Val Demings Supports Eliminating Blood Donations Ban for gay men

Val Demings Supports Eliminating Blood Donations Ban for gay men

the FDA has upheld a controversial policy that argues that gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood until after 3 months after having sex.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
September 27, 2021

Imposed in the 1980s, the FDA has upheld a controversial policy that argues that gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood until after 3 months of having sex. This has received criticism from lawmakers, specifically Democrats from Florida. In a recent development, Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) informed that the FDA had directed a letter to her, stating that they are now open to alternatives to “eliminating antiquated practices.”

Rep. Carlos G. Smith (D), Florida’s first LGBTQ Latino lawmaker, has spoken against the ban in the past, promoting ADVANCE study for encouraging gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Speaking of the study, Rep. Smith commented that it was “a great opportunity for us to work together as a community to overturn the ban on gay and bi men donating blood.”

During an interview with WMFE, Rep. Demings also denounced the ban and shared her thoughts on the ban, adding that the FDA’s announcement of seeking alternatives to their policy is a positive step forward because “we certainly want to expand opportunities for Americans to donate blood.”

Citing the results of the ADVANCE study, Demings praised the effort, noting that was “really about eliminating antiquated practices, discriminatory practices, and really updating the science.”

In moving forward, Demings affirmed that “it is really time for the laws to really catch up with science” because “practices that discriminate, or keep people from donating this life-saving gift should be eliminated.”

In supporting the study, Demings reflected on the Pulse nighclub shooting, remembering “members of the LGBTQ community who were looking for what they could do to help and certainly… giving blood is a major way to help during such a mass incident.”

However, those who wanted to help by donating blood were turned away because “the science had not or at least, the practices had not caught up with the science.”

While Demings acknowledged that receiving the letter from the FDA is not the end of battle to overturn the ban, she remains hopeful “because the data that results from the study will certainly help to expedite and push ultimately, where we’re trying to get to forward.”

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina holds a Bachelor’s in English Literature. His hobbies include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.

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