Boots (pisicutsa) wrote in postqueer,

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Washington Bans Gay Sperm

(Washington) The federal government today said it would ban gays from making anonymous donations to sperm banks.
In new regulations announced by the Food and Drug Administration, men who acknowledge they had sex with other men over the previous five years will not be allowed to make sperm donations.

The FDA said the regulation would prevent HIV from being transmitted.

All donors must be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia and gonorrhea, syphilis and mad cow disease. But, gays were the only group singled out for a blanket refusal.

The new rules take effect May 25. The FDA had been considering the new regulations for more than a year.

In December 2003, Lambda Legal submitted a 13-page letter to the federal government, outlining serious concerns and offering suggestions about the proposed regulations for sperm donors.

Thursday, when the new rules were announced Lambda accused the FDA of ignoring its concerns.

"The federal government issued recommendations today that look like they were written in 1982, not 2004," said Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart:

"There is absolutely nothing about this proposal that's based on science or medicine -- this is a policy based on bigotry," Cathcart said.

"It's completely illogical to say that a gay monogamous man who practiced safe sex four years ago cannot be a sperm donor, but a heterosexual man who had high-risk unprotected sex 14 months ago can donate his sperm."

"HIV affects every part of our nation's population, Cathcart said, "and the F.D.A. needs to realize that fact and stop treating gay men as the only people who contract HIV."

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Yet one more example of missing the forest for the trees...

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