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Lambda Legal
comes to defense of gay man denied fertility services

Lambda Legal
comes to defense of gay man denied fertility services

A gay man denied fertility treatments because of his sexual orientation filed a complaint with the Human Relations Board of Orlando, Fla., on Thursday.

Dennis Barros, an Orlando veterinarian, and his partner planned on having a child with a surrogate mother who agreed to carry an implanted egg. To go forth with the procedure, the men sought fertility services with Frank Riggall, MD, who at first agreed to help the men but then told Barros and his partner that the procedure would breach U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

The FDA does not bar gay men from being sperm donors; they only recommend not allowing anonymous donors who have had sex with men in the last five years. This restriction does not include "directed donors," which are men who donate to a consenting woman, as was Barros's case.

"Dr. Barros was denied services not because of any real medical risk but solely because of his sexual orientation," said Gregory Nevins, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, the gay legal advocacy group working on Barros's behalf, in a statement. "The FDA's recommendations against sperm donation by men who have sex with men are scientifically unfounded; furthermore, they are clearly not applicable in this case." (The Advocate)

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