National Gay Blood Drive

Democrats Try Again to Lift FDA Blood Donor Ban for Gays
Lawmakers say policy perpetuates stereotype but chances for change may be slim

House Democrats are urging the FDA once again to abandon its practice of banning sexually active gay men from donating blood after the Orlando shooting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats said Tuesday they may try to pass legislation to end a Food and Drug Administration policy that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood unless they have been celibate for one year.  

Such a measure may be difficult to get past Republicans. Even President Barack Obama’s administration has been reluctant to urge the FDA to change its policy, saying that the decision should solely be based on scientific evidence provided by the agency.