California State Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D–San Francisco) hopes a new Assembly resolution will encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end a federal policy that prohibits men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood, Capitol Weekly reports.

According to the FDA, the ban was created in 1985 because MSM were deemed a high-risk group for HIV infection. Ammiano believes the policy is discriminatory and assumes that heterosexual donors do not share the same HIV risk as MSM.

In response to what he calls the “gay ban,” Ammiano said, “I understand the hysteria. I lost a lot of friends [to HIV] and still am. But, now that this has been documented and disproved, this ban needs to be lifted.”

Supporters of the resolution, AJR 13, include the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and the American Association for Blood Banks.