Ruane calls on health minister to overturn blood donation ban
Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has called on health minister Simon Hamilton to overturn the ban on gay men donating blood.
Ms Ruane said;
"We need to ensure there is equality for everyone in society, including gay men.
"I asked health minister Simon Hamilton whether he would support the overturning of the unjust and unfair ban on gay men donating blood.
"This was a clear opportunity for the new minister to signal a change in policy from that of his predecessors who maintained the ban.
"Unfortunately he did not share my view that this is first and foremost an equality issue and said that ultimately the decision lay with the health secretary in London.
“I find that bizarre given the fact the health minister in London has already lifted the ban.
"I was glad to hear him say, however, that he will be guided by science and medical evidence, which is to be welcomed given the fact that his two predecessors based their stance on faith.
"The minister now needs to stand up and signal his intent to overturn this discriminatory ban."