Gay and bisexual men can’t give blood in Las Vegas, and people are outraged
Yesterday, a gunman in Las Vegas killed 59 people and injured another 527 in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Armed with 16 guns, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, shooting at those attending an open-air music festival.
After the 273rd mass shooting in the US this year was over, as the death toll was still being counted, thousands in Nevada headed for the nearest blood bank.
The lines were hundreds deep, snaking around city blocks as people performed one of the few tangible acts they could, literally giving a piece of themselves to help others.
But when it came to one key LGBT group, this was impossible. They aren’t allowed.
Their blood is not wanted.
If you’re a man who has sex with men in the US, you can’t donate unless you’ve abstained from sex for a year.
The American Red Cross follows Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, which state: “Defer for 12 months from the most recent sexual contact, a man who has had sex with another man during the past 12 months.”
“All US blood collection organisations must follow this federal requirement,” the American Red Cross explains.
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