Current Affairs

We don’t want gay blood, says Polish MP saved by transfusion

PinkNews Staff Writer May 12, 2008
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Poland’s Blood Donation Centre is considering a ban on blood donations from gay men.

Doctors at the centre said they are not prejudiced, but think the ban will reduce the risk of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis infections from blood transfusions.

Dr Joanna Wojewoda claimed that gay men are lying about their sexual orientation in order to give blood.

An MP from the right-wing and outspokenly homophobic Law and Justice party, which was voted out of power last year, has backed the ban.

Jolanta Szczypinska, who previously worked as a nurse, told newspaper Dziennik:

“There is a large group of people who completely don’t want their blood.

“As long as homosexuals are a high risk group then they shouldn’t donate.

“I’ve noticed that the demands of this group are increasing. They want legalised homosexual partnerships, then they’ll want adoption of children.

“I don’t agree to all of that. Especially when it comes to health and life.”

The MP, whose life was saved by a blood transfusion, said if she had the choice she would prefer blood from a heterosexual.

Dr Wojewoda told the paper: “In the case of HIV, it can take up to a year to detect infection in blood after contact. In that time, the blood could be transfused to a patient.

“We are appealing to those who might have lied to write an anonymous note to us or call that they shouldn’t have donated after all. The blood will be disposed of without any consequence to the donator.”

Polish gay rights activist Robert Biedron said he would break the law in order to continue donating blood.

When asked about the perception that gay people have more casual sex that heterosexuals, he told Dziennik:
“There is also a widespread opinion that gays are perverts and paedophiles.

“Not long ago the widespread opinion was that women should not vote since they are stupider than men. Before that, that the sun circled the moon.

“I’m surprised that someone wants to return to this discriminatory practice three years after it was removed.

“There isn’t any sound research which would show that gay relationships are less stable.

“I’ve been with my partner for six years. I don’t see a reason why we’d couldn’t donate but a heterosexual couple could. How do we differ from them?”

Ms Szczypinska has been an MP for the Law and Justice party since 2005 and is rumoured to be in a relationship with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the former Prime Minister.

He has never married and there have been persistent rumours about his sexual orientation.

His twin brother Lech Kaczynski is President of Poland. He is known for his outspoken homophobia.

On a state visit to Ireland at the beginning of last year President Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race, while Jaroslaw has also been known to make homophobic remarks during his political career.

As the then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski banned the city’s gay pride parade in 2004.

He also banned the event in 2005 while allowing a homophobic counter-demonstration, the “Parade of Normality.”

In August 2006, when quizzed by the EU over his gay rights record, Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was not a homophobe.

As Prime Minister he proposed a range homophobic legislation, but it was abandoned when he was defeated in last year’s election.

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