KANSAS CITY - Thousands around the nation signed a petition to change an FDA regulation that bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
According to the CDC, gay men represent the majority of HIV sufferers in 48 states.
Amy Flinn joined people around the nation during the National Gay Blood Drive.
“I have a lot of friends who are gay who can’t give blood,” she said. “So, I’m here today to show that I’m going to stand in their place until the laws are passed that are more fair and don’t isolate one segment of the population unfairly."
Flinn went to the Community Blood Center in Kansas City and donated blood in honor of her brother-in-law who is gay.
“For whatever reason they won’t accept my blood, which I think is ridiculous,” Matt Flinn said.
He never asked Amy to donate in his name.
The Community Blood Center in Kansas City supports the group and said its hands are tied because of the federal ban.
It allowed the group to set up a tent in front of the center where several people donated blood in honor of a gay or bisexual man they know.
In 2010, the Dept. of Health and Human Services agreed the ban falls short, but kept it in place, pending additional research.
The FDA said its policy is based on documented evidence and not on sexual orientation.
The online petition, available on the National Gay Blood Drive website, has been posted onto the WhiteHouse.org website.