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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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On-campus gay blood drive looks to protest ban

Protesters flooded the Supreme Court in March while the justices heard oral arguments about the legality of same-sex marriage. Activists will take action again Friday at the first ever gay blood drive. Hatchet File Photo by Corey Zagone | Hatchet Photographer

Gay rights advocates hope the next step toward equality happens on GW’s campus.

Activists will take part in a national gay blood drive Friday at E Street’s American Red Cross as a way to protest the federal government’s ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

Organizers of the nationwide blood drive demonstrations hope it will draw attention to the ban and increase pressure to change the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule.

Participants will be tested for HIV outside the American Red Cross building and then attempt to donate blood. After the likely denials, the activists will then deliver the HIV tests to the Food and Drug Administration to underline how many potential blood donors the country is missing.

The federal agency banned blood donations by gay and bisexual men in 1977 as a response to the AIDS epidemic. In 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability voted against changing the ban.

Critics of the ban, including the American Medical Association, have called it discriminatory, “not based on sound science.” They say it treats gay and bisexual men like second-class citizens.

Those who are interested in joining the demonstration can sign up online to participate or volunteer. D.C. residents can participate at the Red Cross on E Street between 7:30 and 2:30 p.m.

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