One Equal World

Twitter Boycotts Blood Drives Because Gay Employee Gets Banned From Donating

Posted on: November 30, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Twitter, like many companies, has played frequent host to company blood drives since its inception in 2006. For now, though, that may be over. After a gay employee pointed out that he was banned from donating blood during a recent drive in accordance with the FDA statute against donations by gay/bi men or trans women who have sex with men, the company has decided to stop hosting the drives entirely.

It’s easy to point at this as an example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but Twitter is standing with those who believe that the ban has always been harmful to the LGBTQ population, stigmatizing them unfairly as disease vectors. Recently, the FDA announced a potential revision to allow gay/bi men to donate if they have been celibate for a year or more. While other countries are overturning the same ban (like Dominoes), this half-measure looks as pathetic as it is.

Twitter stopped participating in blood drives in the spring, after the above-mentioned incident, but only announced its decision this month, after the company was rated as one of the best workplaces for LGBT employees by the Human Rights Campaign.

While they are not donating blood as a company, Twitter has turned their efforts to education and promoting a petition to alter the current regulations as a step towards removing the stigma. The Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, and the American Association of Blood Banks have all described the ban as scientifically unwarranted for the better part of the last decade. All donated blood is thoroughly tested before distribution, precisely because any population is likely to carry a certain amount of transmissible disease.

Twitter’s boycott of donating does not amount to them denying anyone life-saving treatment, either. Employees are still welcome to donate on their own volition. The company is simply refusing to host a discriminatory charity.

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