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Welcome for Assembly vote against discriminatory blood ban

5 November, 2013 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed the passing of the party’s motion in the Assembly calling on the Health Minister to lift the ban on members of the gay community donating blood.

The Foyle MLA and chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee said:

“This is a welcome decision by the Assembly and one that is for equality and against discrimination.

“The ban on blood donations from members of the gay community is clearly out of step with the majority of society and Edwin Poots needs to reverse that ban.

“A judge has already ruled that the minister is in breach of the ministerial code and has behaved irrationally when it came to this legislation. Public confidence needs to be restored and the minister has already made a fool of himself and wasted public money by fighting equality.

“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."

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