Unity Coalition, South Florida's Hispanic LGBT group, has asked the Miami Beach Commission to vote in favor of a resolution that the U.S. allow gay men to donate blood.
Here's the letter:
January 15, 2013
Esteemed Mayor Bower & Commissioners,
I am writing you today on behalf of Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, the first & only organization for the Latino|Hispanic|LGBTQ Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) - advancing Equality since 2002. We wholeheartedly SUPPORT the Miami Beach Human Rights
Committee Resolution #2012-002, regarding FDA regulations on blood donations – more specifically the lifting of the ban of any man who has been intimate with another man, since 1977.
This regulation is not only antiquated, but based on outdated statistics and unwarranted fears and generalities, no longer accurate, based on scientific evidence we now have available. It limits our very residents from the ability to donate screened blood, and unnecessarily limits the nation’s blood supply.
We have the highest of respect for the FDA and their process and responsibilities, but believe they have not kept up with current international standards for blood donations. Argentina, Australia, Hungary, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. have all developed various levels of acceptance of gay men in regards to donating blood, while Russia has lifted the ban altogether.
As of Dec 25, 2012, Mexico has become the first North American country to end its ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
Not a single piece of scientific evidence supports the ban. In 2009, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AJR 13, the U.S. Blood Donor Nondiscrimination Resolution (Ammiano-D), calling upon the nation’s Food and Drug Administration to end its more than quarter century
ban on gay men donating blood to the nation’s blood banks.
The decades-old federal blood donor ban was introduced as a way to assure the U.S. public that the nation’s blood banks were safe at the genesis of the AIDS epidemic here. But according to much research, medical experts have argued since its inception the ban did little more than discriminate and for more than two decades mandatory blood screening has rendered the ban useless. The current ban is nothing short of
discrimination based on antiquated information. It has greatly limited the availability of blood – an issue that is of great importance to a city that is in constant threat of hurricanes, international viruses and other unforeseen occurrences.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida joins the Miami Beach Human Rights Committee, Senator John Kerry, and countless other organizations and community leaders in SUPPORTING THE LIFTING OF THE BLOOD DONATION BAN BY THE FDA. We ask you to do so today, for the good of our city, community, its health and its citizens.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida