypes healthy people across the country.”