Former pop star Lance Bass had some blunt things to say about gun control in the U.S. and the American Red Cross in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. The star went off on social media about his efforts to donate blood as a gay man.
Bass, 38, was riled up after the tragedy when he realized that he could not give blood to the victims. He sounded off in a video to TMZ on the current U.S. policy that prohibits some gay men from donating blood.
“Every time a tragedy like this happens, I get reminded that I can’t donate blood. People just don’t know that there is a ban on my blood and we have to educate people out there that there is this stigma on my blood, my gay blood, and it needs to change,” he said in the video. “This tragedy has brought us together, and I honestly don’t have faith that this country is going to come together and make any common sense gun laws right now, so I would love, out of this tragedy, to have something good come from it. I think this ban on blood should be the easiest thing to pass.”
Rules imposed by the Food and Drug Administration prohibits gay men from donating blood if they’ve engaged in any kind of sexual encounter with another man for the past 12 months.
The rule is intended to ensure that the spread of HIV isn’t exacerbated through the blood donation process, and gay men were initially considered to be the highest carriers of the disease when the regulation was established. But Bass said all blood is now tested before it is used, regardless of the person’s sexual orientation. As a result, he feels that the rule is discriminatory to gay men. Late in the video, he went on to call out the American Red Cross directly, which abides by the FDA’s regulations.
“Shame on the Red Cross for not being a leader in this over the last 20 years to help relieve the stigma of HIV in gay man’s blood and donating,” he said. “They should really be the ones at the forefront of this movement.”
Bass previously posted about his frustration with the blood donation process on Twitter, where many fans shared his frustration.