But despite an urgent need for donations, many gay men were turned away. Since then, more than 130 members of Congress have signed onto letters calling for an end to the FDA’s policy.
“We can’t say that we have first class citizens and second class citizens,” Grayson explained. “We can’t say some people can give blood and other people can’t based upon their sexual orientation or anything like that.”
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., the first openly gay parent in Congress, joined Grayson on a call with reporters Tuesday morning to urge the FDA to lift the yearlong ban.
“The gender of one’s partner has nothing to do with whether one is engaged in ‘risky behavior’ or not,” said Polis. “It’s high time for this outdated and discriminatory policy to end.”
Polis said with the outpouring of support on the issue from the American people and congressmen, he was confident the FDA would “look at the science that shows that in fact there is nothing inherently different about the blood of gay or bisexual Americans.”