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October 21, 2013

A civil union bill on the Mediterranean island is likely to pass but has raised other issues, including whether gay and bi men should be automatically excluded from donating blood

Malta has reaffirmed it will keep the ban on sexually active gay men giving blood – but the island nation is moving towards same-sex civil unions.

The Mediterranean island archipelago is currently debating a form of ‘gay marriage’ – which could be passed within weeks.

But that has led to questions about other LGBT issues, including about the ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

And last week the Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia answered that question in a way that disappointed some and confused many.

October 15, 2013

High Court judge has ruled Northern Ireland's gay blood rules are 'irrational' and could overturn the lifetime ban

Northern Ireland's health minister has said he wants to ban men who have gay sex from giving blood, not gay people.

Edwin Poots has responded to the Belfast High Court who ruled he did not have the authority to impose a lifetime gay blood ban.

On Friday (11 October), the judge ruled he had breached the ministerial code by failing to take the issue to the Executive.

Speaking to BBC News, he said if he did break the ministerial code then he did it 'unwittingly'.

August 26, 2013

A sexually inactive 21-year-old gay man in Ireland, where it’s illegal for men who have sex with men to donate blood, has been blocked from donating until further notice

An openly gay man is accusing an Ireland blood bank of discrimination after doctors requested he stop donating even though he’s never had sex.

While Ireland has a lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men or intravenous drug users to protect blood supplies, 21-year-old Tomas Heneghan claims he’s never had sex with a man before and feels he should still be eligible to donate blood.

August 26, 2013

Moscow’s mayoral candidate Mikhail Degtyarev has announced plans to offer anonymous ‘gay conversion’ therapy sessions and re-introduce a ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Russia may bring back its ban on gay blood donors, and offer an additional gay-to-straight conversion therapy service.

32-year-old Mikhail Degtyarev, who is a candidate for mayor of Moscow, said since 65% of all HIV-positive people were homosexuals, the proposal could not be considered discriminatory.

The politician, who has a record of controversial statements, did not name the source of the statistic he used.

August 21, 2013

Gay men in US have been banned from donating blood since 1983 - Evan Low says that's long enough

Calling a policy that bans gay men in the US from donating blood 'a relic from decades past,' the openly gay mayor of Campbell, California has launched a campaign to end it.

Evan Low was turned away at a local blood drive he had led in organizing because of the current policy of the Federal Drug Administration enacted in 1983 during the early days of the AIDS crisis.

July 18, 2013

Socialist MP and doctor Olivier Veran has called for the lifting of France’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, calling for people to be screened based on behavior rather than sexuality

A French Government backbencher and doctor has delivered a report supporting the end of the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood to Health Minister Marisol Touraine.

Socialist MP Olivier Veran, who is a qualified neurologist, compiled the report after Touraine indicated she might be supportive of lifting the ban if there was evidence that it would not increase the risk of HIV infected blood getting into France’s blood supply.

July 18, 2013

Opposition lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen has called on the Hong Kong Red Cross to change its rules so that gay men can donate as the group struggles to find new donors

Openly gay Hong Kong lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen has called on the Blood Bank of Hong Kong to allow people to donate blood regardless of sexual orientation after he was stopped from donating.

Currently any man who has had sex with another man is banned from donating blood in Hong Kong but the Blood Bank has been having trouble attracting new donors and keeping up with demand.

July 13, 2013

Yesterday gay men around the country joined in a peaceful demonstration to protest the federal law that prohibits gay men from donating blood

Gay men across the US have joined forces against the 1970’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on gay blood donors.

Gay rights organizations and activists organized a National Gay Blood Drive day yesterday (12 July) where men who have sex with men, also known as MSM, were encouraged to arrive at 53 blood donation centers around the US and attempt to give blood.

May 23, 2013

New policy will see gay men who have been celibate for five years eligible to give blood in Canada

Canada is lifting its strict lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, although restrictions will still be in place.

The Canadian Blood Services are hoping to have the new policy in place by mid-summer 2013.

While there will no longer be a lifetime ban, men who have not had sex with other men in the last five years will be allowed to donate blood.

The new policy will replace the existing screening criteria, which excludes potential male donors who have had sex with another man since 1977 — the year HIV began spreading rapidly throughout North America.

April 15, 2013

After a 23-year-old attemped suicide and was taken off life support last year, it has inspired his family to try and change the rules of organ donation

A Canadian woman has said she believes her late son’s organs were rejected for donation because he was gay.

Nancy Campana says she was asked if her son Rocky, who was an organ donor, was gay after his death.

‘I was asked if he was a gay male and I said, “yes.” And I was asked if he was a sexually active gay male or if he had a partner and I said, “yes”,’ Campana told CBC News.

March 29, 2013

Campaigner Michael Kevin Hernandez wants more gay and bisexual men to have the right to be superheroes and give blood

When was the last time you thought about being a superhero and saving a life?

When I ask people, 'Who is an everyday superhero?' you might answer a firefighter, police officer, doctor, those in the military who serve our country. But we can all potentially be a superhero. You may already be one and not even know it, because you can donate blood.

