A Chinese man is suing a Beijing Red Cross centre for refusing to accept his blood donation because he is gay.

According to AFP, Wang Zizheng went to the centre in June to give blood and declared he was gay on a form.

He was told that under Chinese health regulations, he could not donate blood because of his sexual orientation.

Many countries ban gay and bisexual men from donating blood because of the risk of HIV.

Gay campaigners argue that would-be donors should be accepted on an individual basis which focuses on risky behaviour, rather than sexual orientation.

China’s 1998 ban means anyone who states they are gay or lesbian on a blood donation form is automatically disqualified from donating. However, the is no penalty for lying on the forms.

Mr Wang has filed a case against the centre for discrimination, China Daily reported.

He was quoted as saying “for thousands of homosexuals in China, someone has to stand out” and added that he was seeking an apology from the centre.

He added: “I agree with having restrictions on homosexuals; it is just they have to be scientific.”

Mr Wang is waiting for his case to be accepted by a court.

Last July, a lesbian group set up a campaign to be allowed to donate blood.