School Breaks With Feds Over Gay Rights

San Jose State stops blood drives, cites FDA rule banning gays
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 8:59 PM CST
School Breaks With Feds Over Gay Rights
A participant waits for the start of the EuroPride parade in Madrid, Saturday, June 30, 2007. Spain, predominantly Roman Catholic, had for centuries been under the moral guardianship of the church. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1979 and today Spain has some of the most liberal gay rights legislation...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Saying a federal directive aimed at keeping gay men from donating blood violates school non-discrimination policies, the president of a California university is stopping blood drives on campus, the San Jose Mercury News reports. In a campus-wide email, San Jose State University president Don Kassing says a ban on such collections by student and staff groups will remain in effect indefinitely.

The Food and Drug Administration holds that donations from gay men carry greater risk of contaminating the blood supply with AIDS; its ban—which has long angered gay-rights groups—has been in place since the 1980s. San Jose State's break with the FDA is believed to be the first of its kind, the Mercury News reports. (Read more blood drives stories.)

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