Plymouth MP and equality campaigner, Luke Pollard, has today called for gay and bisexual men in the South West to donate blood, as the rules around blood donations are changed today.
From today, gay men in sexually active, monogamous relationships can donate blood for the first time. People will now be assessed on their eligibility to give blood based on their individual behaviour, rather than on broad assumptions about their sexuality. Discriminatory policies meant that until recently gay and bisexual men who have sex with men were exclude from donating blood. Today’s rule change means that individuals, regardless of their sexuality, can donate blood if they have had the same sexual partner for the past three months in a huge boost for equality.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“This is a landmark moment. As Plymouth’s first ever openly gay MP I have been supporting this campaign since I was elected. Lifting the unfair rules not only means gay and bisexual men are no longer being discriminated against it should mean more people are able to donate blood.
“I am calling on all gay and bisexual men in the South West to donate blood. Book your blood donation slot now. Donating blood saves lives and now the discriminatory rules have been lifted, let’s get donating.”
The campaign around blood donation has been championed by Freedom to Donate, Stonewall and Terrence Higgins Trust. Today is World Blood Donor Day.