Each time we donate blood we can save up to three lives. Someone who has suffered a car accident can use an average 100 pints of blood. At that moment when you donate blood you are saving a life. That makes you a hero.

March 25, 2013

Yael German, Israel’s new minister of health, has instructed a public committee to deliberate the removal of a ban on blood donations from gay men

In her first move as Israel's new health minister, Yael German instructed the ministry staff today (25 March) to reconsider the ban on accepting blood donations from gay men.

The form filled out by every blood donor in Israel states that men who have had sex with other men are prohibited from donating blood.

People who are HIV positive, used drugs or been exposed to mad-cow disease, among other constraints, are also prohibited from donating blood.

February 28, 2013

A YouTube clip condemning the Thai Red Cross Society for not accepting 'gay blood' is watched over 13,000 times

Three gay men in Thailand have posted a video condemning the Thai Red Cross Society for not accepting 'gay blood'.

In the video posted on YouTube the three men angrily criticize the organization, part of the international Red Cross charity, that takes care of blood donation in the southeast Asian nation.

One of the men in the video talks about being refused as a blood donor by the Thai Red Cross society, Bangkok Post reports.

January 13, 2013

Canadian Blood Services have proposed an end to the country’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, recommending that those who have not had sex for five years or more should be acceptable donors

Canada looks set to end its lifetime ban on men-who-have-sex-with-men giving blood after a Canadian Blood Services recommendation that the ban be reduced to five years.

In September 2011 the Canadian Blood Services board of directors passed a motion committing the organization to re-examine its policy and in December it recommended to Health Canada that men-who-have-sex-with-men who have not been sexually active for five or more years should be considered acceptable donors.

November 30, 2012

Congress has passed a bill that could ban clinics from asking blood donors their sexual orientation

Gays and lesbians in Argentina could be one step closer to donating blood.

The Chamber of Deputies passed on 29 November (Thursday) a bill that would modify the nation's blood donating laws.

The measure, to be debated by the Senate in 2013, would remove certain questions from forms used by clinics and hospitals that require potential blood donors to divulge their sexual orientation.

August 6, 2012

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

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.

July 13, 2012

Summer Wu, volunteer for Shanghai-based lesbian organization Nvai, comments about how she feels about China’s lifting of the ban on lesbians giving blood

China lifted a ban on lesbians donating blood this month, but gay men are still strictly banned. Though I am pleased by this achievement, discriminatory regulation still exists.

July 3, 2012

Fourteen-year ban on lesbians donating blood has been lifted by China’s Ministry of Health, but sexually active gay men are still barred

China has lifted a 14-year ban on lesbians giving blood, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday (1 July).

The director of Beijng-based lesbian organization Tong Yu (Common Language), giving her nickname Xian, told Global Times that she welcomed the move. She said she was arranging for a group of Tong Yu members to give blood soon. 

June 29, 2012

High Court rules there is case for arguing that Northern Ireland ban on gay blood donations is 'irrational and unlawful'

An unidentified gay man has won the first stage of a court battle to lift an 'irrational and unlawful' ban on gay blood donations in Northern Ireland.

The ban, in place since the 1980s, was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in November 2011.  But health minister, Edwin Poots, claims the outlawing of gay donations is is to ensure public safety.

June 28, 2012

A Northern Ireland court has heard how a ban on gay men giving blood is ‘irrational and unlawful’

Lawyers representing an unidentified man have pressed the Northern Ireland health minister to lift a ban on gay blood donations.

The ban, in place since the 1980s, was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in November 2011. However health minister, Edwin Poots, has maintained the ban saying it is to ensure public safety.

June 17, 2012

Edwin Poots suggests people who have sex with prostitutes and Africans should also be banned from giving blood

Health Minister Edwin Poots is standing by his decision to ban gay men in Northern Ireland from donating blood.

Speaking on the BBC Sunday Politics NI programme today (17 June), Poots said he received two new pieces of research this week that strengthened his position.

However Poots has said he does not want the ban to apply to gay people only.

He said: ‘I think that people who engage in high risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood.

June 14, 2012

Gay and bisexual men around the world are still banned or restricted from giving blood, even when risk is low

Campaigners are marking World Blood Donor Day by calling for the ban and restrictions on gay men giving blood to be lifted globally.

Today (14 June), the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging people to be a 'hero' and give the 'life-saving gift' of blood.

On its website, the UN agency states that 'every one of us can become a hero simply by giving blood'.

However, gay and bisexual men in most countries around the world are banned entirely from donating and in many where it is allowed, are required to abstain from sex for at least a year.

June 12, 2012

Senator John Kerry urges health officials to rely on 'science of today not the myths of 20 years ago'

Senator John Kerry wants the US Department of Health to end its policy of banning gay or bisexual men from donating blood.

Kerry and US Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois on Monday (11 June) sent a letter to the department urging it to move forward with a study that looks at ending the ban which has been in place since the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

June 6, 2012

The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that clinics can't block someone from donating blood based on their sexual orientation

The Colombian constitutional court has ruled in favor of allowing gays to donate blood.

The court's ruling stems from a 2011 case when Higuera Escalante testing laboratory in Bucaramanga refused to accept a man's blood donation, after he stated his gay sexual orientation on the routine donation forms.