Seminole State College student Blake Lynch was denied the ability to donate blood earlier this year to help his friend Emmy, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and requires transfusions frequently. The reason Lynch was denied is because he is gay, and since 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has refused the blood of gay men on dubious terms involving discrimination, HIV and AIDS. Lynch launched Banned4Life.org and, over the past few months, has received substantial national and local media attention for the cause – there is a day of action planned on Oct. 19, at which straight allies are encouraged to give blood in the place of their gay friends. It appears that Lynch’s campaign may be working: In June, the American Medical Association rebuked the FDA ban, saying, “The ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science.” Now it’s time for the feds to catch up.
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