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Brazil's supreme court ends gay blood donation restrictions

A 12-month waiting period for men who have sex with men will be scrapped entirely.

2020-05-11

Brazil's supreme court has overturned restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood, in what's being heralded a victory for LGBTQ campaigners in the country.

Seven of 11 justices at the Supreme Federal Court in Brasília voted on Friday (8 May) to end rules banning men who've had sex with men within the previous 12 months from donating blood, the Guardian reports.

The court said the rules were unconstitutional because it imposed restrictions on the basis of sexual orientation.

“Instead of the state enabling these people to promote good by donating blood, it unduly restricts solidarity based on prejudice and discrimination,” supreme court minister Edson Fachin wrote in his vote.

The ruling comes four years after the case originally reached Brazil's supreme court in 2016.

In recent weeks, the United States, Denmark, Hungary and Northern Ireland have all reduced blood donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men from 12 months to three months, as the coronavirus pandemic increases pressure on blood supplies.