Iowa Gay Frat. Helps Fight Blood Ban

Iowa State University’s gay frat helped spearhead a mini-revolt against the school’s blood drive. The school’s Greeks typically encourage participation and even organize a Greek Week contest to see which fraternity or sorority can donate the vital fluid.

Delta Lambda Phi, however, raised their voices against the ban on gay blood, insisting the Greeks should not compete in the discriminatory drive. Men who sleep with men have been barred from donating blood since 1977 – because, you know, we’re all diseased and shit.

Of the protest, Delta Lambda Phi’s faculty director, Warren Blumenfeld, said:

We’ve been trying to raise this issue for a long time. The Greek Week council has done something remarkable that we in the community have been trying to do – to raise the issue to the highest level of public discourse. They should be applauded for that.

Not everyone’s so pleased – a number of students say that by ending the traditional competition, Greek Week officials are depriving Iowa blood banks of approximately 500 bags of precious plasma.

Now, we’re not sure where we stand on this matter. Certainly we’re against the ban on gay blood: it’s truly a ridiculous and anachronistic stipulation stemming from the early days of AIDS. On the other hand, we feel strongly about the necessity of donating blood – people’s lives rely on it.

So, we ask you, reader: should Delta Lambda Phi be commended or criticized for their push to remove the bloody competition from Greek Week festivities?

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  • nystudman

    Criticized. the ban is ridiculous at this point. but people’s lives are at stake.

  • Bill

    Banned since 1977 or 1987? The ban is unenforceable (obviously). In this day of automatic blood screening, the ban is also silly and unnecessarily discriminatory. A short term drop in donations due to a boycot may be worth the long term increase brought on by a lifting of the ban. No pain, no gain. On another note, hopefully there are more than ten members of Iowa’s gay fraternity!

  • anna

    A man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is banned from giving blood. This ban was put in place in 1992.

  • Brian

    I say commended for raising awareness about the ban. I get asked around the office if I’m going to donate when the Blood Drive comes around and I tell them why I can’t and then let them make up their own minds about whether or not they will.

    The Greeks choosing not to participate won’t stop people from giving blood and the need for donations is made even more aware with this bit of press, so most can still give or not give according to their beliefs and feelings. But I’m glad they’re taking a stand on an issue that some in the medical community have called outdated and unnecessary.

  • Vinman

    When it came up at my office, straight people did not realize that there is a ban against Gays giving blood. It does serve to let straights know that there is a lot of discrimation against Gays everyday. Maybe this will let people know it is not just about marriage, taxes, etc. Just another STRAW on the back. Some day it will give.

  • Jerry

    A funny thing:

    The college radio station I used to work at also sponsored blood drives, and oddly enough most of the station staffers who couldn’t donate at the station’s drive were actually straight. It’s an oddly-ranging set of criteria, even if I, as the token black gay staffer, was but one person caught in it.

  • Matt

    I’d ask the writer of this article to check her/his information. The DLP group didn’t advocate for the removal of incentive points for Greek participants. They (the Greek council) decided that because not everybody was eligible to DONATE BLOOD because of an erred policy, there wouldn’t be additional incentives given to people who could. On various occasions in recent articles the Greek community and DLP have encouraged people to donate blood because it’s the right thing to do. However.. they, and the LGBT community at ISU stand behind the decision to not perpetuate the discrimination by further excluding gay men or other unfairly excluded groups from “points” benefits. Please consider posting a correction to this article, it’s a very poor representation of what actually happened.

  • Nate

    I echo Matt’s words.
    Back row, second from the right. Yea, that’s me. Worst picture i’ve ever been in.
    But Matt is right, and at the moment, there are 16 brothers of DLP.

Comments are closed.