The controversial ban on anonymous sperm donations from gay men to protect female recipients from HIV from the focus of a HuffPost Live segment yesterday evening.
The lineup of guests included journalist Allison Hope, who penned a Aug. 24 blog for HuffPost Gay Voices decrying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement. "Disallowing anybody to donate tissue on the basis of their identity...whether it be sexuality, whether it be race, class or ethnicity, is absolutely discrimination," Hope said. "It's especially atrocious in 2012 -- we're talking about a time when issues of sexuality are very much on the table."
Among those joining Hope was New York-based Dr. Todd McNiff, who stated that the ban, which has been in place since 2005, had "absolutely no" medical justification. "Even if you are engaging in the riskiest behaviors…the sperm donation protocols now say that you get tested when you donate the sperm, the sperm is held and quarantined for six months, and then the donor is re-tested," McNiff stated. "That's pretty much wearing suspenders and a belt."
Also discussed during the segment was conservative Tennessee lawmaker Stacey Campfield's now-defunct "Don't Say Gay" bill, which aimed to restrict public school discussion of sexuality and LGBT issues.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that the ban was proposed. A GLAAD official has confirmed that the FDA's ban on anonymous sperm donations from gay men has been in place since 2005.