Yes, this is discrimination

FDA lifts decades-long ban on gay men donating blood — but only if they haven’t had sex for a year
The deferral period is still discriminatory against men who have sex with other men

But sadly for the argument discrimination isn’t a bad thing.

Just to be crude about matters if I decide that I would like to have a child it would be useful for me to discriminate about who I fuck: a fertile female, given that I’m male, would probably be a better idea that whatever is lurking behind the bushes on Hampstead Heath.

There’s other discriminations for example we don’t hire people with your melanin rating, which we might find to be objectionable.

But discrimination itself is a value neutral term. what we want to know is whether the ban on blood donation connected to sexual practices is rational discrimination or not.

No, I don’t know either, but the cry of “discrimination” isn’t a slam dunk I’m afraid.

35 thoughts on “Yes, this is discrimination”

  1. I was going to ask what if the gay man in question has been in a monogamous relationship for years but then remembered, like a straight man, they wouldn’t be having sex with their partner frequently.

  2. Yah, but SMFS will be along soon to say that melanin-based discrimination is fine since he read on the internet that the mean IQ of people with a higher melanin rating is slightly lower than the mean IQ of people with his melanin rating, therefore they are all thick.

  3. There should be a simple questionnaire for would-be donors.
    Q1: Have you injected drugs in the past year?
    Q2: Have you had sex without a condom in the past year with more than one partner?

    That would filter out the unsuitable donors, regardless of their sexuality; and better than filtering by sexuality.

  4. Nearly BiG.
    Whites don’t have the highest IQ ratings. However, SMFS has explained that the groups that do are all corrupt, so whites still come out on top.

    So it’s melanin + corruption, not just the former.

  5. To be undiscriminating is not a virtue. For centuries, snobbery or class discrimination has done its beneficent work in English society, as the historian G M Trevelyan observed, by raising standards of behaviour, by ensuring that people are careful about those with whom they breed and by stimulating aspiration. Of late, with the advent of socialist egalitarian attitudes, the chippy among the lower orders have developed an inverted snobbery in which to be lower class is somehow more authentic and so virtuous. Meanwhile, an unruly and disgusting under-class multiplies, because — as Trevelyan pithily observed — “promiscuous charity encourages beggary”.

  6. Given that the 1-year moratorium is applied even in this extremely liberal-and-PC little country called the Netherlands, you can be pretty sure there’s a solid medical reason.

    The ban was instituted here in the early 80’s ( before that time sexual preference *was not an issue* when giving blood..) because of the rise of the Hepatitis series and HIV, and the not-foolproof detection methods of the time, giving a real risk of contamination through transfusion.

    A quick dig through the dutch application forms shows that, in fact, a similar moratorium exists for heterosexual females who have been sexually active through the Backdoor.
    So the actual discrimination is against a specific sexual practice, not necessarily sexual *preference*.

    Incidentally, it seems visiting britain, or being “visited” by anyone having been in physical contact with anything British, let alone a true Brit, is far, far, worse than being a homosexual.

    (the issue seems to revolve around Kreuzfeld-Jakobs. But still.. It’s too good an opportunity for a bit of trolling to pass up )

  7. I hate needles and this is a fantastic excuse not to donate blood. Just make sure I get it on with a bloke a couple of times a year and I can avoid the pious vampire brigade.

    Fortunately I still have mad cow disease to fall back on, at least outside the UK.

  8. “It’s blood. You can test it.”

    Yeah, I’m sure they realize that. Very expensive to run an HIV test on every pint of blood donated, though. It’s much cheaper and simpler to just ask male homosexuals and heroin junkies not to donate blood, since the HIV infection rate outside those groups is functionally zero.

  9. I normally dodge the issue by saying “yes, I’d love to give blood! Does it matter that I recently came back from a stint in Nigeria?” Then I see what discrimination looks like.

  10. I gave blood for over 50 years, working on the principle that you never know when you might need some back. Now that I have moved to New Zealand I cannot give because of the CJD thing.Mind you the needle was becoming a little uncomfortable in my ancient arm.

  11. At my last but one donation, they asked (as always) if I’d been out of the country. I said I’d visited France, Switzerland and Italy. When did you get back? April 29th. That’s lucky – if it had been May we’d have had to test your blood for West Nile Virus.

  12. Jerry
    There are probably more donors in a pint of transfusion than there are bits of different cows in a burger.
    So you can test by batch.

  13. Anyway, interesting point for Tim to ponder. Blood donation is higher in countries that don’t pay than in countries that do pay.
    A reverse supply curve?

  14. The purpose of donation is not that the donor should feel virtuous but that the recipient be given a chance of recuperating or surviving.

    INAY (It’s not about you) would be a possible slogan for 2016, perhaps?

  15. Bloke in France: So you can test by batch
    You surely can’t be in favour of discarding x pints of blood from suitable donors so as not to offend the donor who for various reasons might a priori be unsuitable and who contaminates the entire batch?

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Can I just say I am touched. Here we are on Christmas Eve. And all so many of you can think about is me. Not your families. Not the festive season. Not the birth of the Christ child. Me. To the extent that you feel compelled to talk about me in a thread I have not actually contributed to. At all.

    It is like teenage girls talking about the new boy at school.

    Bloke in Germany – “Yah, but SMFS will be along soon to say that melanin-based discrimination is fine since he read on the internet that the mean IQ of people with a higher melanin rating is slightly lower than the mean IQ of people with his melanin rating, therefore they are all thick.”

