Bloodworks NW CEO Dr. James P. AuBuchon will participate in a panel discussion regarding the FDA’s ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men at Gay City on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The FDA once placed a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men (MSM), but last August changed that to a one-year deferral period, meaning gay and bisexual men can donate blood if they have not had sexual contact with another man in the past 12 months.

“Blood centers, the gay community and the FDA have had a long-standing exchange around appropriate methods of protecting the blood supply and accepting a broader community of potential blood donors,” AuBuchon said in a news release. “The tragedy in Orlando re-ignited a public dialogue about possible further changes.”

Following the June 2016 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the gay community came out to donate blood, but were turned away due to the FDA ban. Last July, the FDA announced it would be reconsidering its blood donation policy.

The panel discussion begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at Gay City, 517 E. Pike St.

Other panelists include social justice activist Christopher Peguero and Phil Bereano, ethicist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington.