The horrific massacre in Orlando early Sunday morning that left at least 50 dead, has also left Orlando blood banks strapped for plasma donors in their desperate response to the attacks that ravaged the Florida community.
OneBlood, an Orlando blood center, made urgent calls for O-, o+ and AB plasma donors, all the while the FDA regulations against gay men giving blood are still in place.
The ban has sparked outrage, with even some lawmakers weighing in.
Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado is gay and helped launch the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
The ban has been in place since 1983, however, the Obama administration has made incremental changes in an effort to change the rule, with gay and bisexual men being allowed to donate blood if they have not been sexually active for a year.
The Obama administration in 2013 signed The Hope Act, which legalized the use of organs from HIV-positive donors for use in HIV-positive recipients in the case of clinical research.
In response to the desperate need for blood donation in light of the atrocious attacks, the community responded by turning out in troves to donate blood.
The outpouring of volunteers to donate was also profiled by John Oliver during the opening of his late-night widely popular comedy show. “I’m sure there will be much more to say about Orlando going forward, but for right now, on a day when some dipshit terrorist wants us to focus on one man’s act of brutality and hatred, it might be worth seeing” the lines of people gathered to donate blood, Oliver said.
“And it kind of reminds you that that terrorist dipshit is vastly outnumbered.”