Thursday, August 21, 2008

Demand Tasmanian Blood Ban be Dropped!

The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has been debating whether gay/bisexual men should be allowed to donate blood. The case was brought to the tribunal because currently the Red Cross the largest national blood collection agency enforces a ban on donations by men who have had sex with men, and people feel this is tantamount to discrimination.

The Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Group is fighting the ban. They said the ban is immoral for three reasons.

"1. It puts lives at risk by reducing the pool of potential blood donors at a time when blood is in short supply.

2. It stigmatises gay and bisexual men as a threat to public health.

3. It wrongly portrays male-to-male sex as inherently a health risk, and sends out the irresponsible public health message that heterosexual sex is health-risk free."

Please contact the tribunal and demand an end to the archaic and discriminatory ban.


The Anti-Discrimination Tribunal
23 - 25 Liverpool Street

Telephone: (03) 6233 8372

Fax: (03) 6233 5355

Please also take the time to contact the Red Cross and express your views.

Robert Tickner
Chief Executive Officer
Red Cross National Office
Postal: PO Box 196 Carlton Vic 3053
Telephone: 03 9345 1800
Facsimile: 03 9348 2513

The Chief Executive Officer
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
GPO Box 5103
Contact Form: Click Here

For more info on the men who began the battle or to get involved in blood-ban activism in Tasmania contact Rodney Croome at 0409 010 668 or Michael Cain at 0400 734 798.


Lauren said...

Here's my question: is donated blood not tested for health risks before it is passed on? If it isn't, that's absurd's...this is 2008! We should be testing donated blood for diseases no matter where it comes from!

And if it is tested [as it should be], what's the problem here? If a gay man--or anyone of any orientation, for that matter--contracts a disease and then donates blood, it wouldn't be used in transfusions and there would be no problem.

So, if proper precautions are being taken for all blood donated, this ban is a ridiculous, archaic stigma and it should absolutely be lifted.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all blood is thoroughly tested. So the donated blood from a totally heterosexual person, who is HIV+ is picked-up. The ban on gays giving blood is nothing short of homophobia.

This particuar case in Australia is being reported on a daily basis when the tribunal is sitting by . One shocking statement made by an American blood expert was that HIV cound be passed on by kissing - and that a man who had kissed another man should by barred from giving blood. Enough said.

Queers United said...

You are both right this is archaic and nothing short of bigotry and stigmatization of queer men. The blood gets tested as it should, if you want to be more certain you can put limits but why put them based on sexuality? Put them based on levels of unprotected sex, promiscuity, etc. That way one can weed out gays and straights who may be at a higher risk.

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