Today In Discrimination: Gay British Men Still Can’t Donate Blood If Sexually Active
April 11, 2011 4 Comments
Gay men in Britain will now be allowed to donate blood- but only if they haven’t had sex for ten years.
I’ll let you process that for a moment.
It gets better, the ban on blood donation by gay men “is being lifted because it was decided that the rule could be discriminatory and might breach equality legislation” (Telegraph UK).
Not even points for effort.
An advisory committee concluded that risk would go up only minimally if the current ban was replaced with a new rule: If gay men were prevented from donating until five years after having sex with another man, the risk would go up by less than 5%. By raising the period from five years to 10 years, that risk was halved.
Preposterous, because the only way this hot mess wouldn’t be discriminatory is if the decade-long sex ban was applied across the board, otherwise the rule is still “discriminatory” and does “breach equality legislation”. But legal applications of equal and discriminatory rarely meet the standards of basic human decency, at least where marginalized groups are concerned.
Notably, “around seven per cent of sexually active gay men are thought to give blood despite the ban” (Telegraph UK) since this entire system is ‘honor-based’. Though where the honor is in discrimination, I couldn’t tell you.