Several critics noted the hypocrisy of the new policy, as it holds people of different sexual identities to different standards.

“The FDA’s 12-month deferral plan would still require gay and bisexual men to be celibate for a full year before they are allowed to donate blood, regardless of marital status and safe-sex practices,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of the New York-based HIV and AIDS service organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis, on Monday. “Heterosexuals are given no such restrictions, even if their sexual behavior places them at high risk for HIV.”

“In practice,” Louie said, “the new policy is still a continuation of the lifetime ban and ignores the modern science of HIV-testing technology while perpetuating the stereotype that all gay and bisexual men are inherently dangerous. Blood donation policies should be based on science, not stigma.”

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who serves as co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, a caucus of openly gay members of Congress, added to Reuters: “It is ridiculous and counter to the public health that a married gay man in a monogamous relationship can’t give blood, but a promiscuous straight man who has had hundreds of opposite sex partners in the last year can.”

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