Calls for Poots to quit over gay blood donation row

Protesters in Londonderry urge for 'biased and illogical' ban on gay blood donations to be lifted in Northern Ireland

Calls for Poots to quit over gay blood donation row
06 August 2012

Protesters have called on Northern Ireland’s health minister Edwin Poots to resign over his refusal to lift a ban on gay people donating blood.

LGBT rights activists shouted ‘Give Poots the boot’ outside a blood donation session in Londonderry on Saturday (4 August).

They then went inside to offer their blood, which the health service in Northern Ireland is still not allowed to accept, despite restrictions on gay donors being eased in the rest of the UK.

Poots has refused to give in to pressure from other members of the Stormont health committe, standing by an outright ban.

‘The argument put forward by the Health Minister just does not add up. It is unsupportable, biased and illogical,’ David McCartney, from LGBT health group the Rainbow Project, told the Belfast Telgraph.

‘He refuses to allow gay people here to donate, but yet there are times when blood is brought here from England for transfusions where gay people are allowed to donate.

‘I have never heard him say the screening process used here is inadequate simply because it isn’t inadequate, in fact it is quite the opposite. Edwin Poots, by his actions, could be seen as implying the screening process isn’t up to that used in England.

‘I have been heartened by the level of support this issue has from the straight community. One man told me on his way in that he will write on the bottom of his donation form "Give Poots the boot" in solidarity with us.’

An outright ban was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales last year, but gay and bisexual men are still barred from giving blood for a year.

Gay rights campaigners were urging for the ban to be lifted globally on World Blood Donor Day on Thursday (14 June).

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Watch the 1961 documentary on gay people that was thought lost to history

‘The Rejected’ screened on US television on 11 September in 1961 and was a surprisingly frank and objective discussion of ‘the problem’ of homosexuality and its causes but it was thought no copies survived
New South Wales gay marriage rights debate postponed to 14 November

New South Wales gay marriage rights debate postponed to 14 November

The New South Wales Upper House held its first debate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage today but did not vote on the bill as further debate was postponed for two weeks time
No thumbnail available

Police detain Moscow activists after IDAHOT flashmob

'It's tough, members of the LGBT community face lots of discrimination in their lives, at work, at school... people are faced with violence in the streets'
No thumbnail available

A bar game that’s top banana

Bananagrams will make you and your friends into cheeky monkeys down the pub
No thumbnail available

Dale Cregan admits to killing lesbian police officer

Man admits to luring two women police officers to a house before killing them, a court hears
No thumbnail available

Gay X-Men suffer DOMA's wrath

Immigration officials come for French-Canadian X-Man Northstar, whose legal status is at risk despite having married his American boyfriend
No thumbnail available

São Paulo has the world’s biggest gay Pride

As 4.5 million get ready to party at São Paulo Pride, we check out this stunning and surprising Brazilian city
No thumbnail available

Listen: Indiana restaurant owner says he will refuse gays service but won't name his restaurant

The business owner boasted on air that he has denied LGBT people service at his restaurant and will continue to so as the new law is expected to come into effect in July
No thumbnail available

Jennifer Hudson is performing at gay pride fests in June for her original fans

'It was the gay community that loved me first. It feels good to come full circle and get back into that'
No thumbnail available

British black and minority ethnic gay people failed by public services

Police, education and health services failing Britain’s lesbian, gay and bisexual ethnic minorities