Late Cynic Drummer Sean Reinert’s Organ Donor Request Denied Over Sexual Orientation
Last month, Death and Cynic drummer Sean Reinert died at the age of 48. But while the musician had marked himself an organ donor, his request was denied due to government guidelines. That's what Reinert's widower, Tom Snyder, explained in a message Monday (Feb. 10) shared to Reinert's official Facebook page.
Snyder detailed how he received a phone call shortly after Reinert's death inquiring about the deceased's organ donor status. Upon learning that Reinert was a "sexually active homosexual male," however, a hospital associate informed Snyder that Reinert's organs were unable to be harvested.
"After the first few standard questions she asked if Sean was a sexually active homosexual male," Snyder recalled. "Without thinking I said 'yes' and almost without missing a beat the hospital associate said 'well, unfortunately that means…' and I went numb because I knew what she was about to say. She said a few more words and then I interrupted her, said some words back and hung up the phone."
The reason for the refusal stems from the 2013 guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for organ transplantation. One of the "12 medical or social history criteria" that results in an "increased-risk donor" (IRD) status is listed as "Men who have had sex with men (MSM)" within the 12 months prior to organ recovery.
Still, Snyder continued, "Sean did not have HIV, or any other STDs for that matter. But because he was a gay man living in America in 2020 he was not allowed one of his final wishes of donating his organs to help save another persons life. The government would rather let people waiting for a transplant die than give them one of Sean's organs. As his husband it makes me sick to my stomach and incredibly angry."
Read Snyder's full statement down toward the bottom of this post.
Reinert publicly came out as gay alongside Cynic frontman Paul Masvidal in 2014, receiving well wishes from Judas Priest legend and LGBT icon Rob Halford. "Gay people are everywhere, doing every job, playing every kind of music and we always have been," Reinert told the L.A. Times. "It's taken me years to finally be brave enough to say, 'If you have a problem with that, then throw out our records. That's your problem, not mine.'"
The drummer's discography is a highly celebrated one, beginning with Cynic’s first demo in 1990. In the following few years, he’d drum on now-iconic metal albums including Death’s Human and Cynic’s Focus. Reinert drummed on Cynic’s full discography, along with albums by James LaBrie and Gordian Knot.
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