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Gay Blood Ban Finds Support: Naperville Anti-Gay Group Pushes To Uphold Policy

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Though the Naperville, Ill.-based anti-gay group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) recently lost their 501(c)3, tax-exempt organizational status, the group, officially designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year, is keeping busy with a new campaign to uphold the federal ban against gay blood donors.

AFTAH's campaign, called "Keep the Gay Blood Ban" or "KGB²," was announced last Friday. The campaign urges individuals to contact their senators and congressmen "to put the safety of Americans — and a pristine blood supply — ahead of the demands of the selfish Homosexuality Lobby." The group urges, further, for Congress to embark on an "investigation into the health hazards of homosexual behaviors (just as the government studied the dangers of smoking)."

As AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera hints at, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has taken steps in the last year toward dismantling the gay blood ban, which has been on the books since 1983, according to the Washington Independent. In 2010, some 40 members of U.S. Congress, led by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), called for the department to lift the ban. Just last month, the department announced that they had begun a comprehensive evaluation of doing just that.

LaBarbera lashes out against Kerry and Quigley for ignoring "the politically incorrect reality is that male-on-male sex and the 'gay' sexual culture are extremely high-risk due directly to the dangerously perverse and unsanitary acts – and unprecedented promiscuity — practiced by 'men who have sex with men.'" With its new campaign, LaBarbera vows to present the "harsh, shocking realities of homosexual sexual behavior," and is getting started with a number of "graphic and vulgar descriptions of homosexual acts" excerpted throughout his post.

The existing ban prohibits any man who has sex with another man even once since 1977 from donating blood and has sometimes resulted in donors who are "effeminate" being turned away from donation centers -- as 22-year-old Aaron Pace experienced in Gary, Ind., last month.

In a statement released in late July, Quigley said that he, alongside Kerry would "continue to push for a behavior-based screening process both in the name of fairness and a safer blood supply.”

Current law requires that all donated blood be tested for HIV and other infectious diseases as it is. A 2010 study by the Williams Institute estimated that, if the gay blood donor ban would be lifted, the nation's blood supply would be increased by more than 200,000 pints per year.

Photo by mikecogh via Flickr.

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