Aaron Pace is a 22-year-old straight man from Gary, Indiana who wanted to donate blood at his local blood and plasma center. But after undergoing the usual interview and screening procedures, Pace asserts, he was told by members of the center's highly-trained Secret-Gay Detection Unit that he "appear[ed] to be a homosexual" and therefore couldn't donate.
It's not clear how Pace's "looks, character, and behavior" made him "appear" homosexual, given that a., no one from Bio-Blood Components Inc., the donation center that allegedly rejected him, is discussing the matter with The News; and b., no official, definitive "homosexual" code of looks, character, and behavior exists, at least to our knowledge! All the same, Pace says he was "humiliated and embarrassed" by the experience.
FYI, blood donation centers are allowed to turn away gay men because of a Food and Drug Administration policy—enacted in 1983 for HIV fear reasons—that prohibits men who have had sex with a man even once since 1977 from donating blood. Given that all blood is now tested for HIV, and that HIV can be transmitted between heterosexuals, it seems utterly senseless to discriminate against gay men who wish to donate blood. But it looks like the ban will remain in place for a while: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which had an opportunity to change it last year, decided to leave it as-is.
[Sun-Times, Image via Sun-Times]