Liberals face backlash over ban on blood donations by sexually active gay men

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Kathleen Harris writes at CBC News:

The Liberal government is facing a new push to end a ban on blood donations by sexually active gay and bisexual men — a policy that Justin Trudeau’s own election platform called discriminatory.

An electronic petition recently filed with the House of Commons, E-1589, calls on the Liberal government to stop a practice it says imposes a stigma on gay and bisexual men. Petitioners say the policy also bars Canadian Blood Services — which routinely faces donor shortages — from a potential pool of healthy, safe donations.

Under current CBS policy, any man who has had sex with another man in the past year is prohibited from donating blood.

“If you’re a heterosexual male with unprotected sex with multiple partners, you’re free to go in and donate blood. But … if you are a gay or bisexual man, you are required to be celibate,” said Annette Toth, a B.C. union leader who launched the petition. She said CBS is involved in “fearmongering.”

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