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

'Obama is closet gay' claims right wing website

Anti-Obama news website WND launches personal attack on president, running story claiming the president was a regular in Chicago's gay bar and bathhouse scene
No thumbnail available

Hot Cop Of Castro gets shirtless - then very wet - as he does Ice Bucket challenge

San Francisco police officer Chris Kohrs gets doused for charity
No thumbnail available

Frank Ocean says coming out lifted ‘boulder’ on his chest

Odd Future singer speaks out his coming out, the response, and why there should be more gay role models
No thumbnail available

Family Research Council fellow blames Isla Vista shooting on gay marriage

A senior fellow with the anti-gay Family Research Council has tried to connect gay marriage to the Isla Vista shooting by heterosexual student and virgin Elliot Rodgers
No thumbnail available

UKIP blames gay marriage win on Europe

UK's Euro-sceptic party believes Prime Minister David Cameron has pushed through marriage equality because of influences from Europe
No thumbnail available

Taiwan's judiciary make it undeserving of reputation as Asia's most gay-friendly country

Four more anti-gay justices are appointed to Constitutional Court
No thumbnail available

Russia finds gay activist guilty after he was attacked, arrested by his own parents

Court has convicted a young LGBT advocate of gay propaganda, the third time this has happened in the federal law's history
No thumbnail available

West Virginia town's five residents unanimously vote to ban LGBTI discrimination

Thurmond is smallest town in US to officially enact such legislation
No thumbnail available

‘This silence is what feeds the beast of oppression’

Activist responds to claim campaign for LGBT rights is making life worse for gay people in Malaysia
No thumbnail available

US Supreme Court could still issue landmark gay marriage ruling this week

Day passes with no ruling - next possible day is Thursday