When Blake was turned away from donating blood for his friend Emmy (who has sickle cell anemia) because he is gay, he decided to do something about it. At first thought the FDA’s policy that bans gay men from donating blood appears to discriminate against a small minority of citizens. In reality it affects not just those targeted by the discrimination, but everyone who is in a time of need, desperate to receive a blood transfusion.
Banned4Life is more than a rights movement. It is a reminder that everyone can be affected by simple policies put forth by those who fear change. Those of us who have been touched by the message are donating blood, not just for all of those who are Banned4Life for being gay, but rather for the individuals who need the blood. The overwhelmingly positive message of Banned4Life not only encourages social equality, but saves lives as well.
Our mission is to raise awareness of the FDA’s policy that permanently bans gay men from donating blood. Together, we can bring an end to this discriminatory policy and save lives.
Welcome to Banned4Life. My name is Blake Lynch and I am a nursing student at Seminole State/University of Central Florida. Earlier this year I went to donate blood in honor of my friend Emmy. She has sickle cell anemia and relies on blood donations to relieve her pain. Unfortunately, I was turned away because of my sexual orientation and was told that I was, “Banned4Life.” My partner Brett and I created the Banned4Life Project in order to raise awareness of the discriminatory ban that was put in place by the FDA.
To increase awareness of the policy we are going to be hosting blood drives around the nation where individuals can go to donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life. It’s time to come together as a society so we can help save lives and end this outdated policy. Please join the Banned4Life movement and lets make a difference together.
My name is Emmy and I have sickle cell anemia. Doctors are not completely sure of how to treat sickle cell, so for now the treatments are to provide fluids to prevent dehydration, pain medication to relieve excruciating pain and blood transfusions if needed. I have been battling this disease all my life and sometimes blood transfusions are vital to my recovery. I’m afraid that one day I will be told that there is no blood available for my transfusion when needed most. Banned4Life is not only about encouraging the FDA to revise the blood donation policy on gay men, but to encourage those who are eligible to donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life. Maybe one day, I will rely on your blood to help me.
What is Banned4Life?
We are an organization that hopes to end the FDA’s current blood donor policy that bans gay men from donating blood for life. We plan to accomplish this by raising awareness on the policy and on the importance of donating blood. We encourage eligible donors to donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life.
What is on October 19, 2013?
We have coined October 19 as “National Donate 4 All Day.” This is the day where businesses, organizations and universities will host community blood drive events around the nation. We need YOU, to bring your family, co-workers, and friends out to an event for a day of fun, awareness and saving lives. Go to the “Events” tab to find a community event near you.
To get 100,000 people to sign the Banned4Life petition
Get everyone to donate
We want to have numerous individuals around the nation donate blood at a Banned4Life community event. The plan is to have people donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life. We are planning the blood drives all year long but everyone will be out on October 19th!
And most importantly…
We want to bring society together to help SAVE LIVES.
Sign the Petition
Tell the FDA that their discrimination of gay men from donating blood affects ALL of us.
Revision of FDA Blood Donation Policy
This petition is in support of the revision of the FDA’s current blood deferral policy that makes men who have sex with men (MSM) BANNED4LIFE. This policy was put in place because it considers MSM “High-Risk” for contracting HIV/AIDS.
This outdated 1983 policy needs to be re-looked and compared with the modern blood screening methods that are currently in place.
The policy turns away potentially good donors with no regard to their sexual behaviors. It is time for the FDA to consider sexual behaviors instead of sexual identity or sexual orientation when identifying individuals as “High-Risk.”
I encourage the FDA to take action on this matter that affects ALL of us.