Coronavirus News: State senator calls on NY Blood Center to accept gay men after being turned away

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It's been more than a month since the FDA loosened the rules for gay men donating blood and yet many men are still getting turned away.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman is gay and represents Manhattan.

He wrote a letter calling on the New York Blood Center to expedite their implementation of new FDA guidelines, allowing gay men to donate blood after he was turned away earlier this month.

"I found as a gay man that it was entirely insulting to be turned away by the New York Blood Center. The federal government's encouraging citizens to donate blood during this pandemic. The fact that I couldn't do so makes me feel like a second-class citizen," Hoylman said. "It's completely discriminatory, it's not based on science, it's insulting to LGBTQ people, and it sends a really negative message."

In a statement to Eyewitness News the New York Blood Center wrote:
"It will take time for us to modify our computer system and donor questionnaires and to train staff on new guidelines."

The Center says it plans to welcome newly eligible donors at the beginning of June.

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