Gay man protests blood donation ban - WNEM TV 5

Gay man protests blood donation ban

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Shawn Hampton wants to be able to donate blood, but by law cannot, because he is a sexually active gay man. (Source: WNEM) Shawn Hampton wants to be able to donate blood, but by law cannot, because he is a sexually active gay man. (Source: WNEM)

MIDLAND, MI (WNEM/CBS) - Blood is the gift of life for those who need surgery, but one may says who he loves is keeping him from giving that gift.

Shane Hampton wants the chance to donate blood, but he is gay. While that in itself doesn't prevent him from taking part in the potentially life-saving act, being sexually active with other men does.

By law, sexually active homosexuals cannot give blood.

Now Hampton trying to change that, drawing attention to his cause by conducting a one-man informational picket outside a blood drive taking place at a local Lutheran church in Midland, Michigan.

He's hoping to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change their policy against allowing sexually active gay men to give blood. "When they say I can't just because I choose to love differently than a straight person does, it makes no sense to me. It's an outdated law."

According to the FDA website, sexually active men are at higher risk for HIV infections. They say in 2010, sexually active gay men made up 2% of the entire U.S. population, but accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections.

Hampton admits the numbers don't look good, but he says those figures shouldn't be used to single people like him out. "While the statistics are high, you know, higher in gay men having HIV, I don't. And there are a lot of gay men that practice safe sex that are not infected that gave good blood that would be going to save people's lives."

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