Orlando Democrat: FDA should end ban on gay men giving blood

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The Democrat representing Orlando in the U.S. House says the Pulse shooting illustrates the importance of ending federal restrictions for gay and bisexual men wanting to give blood.

In a conference call led Tuesday by gay rights advocates, Alan Grayson said he planned legislation aimed at updating the country’s system for screening blood donations.

Grayson said no one should be turned away from giving blood after a tragedy like the June 12 massacre at a gay club that killed 49 and injured dozens.

Hundreds rushed to donate blood to help the victims, but the Food and Drug Administration bars donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year.

Grayson and Colorado Democrat Jared Polis said Tuesday the FDA would improve public health by updating a discriminatory policy.

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