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‘Gay Looking’ Straight Man Aaron Pace Rejected by Blood Donation Center

An Indiana man who was turned down at a blood donation center for appearing to be gay says he plans to sue for sexual orientation discrimination.

According to ABC News and Gawker, 22-year-old Aaron Pace wanted to donate blood at Bio-Blood Components in Gary but was rejected by staff who told him he was ineligible to give blood because he was gay.

Only problem is, Pace is not gay. He does have an effeminate voice, and he believes that’s part of why he was turned down. “[A staff member] said ‘I’m sorry, but it’s the way you act and appear to be. It’s your sexuality… Because you’re gay,” he told ABC News.

An on-site doctor confirmed that he was rejected because he appeared to be gay.

“I was humiliated,” he told ABC News. “This was my first time experiencing this.”

Blood donations by gay men have been banned under Food and Drug Administration rules since 1983, when panic over the outbreak of a deadly new disease called AIDS was raging. But the policy makes little sense today, when all donated blood is screened for HIV. And besides, plenty of straight men and women are infected with HIV as well. The ban on gays donating blood seems to be based more on discriminatory bias than any scientifically valid reason.

Worse, when presented with the opportunity to change the discriminatory policy last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to leave it in place.

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