DROP DEAD DIVA Episode to Tackle FDA Ban on Gay Donations

DROP DEAD DIVA Episode to Tackle FDA Ban on Gay Donations

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today spotlighted the Lifetime drama Drop Dead Diva episode that addresses U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on biological donations by gay men in an upcoming episode.

In episode 411 of Drop Dead Diva, titled "Family Matters," a man who is fighting for visitation rights of his biological child sees his chances of caring for his son drastically reduced based on the fact that he is a gay man who donated sperm. The episode highlights the 2005 FDA ban on donations of sperm by gay men, citing intercourse between two men as a "risk for sexually transmitted diseases." Other FDA cited risk factors leading to a ban on donations include IV drug use and prostitution. The FDA also prohibits gay men - who have had sex with another man since 1977 - from donating blood. The ban on blood donations has been in place since 1983 and was upheld in November 2010.

The episode of Drop Dead Diva will air on Sunday, August 19 at 9/8c on Lifetime.

The Lifetime drama has a history of LGBT inclusive storylines and often shines a light on various forms of discrimination faced by the community. Last year Drop Dead Diva aired an episode based on the real-life story of Constance McMillen, a high school student from Mississippi who wasn't permitted to attend prom with her girlfriend. The episode received a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Individual Episode category earlier this year. The program also featured a storyline in which a transgender woman, played by Candis Cayne, is in a legal battle with her in-laws over her deceased partner's property.

"The creators of Drop Dead Diva have once again used their platform to shed light on injustices that require greater attention," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Storytellers and television have a powerful ability to help enact social change by first reaching people through entertainment. This episode demonstrates how unfair this outdated and biased ban really is."