Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “This legal challenge will only add further delay to gay men being allowed to donate blood. The lifetime ban has already been removed in the rest of the UK – it should also be removed in Northern Ireland.
“It is disgraceful that Edwin Poots is continuing to waste taxpayers’ money on a personal crusade. The Minister still has the power to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK. His continued refusal to do so highlights his prejudice and petty narrow mindedness.
“I am worried that the decision by the Health Minister to challenge the High Court ruling will leave us in a legal limbo that will only kick this issue further down the line. I would urge the Minister to drop his legal challenge and allow Northern Ireland to be brought into line with the rest of the UK.”