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Welcome for court ruling against minister’s prejudice - McLaughlin

11 October, 2013 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed the decision by the High Court today regarding the Health Minister Edwin Poots ban against members of the gay community donating blood.

The Foyle MLA who is Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee said:

“This decision by Edwin Poots to ban members of the gay community donating blood was wrong and in the words of the judge today ‘irrational’. The decision raises in many people’s minds serious questions as to whether Edwin Poots has the ability to carry out his duties as Health Minister for all.

“The minister brought his own prejudice into the decision. The judge ruled that the Minister breached the Ministerial Code by his failure in not bringing the issue to the Executive.

“The minister’s decision fed into the discrimination that people from the gay, lesbian and bi-sexual community already suffer.

“It goes without saying that we need to have robust screening of blood, whoever it comes from. Discriminating against people from within our community who are prepared to give blood, which would be used to save lives, needs to be reversed immediately. 

"This case along with the minister’s appeal against the decision to allow civil partnerships and same sex couples to adopt is not only defending inequality but also a waste of public money.”

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