This morning, in collaboration with Gender Justice—a Minnesota-based sister organization of Legal Voice and member of The Alliance—and our cooperating counsel at Keller Rohrback, we filed a lawsuit challenging CSL Plasma’s practice of prohibiting transgender individuals from donating plasma.
Last June, Jasmine Kaiser went to CSL Plasma in Kent, Washington, to make a donation. The employees would not permit her to donate, and informed her that the company had placed a “lifetime deferment” on any donation by her as a transgender person. And this isn’t just a one-time issue: Gender Justice is representing another transgender woman who brought a similar lawsuit against the same company in Minnesota.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently imposes a lifetime deferment on blood product donations from men who have had sex with men, it does not prohibit donations based on a person’s gender identity or status as a transgender person.
We believe that CSL Plasma’s refusal to accept donations by transgender people is a clear violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination, which specifically prohibits discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or expression. This law was created to protect LGBT Washingtonians against the kind of mistreatment experienced by Ms. Kaiser, and we will do everything we can to uphold it.
– Turned away for being transgender, Seattle woman sues blood bank, Advocate 5/12/15
– Transgender woman files suit against Kent blood bank after being turned away, Q13 Fox 5/18/15