Today, The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s largest support and advocacy organisation for lesbian, gay and bisexual and/or transgender people, welcomed a ruling in the High Court which held that former Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA was biased in his decision not to remove the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
Speaking on the ruling, John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said: ‘It has already been ruled that the former Minister Poots’ decision to maintain the discriminatory gay blood ban was irrational. The High Court has now ruled that the decision was contaminated by the former minister’s anti-gay bias.
‘We welcome this ruling as laying out clearly that there is no sound reason why gay and bisexual men should be permanently banned from donating blood. We would now urge the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and the UK Department of Health to drop their appeals of previous judgements and make the necessary changes in blood donation to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.’