Northern Ireland: LGBT activists stage rainbow protest during Health Minister’s visit
Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots had his visit to a Derry hospital briefly eclipsed by the sight of a rainbow flag, held in protest over his anti-gay views.
Shá Gillespie, a local LGBT activist and former chairperson of Foyle Pride, was pictured behind Mr Poots holding a rainbow pride flag at Altnagelvin Hospital on Tuesday.
She told GCN: “I decided to protest because I’m sick of this man dictating to me how I should live my life. A woman is not allowed the right to choose what happens to her own body, there lifetime ban on gay blood donation and he is against gay adoption!”
“The man is a bigot and everyone knows that, it’s time for him to go!”
Mr Poots, a member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has unsuccessfully attempted to prevent civil partners and unmarried couples from adopting children in the province, spending £40,000 of public money in the process.
In 2011, England, Wales and Scotland introduced a one-year deferral for gay and bisexual men who wish to donate blood under the advice from SaBTO, the UK Government’s Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs Advisory Committee.
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Lawyers at the UK Department of Health (DH) are currently assessing the legal ramifications of any response.
A DH spokesperson said to PinkNews: “We are currently considering the potential implications of this judgment. In England, we have made a different decision on the actual issue. In considering any health policy issue that affects all countries in the UK, we will focus on the implications for devolution.”
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