A Gary, Indiana man who was recently hoping to give blood got turned away after employees at Bio-Blood Components Inc., a blood donor center, came to the conclusion that he appeared to be gay, and therefore, couldn’t be allowed to donate. Yeah, they pretty much stereotyped his behavior and assumed he could not be a heterosexual male. The young man, Aaron Pace, 22, says while he may have his effeminate moments, he’s definitely not gay. For those who didn’t know, federal guidelines forbid blood donations from homosexual males. Why? Not too sure, seems bred in discrimination in my opinion, but according to ABC News, the regulations were created in the early ’80s, around the time that the outbreak of AIDS first started appearing and was linked primarily to homosexuals. Nearly 30 years later, they still stand, and were even recently upheld in 2010. To Pace, being turned away was a huge embarrassment, especially since he says he’s not even homosexual. He told the Chicago Sun-Times:
“I was humiliated and embarrassed. It’s not right that homeless people can give blood but homosexuals can’t. And I’m not even a homosexual.”
Arthur Caplan of the medical ethics department at the University of Pennsylvania agreed with Pace, and told ABC News the policies that still stand about homosexuals giving blood are clearly wrong:
“I think the policy about homosexuality is not grounded in science, but remains grounded in bias. Using ‘gaydar’ to determine who’s gay is also probably unreliable and the real truth is that there certainly are people who are donating who have done other risky behavior,” said Caplan. “Going after homosexuals doesn’t get at where the risk is. At the end of the day, you want to really rely on testing and people fessing up.”
And do these folks not understand that ANYONE can be walking around with AIDS these days? Yeah, this was dead wrong. Pace plans to sue for discrimination soon.
But what do you think? If he appeared to be gay was it right that he was turned away? Or should they still even be able to deny homosexuals the opportunity to give blood in the first place?