    Sort of. More or less. But you miss the point – the link between IQ and race is the only robust finding in social science. In this, all the evidence is on my side. Your side is the equivalent of the Flat-Earther, Fluoride-obsessed, Darwin -denying Young Earth Creationist.

    What causes that link is open to discussion by denying it is irrational.

    You have a problem. You obviously don’t like me reminding you of reality. But you need to deal with your problem. Not with me.

    Jack C – “Whites don’t have the highest IQ ratings. However, SMFS has explained that the groups that do are all corrupt, so whites still come out on top.”

    Indeed they do not. East Asians and Jews consistently score better. There is a small but respectable literature that says for Jews, this is because of genetic differences. But of course we can’t say that about Blacks can we?

    East Asians do better on IQ tests. Presumably they are smarter. They certainly work a hell of a lot harder than Europeans do. And yet Europeans came out on top of the world-domination game. They did not create the industrial revolution and they have had a hard time modernising. We could discuss why that might be. As there is a real and interesting question here. But clearly you would prefer to engaging in childish sneers.

    Each to their own.

    Ironman – “The should be an even simpler questionnaire for would-be doners: are you SMFS?”

    Because people Rusty don’t like have cooties

    Glad to see you are determined to celebrate the birth of your Lord by raising the tone of the debate dude.

    You all really need to get a life.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “The should be an even simpler questionnaire for would-be doners: are you SMFS?”

    This is a complex topic and a very interesting one for what it reveals about our prejudices. The three main ways to get HIV in the UK are through passive anal intercourse with men, sharing IV needles, and sex with Africans.

    We ban people who have done the first two from donating blood. We do not ban people who have done the third.

    Why?

    Either it makes sense to ban homosexuals from donating blood or it doesn’t. If it does, then it makes sense to ban people who have had sex with Africans, and needless to say, Africans, from donating blood. If it doesn’t then Gays should be allowed to donate blood.

    There is not some threshold of risk here that Gays cross and people who have sex with Africans don’t. It is just political.

    So which is it to be?

  18. Here in Canada I can’t donate blood because I’m British, Chinese and Indian colleagues they’ll accept though. Never realised how paranoid the rest of the world was about mad cow disease.
    There’s also the discrimination that my wife suffers from even in the UK, as a recipient of donation she can no longer donate.

  19. Didn’t know that. There is an interesting bit from the US though. They used to have paid and donated. Mixed into one supply. Then they decided to keep them separate. Donated pretty much rove paid out of the market. Demand for donated was very much higher, to the point that no one would actually pay the price for paid.

    Still the paid plasma market, but the blood one pretty much seems to have gone.

    Not that that’s any really funky economics: high quality beats out low quality isn’t all that much of a surprise, despite all those people who bleat about a race to the bottom from competition.

  20. SMFS>

    I’ve wondered for ages about where you’re actually from. Obviously you’re not English, otherwise you’d be too polite to mention such things even if they were true.

  21. “the link between IQ and race is the only robust finding in social science”

    You can keep saying that until you wear through your keyboard, but it doesn’t make it true.

  22. “Obviously you’re not English, otherwise you’d be too polite to mention such things even if they were true.”

    Well, it wouldn’t be necessary to mention such things if the powers that be weren’t obsessed with social-engineering away what we’re supposed to be too polite to mention.

    Liberals have been running the US educational establishment for 50 years now, implementing all their well-intentioned ideas to equalize academic outcomes across racial groups – busing, free preschool, affirmative action, throwing gobs of money at inner city public schools – and the black-white achievement gap still hasn’t budged. But that doesn’t stop them in the least, they have solutions in mind that will definitely fix the problem: busing, free preschool, affirmative action, throwing gobs of money at inner city public schools. This time they will work, for realsies!

  23. @SMFS,

    Merry Western Schism’s incorrectly-dated celebration of the Christchild’s Birth to you!

    And also, unfuck you.

    Io Saturnalia

  24. Of all groups in the UK the incidence of HIV is highest among black women (7% iirc). If you’re going to stop teh gays from giving blood then you should ban the blacks too.

  25. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “I’ve wondered for ages about where you’re actually from. Obviously you’re not English, otherwise you’d be too polite to mention such things even if they were true.”

    Damnit. Busted. I am actually a Barbadian Jew. That is why I don’t like Jamaicans so much. But don’t tell anyone.

    Matthew L – “You can keep saying that until you wear through your keyboard, but it doesn’t make it true.”

    I agree. The fact that it is true makes it true. And it is not going to stop being true any time soon.

    Matthew L – “We were looking for something to laugh at.”

    And here you are again. It is rather amusing how much room I am taking up in your head. You just can’t have a proper holiday season without me.

    Although in fairness I suppose Gays don’t have a lot of family to take up their time with other things.

    Bloke in Germany – “And also, unfuck you. Io Saturnalia”

    Keeping it classy!

  26. “Although in fairness I suppose Gays don’t have a lot of family to take up their time with other things.”

    I’m not sure what relevance that has. Personally I spent Christmas day with my wife and in-laws, and the evening with a girlfriend.

    “The fact that it is true makes it true.”

    Except it’s not true. That’s the problem with your opinions – they’re based on complete and utter bollocks.

  27. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “Except it’s not true. That’s the problem with your opinions – they’re based on complete and utter bollocks.”

    Hey, don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the entire field. Feel the consensus.

  28. “Take the word of the entire field”

    Oh dear me, you should do stand up. Go into your nearest university and take a poll of the social sciences departments. Make sure you record the answers so we can all have a good laugh.

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