SNP condemns gay blood ban

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The Scottish National Party has approved a motion condeming the blood donation ban on gay men.

Delegates at the party’s conference in Inverness backed a motion which said that new rules allowing gay men to donate blood if celibate for a year are not good enough.

They said the new provisions were “wholly inadequate”.

In September, ministers announced that the lifetime ban would be scrapped and gay and bisexual men would be permitted to donate blood if they abstain from sex for 12 months.

Heterosexuals who engage in risky sexual behaviour are not subject to the same restrictions, leading to accusations that the rules are still discriminatory.

Campaigners want sexual behaviour, not orientation, to be the deciding factor in whether individuals can donate blood.

Last month, the Liberal Democrat party voted to urge the government to go further on removing blood donation restrictions on gay men.

Members at the party’s conference in Birmingham agreed that the new 12-month deferral period is “a ban by any other name”.