Today, The Rainbow Project was delighted to welcome Health Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA and newly-appointed Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Mary Ellen Campbell to the Belfast LGBT Centre. This was the first time that a sitting minister had visited the LGBT Centre and we were delighted that this was where the Health Minister declared an end to the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
Speaking after the Minister’s announcement, John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said:
‘We are delighted to welcome Minister O’Neill and Deputy Lord Mayor Campbell to the Belfast LGBT Centre today. From this centre, The Rainbow Project delivers counselling, sexual health testing and a range of other vital services for our community and so we are immensely proud that this is where the Minister made the announcement that she would be scrapping the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. The Rainbow Project has been campaigning on this issue for over a decade and it is fantastic to finally see this unnecessary ban removed.
‘We are particularly gratified that Minister O’Neill made this announcement only eight days after being appointed, demonstrating her commitment to prioritising issues affecting LGB&T people in Northern Ireland. We hope to continue our positive engagements with Minister O’Neill over the coming months and years.’