Journal readers support change to law which would allow gay men to donate blood

Health Minister, Jim Wells MLA.
Health Minister, Jim Wells MLA.

Derry Journal readers online have overwhelmingly shown their support for a change in the law here which would allow gay men to donate blood.

Earlier this month it was revealed the Assembly spent in approximately £40,000 of public money in a bid to keep the ban permanent.

In 2011 Wales, Scotland and England changed their laws to allow gay men to donate blood as long they had not had sex with another man for over a year.

Then Health Minister, Edwin Poots from the DUP refused to follow suit and as a result it is illegal for gay men to donate blood here.

The poll was run over seven days on derryjournal.com and 68 per cent of readers said they believed the law should be changed in the North to allow gay men to donate blood.

Edwin Poots was replaced by DUP colleague Jim Wells as Health Minister in September 2014 and has stated that he has no intention of supporting a change to the law.

However, earlier this month a court ruled that the ban was “infected by apparent bias”.

“I can’t comment at all on the legal proceedings as it is still before the Court of Appeal,” he said.

“I have huge admiration for Edwin Poots and I think you’ll find that there will not be a lot of difference between myself and Edwin Poots on any of these issues. We are singing off the same hymn sheet, as it were.”