A straight Chicago man says he was turned away from a blood donation centre because he “looked gay”.

Aaron Pace, 22, who says he is effeminate but not gay, went to the Bio-Blood Components donation centre recently.

During the interview process, he says staff told him his looks and behaviour made him appear gay and that he could not donate blood.

Mr Pace told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I was humiliated and embarrassed. It’s not right that homeless people can give blood but homosexuals can’t. And I’m not even a homosexual.”

The centre has not returned calls for comment.

US federal laws ban any man who has ever had gay sex from donating blood. Gay rights campaigners say the law is outdated and not scientifically sound.