Tony winner Alan Cumming has a big problem with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blood donor deferral policy for gay and bisexual men.
‘If you’re gay and you want to save lives, the FDA will let you. You just can’t have sex for a year,’ Cumming points out in a video released today to raise awareness about the policy.
So Cumming suggests everyone try 365 days of celibacy and introduces a series of activities like yoga and pottery class ‘to make your year without sex fly by.’
Each activity somehow becomes sexual in the video which leads the actor to suggest signing a petition instead.
Last December, the FDA proposed lifting its 31 year ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
But the FDA wants to replace the policy – enacted during the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the US – with a one-year deferral that would only permit gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man in the past year.
The proposal would treat all sexual relationships between men the same way that heterosexual sex is treated when it involves a commercial sex worker or an individual who is known to be living with HIV.
The Cumming video is part of a social media campaign by a coalition of organizations, including GLAAD and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), to change the FDA’s proposed policy.
‘Stereotypes have no place in saving lives,”‹’ says GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. ‘The FDA’s proposed change still means that countless gay and bisexual men will be turned away from blood banks simply because of who they are.’