OTTAWA, June 17, 2011 /CNW/ -Throughout National Blood Donor Week
students held a series of actions across Canada calling for an end to
the Canadian Blood Services' (CBS) discriminatory policy placing a
lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men
(MSM) anytime since 1977.
"Healthy gay men are discriminated against by this highly unscientific
and outdated policy," said Adam Awad, Deputy Chairperson of the
Canadian Federation of Students. "Modern blood screening technology no
longer affords any convenient arguments to support this policy, which
perpetuates myths about the queer community."
Throughout this past week, students across Canada have engaged in
various actions including chalking, leafleting, and demonstrations to
raise public awareness about this policy that discriminates against
queer men. These actions are part of the End the Ban campaign organized
by the Canadian Federation of Students.
While Canada has continued to enforce a lifetime ban, Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan, and Sweden have each modernised
their blood donor policies from an outright ban to a twelve-month
deferral. Despite the pressure applied by the End the Ban campaign and
the public, the CBS has maintained this anachronistic policy.
"Despite purporting to investigate changing this policy, CBS has failed
to do so," said Awad. "The ban on MSM donors perpetuates negative
stereotypes about the queer community and deferrals should be based on
risky behaviour, not someone's sexual identity."
Recently, CBS has gone to extreme lengths to maintain its discriminatory
policies. In 2009, the Superior Court of Ontario heard a case filed by
CBS against Kyle Freeman, a former York University student who did not
present himself as a man who has had sex with another man in order to
give blood. The court agreed that there was insufficient evidence to
justify a lifetime ban on MSM donors.
For more information on the End the Ban campaign visit: www.endtheban.ca
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student
organisation, uniting more than one-half million students in all ten
provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor
organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information:
Adam Awad, National Deputy Chairperson: (613) 979-6622 (mobile)