Gay and bisexual men across the country are filling blood donation centers Friday for the first ever Gay Blood Drive.
The FDA prohibits gay and bisexual men from donating blood – a ban that originated in 1983 in response to the AIDS epidemic.
In the past year, Canada and Mexico have lifted bans on gay blood donations, and just last month the American Medical Associated voted to oppose the FDA ban in the U.S.
"The lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science," AMA board member Dr. William Kobler said in a statement.
The Gay Blood Drive was organized by filmmaker Ryan James Yezak, who is capturing the grassroots effort for an upcoming feature-length documentary called Second Class Citizens.
The goal of the blood drive is to show the FDA how much safe, usable blood is turned away in the United States. When each openly gay or bisexual man is rejected, the Gay Blood Drive will collect the donor's test result, compare it to others from the blood drive and deliver the rejected tests to the FDA to show how much blood is denied by discrimination.
GAY BLOOD DRIVE TWIN CITIES
Memorial Blood Centers
737 Pelham Blvd, St. Paul
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More info: www.gayblooddrive.com