Ford asks what new evidence exists for removal of gay blood ban

Alliance Leader David Ford has submitted an urgent question to the Health Minister asking what evidence came to light to allow the lifting of the gay blood ban.

Last week, Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said she would be removing the ban on gay men donating blood, after a succession of previous DUP Health Ministers claimed scientific evidence as the reason for keeping the sanction in place.

“I have always believed Northern Ireland should be brought into line with the rest of the UK when it comes to gay men donating blood. Therefore the lifting of the ban is a positive step,” said Mr Ford.

“However, the Minister needs to explain why it took so long to come to this decision. When England, Scotland and Wales lifted the ban, the scientific evidence was deemed not good enough by the DUP to do the same here. But now the DUP say they feel comfortable supporting the Health Minister’s decision.

“Either this new evidence that changed DUP minds can be produced or the DUP should admit the only reason the ban was maintained was due to the personal prejudices of their successive Ministers.”

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