Blood Drive Supports Gay Pride

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LINCOLN, Neb. Michael Bomberger is one of many gay men who want to donate blood but can't.

"It is hard to see a lot of people walk in and out and giving blood and for me being a gay man not being able to give blood," he said.

When AIDs were on the rise in the 1980's the Federal Drug Administration passed a law that prohibited gay or bisexual men from donating blood if they had sex with other gay men. But Bomberger says the FDA needs to review that law.

"Back then the HIV testing was not like it is now," said Bomberger. "They were not able to test the blood at the time but now blood is tested so thoroughly that now we can test it and know whether it contains HIV or AIDs."

Even though Bomberger can't give his blood, others like Deborah Hull sat in his place Friday at a blood drive to help bring awareness to the issue.

"There's a lot of people who want to help and can't," said Hull. "And I just want to do it for them and get the word out that I support them."

On Friday, gay and bisexual men went to blood donation locations across the United States to show their willingness to contribute by bringing those eligible to donate in their place.

Bomberger hopes that support will grow until the law changes.

"Blood is blood," he said. "We all have the same blood it doesn't matter whether it's a strait woman or man, or a gay or bisexual man, or even a gay or lesbian woman. Gay and bisexual men are just stigmatized as the ones who contract aids or HIV the easiest."