Liberal Democrat leader: ‘Gay blood ban outdated and stigmatising’

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Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has come out strongly in favour of the recently announced review of the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.

At present in England, Wales and Scotland, men who have sex with men are deferred from giving blood for 12 months. A permanent ban remains in place in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday the government confirmed that there will be a review of this policy.

Mr Farron said “I very much welcome the review of what I believe are the discriminatory rules on blood donation in the UK.

“In 2015 I cannot see why we can’t support an evidence based approach.”

He went on to say that the current ban is “scientifically and socially outdated, deeply and unjustly stigmatising, and urgently needs to change.”

Earlier this year Mr Farron endorsed the Freedom To Donate campaign, which aims to end the ban. Writing for PinkNews he explained “The current rules are based on assumptions of fixed, binary sex and gender identities that make no sense now, if they ever did.

“…as well as being offensive – not just to those affected, but actually, to all of us – it’s frankly stupid to lock out millions of people who are willing and able to help.”

The Liberal democrat leader recently stepped in when Tara Hudson, a 26 year old trans woman, was sent to a men’s prison . He called for Hudson to be moved in a letter to Justice Minister Michael Gove.