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October 21, 2014

Transgender woman who was denied plasma donation files lawsuit

A transgender woman said she was discriminated against when a plasma collection service, CSL Plasma in Minneapolis, refused to let her donate in 2008.

The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigated the case in 2009 and ruled in Lisa A Scott’s favor.

Scott filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court this week.

Since 1983, men who have sex with other men are deferred as donors of blood or blood components because of their increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s policy.

However, there are no federal laws prohibiting transsexuals from plasma donation. The newspapers said CSL has its own policy on forbidding transsexuals from plasma donation.

According to the suit, Scott had gender reassignment surgery in 2006 and says she has never been a gay man or had sexual contact with men.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000 and payment of legal expenses, along with requiring the company to no longer discriminate against transgenders.

In July, the first-ever National Gay Blood Drive was held in St. Paul and several other major cities as part of a push to lift a federal ban on blood donation by men who have had sex with other men.