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Hamilton should end ban on gay men donating blood – Fearon

9 July, 2015 - by Megan Fearon

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has said it is disappointing that health minister Simon Hamilton is continuing to enforce the ban on gay men giving blood introduced by his predecessors. 

Ms Fearon said; 

"I tabled a question to Health Minister Simon Hamilton asking how much his department has spent appealing a court decision on the ban on gay men donating blood. 

"He was not able to provide a figure as the appeal is ongoing but unfortunately in his response he did attempt to justify the ban. 

"It is unacceptable in 2015 that men who have sex with men are banned from becoming blood donors. 

"It is also illogical given the fact that the health minister in London has already lifted the ban. 

"For too long we have had the situation where the personal beliefs of previous health ministers have been allowed to dictate health policy. 

"Simon Hamilton must now, as he has previously indicated, listen to the weight of science and medical evidence, and not allow a ban based on faith to continue. 

"The minister needs to step up and break from the policies of his predecessors and overturn this discriminatory ban."

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