Canada: Young Liberals call to end gay blood donation ban

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The youth of the Canadian Liberal Party are campaigning to lift a ban on men from donating blood, if they have had sex with other men in the past 5 years.

In May 2013 Canada lifted its 30 year old ban on gay men donating blood, but outlined that they can only donate provided they stay celibate for five years.

On the Young Liberals of Canada’s website there is an online petition entitled, “It’s in all of us to give: End the Gay Blood Ban”, addressed to Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Héma-Québec.

In the past the group has fought for same sex marriage rights, but their main campaign focus currently stands for lifting the ban on gay blood donation. The petition reads: “No one should be discriminated against when trying to save a life.

“With so many lives at stake, Canada’s health policy should be based on evidence – not a discriminatory outlook on sexual orientation.

“The evidence shows no difference in outcomes after other countries have ended discriminatory bans and required universally rigorous testing of blood/organs and extensive questionnaires on donors’ medical history and sexual history. Regardless of source, all donated blood in Canada is already comprehensively tested for infectious diseases.

“It is embarrassing that Health Canada and CBS / HM-QC are trailing behind by ignoring the evidence and continuing a policy that is stigmatizing and discriminatory. We support the replacement of the current policy with a framework of behavior-based screening for every blood or organ donor regardless of sexual orientation, providing an evidence-based method of ensuring that all donors are safe and eligible.”

The Young Liberals also encourage campaign support via Twitter.

In the US sexually active gay men are prohibited from donating blood. Last week a study revealed that lifting the ban could help save nearly 2 million lives.

The youth group end the message accompanying the petition with,

“Canadians lives are counting on us to end the discriminatory gay blood ban.”