Top EU court: Bans on gay blood ‘may be justified’
A top European court has ruled that some countries refusing to allow gay or bisexual men to donate blood “may be justified”.
The Court of Justice of the European Union made the ruling in a challenge from 2009 from a man who was refused the right to donate blood in France, on the grounds that he had sex with a man.
Unlike in the UK where men who have sex with men can donate blood after abstaining from sex for twelve months, in France there is still a lifetime ban.
Other countries with a lifetime ban include Ireland.
The ruling from the ECJ maintained that member states have the authority to govern their own bans, saying EU countries has the responsibility to stop blood donations from anyone “at a high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases, such as HIV”.
The UK dropped its ban on gay men donating blood in 2011, replacing it with the 12-month deferral period.