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FDA gets in on the gay bashing

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The FDA is going to issue rules the will basically prohibit gay men from donating their sperm, according to AP:

To the dismay of gay-rights activists, the Food and Drug Administration is about to implement new rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor.

The FDA has rejected calls to scrap the provision, insisting that gay men collectively pose a higher-than-average risk of carrying the AIDS virus. Critics accuse the FDA of stigmatizing all gay men rather than adopting a screening process that focuses on high-risk sexual behavior by any would-be donor, gay or straight.

"Under these rules, a heterosexual man who had unprotected sex with HIV-positive prostitutes would be OK as a donor one year later, but a gay man in a monogamous, safe-sex relationship is not OK unless he's been celibate for five years," said Leland Traiman, director of a clinic in Alameda, Calif., that seeks gay sperm donors.
Hey, what else would you expect from the Bush FDA? Just another opportunity to stigmatize the homos. The quote from Leland Traiman is especially frightening.

And, I know this will come as a surprise, but the new FDA policy is not based on sound policy...big surprise, huh?
But it is the provision's symbolic aspect that particularly troubles gay-rights groups. Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, has called it "policy based on bigotry."

"The part I find most offensive - and a little frightening - is that it isn't based on good science," Cathcart said. "There's a steadily increasing trend of heterosexual transmission of HIV, and yet the FDA still has this notion that you protect people by putting gay men out of the pool."

In a letter to the FDA, Lambda Legal has suggested a screening procedure based on sexual behavior, not sexual orientation. Prospective donors - gay or straight - would be rejected if they had engaged in unprotected sex in the previous 12 months with an HIV-positive person, an illegal drug user, or "an individual of unknown HIV status outside of a monogamous relationship."
This is a two-fer for the Bush crowd. They get to ignore sound science and beat up on the gays. Good work.

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