Ian questions European Court ruling over ‘justified’ gay blood ban


Ian Duncan MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament's LGBTI intergroup, has questioned today's European Court of Justice ruling regarding lifetime bans for homosexual and bisexual men who wish to give blood.

The Court has ruled that lifetime bans "may be justified" depending on the situation in each member state.

The issue reached the Court after Geoffrey Léger, a French national, was prevented from donating blood on the grounds of his sexual relationship with another man. Mr Léger challenged the decision, leading Strasbourg's Administrative Court to request the EU's court's opinion on the legality of refusing blood donations on the basis of sexual orientation.

Commenting Dr Duncan said:

'This ruling represents a missed opportunity by the Court of Justice. In the UK we have already abolished lifetime bans for men who sleep with men, recognising that it is sexual behaviour not orientation that is important when determining whether someone can give blood. I hope member states will follow the example that the UK has set.'

 Notes to Editors

1. Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland and Vice President of the European Parliament's LGBTI Intergroup