WASHINGTON - The nation's ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted Monday, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can give blood.
            
The Food and Drug Administration is replacing the lifetime ban with a new policy barring donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year.

Gay activists on Long Island say the new policy, while a step in the right direction, is still discriminatory.

“To tell gay men to abstain from sex for 12 months in order to donate blood is a different condition than is put on everyone else,” says LGBT advocate David Kilmnick. “It's not equal.”

Associated Press wires contributed to this report.