The mayor of Campbell walked into a blood drive Wednesday to try and donate his blood, but he was rejected because he is openly gay.CAMPBELL, Calif. —
A Red Cross Blood Drive in Campbell, which started at noon, was organized because there was a reported shortage of donors in the summer months, according to officials.
At about 3 p.m., Evan Low and Rich Waterman, the city’s mayor and vice mayor, respectively, came in to sign up and donate their blood.
Both had worked to help host the blood drive but because they are openly gay they were not allowed to donate Wednesday.
Low said Wednesday that prohibiting gay donors on the basis of risk for HIV or other diseases is discriminatory because heterosexual donors can carry the same risks and their blood donations are still accepted.
Low thinks the focus should be on proper blood testing before donations enter the nation’s blood supply.
“We are in 2013 and we use science to determine the criteria for tainted blood,” said Low. It’s very important that we look at behavior and using science instead of a discriminatory policy.”
The Red Cross told KTVU that they were just following the national policies set by the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA), who has deferred gay blood donors since 1983 on the basis of increased risk of HIV.