Twitter has ended on-site blood drives
to protest a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) policy that prohibits
gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
The FDA prohibits men who have sex with
men from donating blood unless they have been celibate for one year.
A previous lifetime ban was adopted in 1983 in response to the AIDS
“These are the only policies that the
FDA has based on a person's identification and not any type of risky
behavior that they're engaged in,” said Jim Halloran, associate
manager of sales operations at Twitter and president of the company's
LGBT affinity group TwitterOpen.
The decision to no longer hold on-site
blood drives came after a gay company employee was turned away from a
drive being held at Twitter's headquarters.
Brian “Skip” Schipper, vice
president of human resources at Twitter, called the FDA policy
“unnecessary and discriminatory” in comments to the International
Twitter has also filed a public comment
against the policy with the FDA.