Unfortunately for the *NSYNC star, the Food and Drug Administration prohibits him, along with many other gay and bisexual men, from giving blood. Though the FDA lifted its lifetime ban on gay and bisexual male blood donors in 2015, their revised policy still bars any man who has had sex with another man in the past year from donating. Sexually active gay men who are married or in monogamous relationships remain banned under the policy.
How is it STILL illegal for gays to donate blood??!! I want to donate and I'm not allowed.— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) October 3, 2017
A day later, the 38-year-old pop star reiterated that stance on Instagram. After Bass posted a photo of the Las Vegas Strip alongside a poignant quote attributed to Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma, a fan suggested he donate blood.
“I can’t. I’m gay,” Bass wrote in the comments.
Bass wasn’t the only LGBTQ celebrity to speak out against the FDA’s restrictions on gay blood donations in the wake of Sunday’s massacre, which left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 people wounded. Actor-author Jeffery Self (“Search Party,” “30 Rock”) was similarly vocal in his opposition ...
So very right on and I'm gonna do all these things. Except give blood. I would but I can't. I'm a gay American. https://t.co/7hS48vENHN— Jeffery Self (@JefferySelf) October 3, 2017
It infuriates me that gay & bisexual men can be turned away from donating blood in Las Vegas because of the @US_FDA's discriminatory policy.— Shane Bitney Crone (@ShaneBitney) October 2, 2017
Other users joined in, too.
I know three young, healthy friends who happen to be in Vegas right and now would love to give blood but can't because they're gay men.— Jean Bentley (@hijean) October 2, 2017
I’d love to donate blood for Las Vegas, but as a gay man I’m *still* not allowed to do so. In 2017.— Morgan Polikoff (@mpolikoff) October 2, 2017
Also, it’s 2017 and gay men still can’t donate blood.— Robbie Rozelle (@divarobbie) October 2, 2017
These restrictions don’t just reinforce outdated stereotypes around gay and bisexual men and HIV/AIDS. A 2014 Williams Institute report found that completely lifting the ban could lead to more than 600,000 additional pints of blood being donated per year.
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CLARIFICATION: Additional language has been added to the original version of this article to clarify the Williams Institute statistics.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.