Even Brazil sees the benefit of having gay/bi men donate blood.
We’re in the midst of a pandemic. With that, there’s a great need for blood donation as a way to support the medical response to the said pandemic. But in many countries, there is still a donation restriction on men who have sex with other men. Though we’re happy to announce, one of the most recognizably hostile countries to LGBTQ people has enough sense to lower those restrictions.
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Brazil’s Supreme Court has overturned rules that limited gay and bisexual men from donating blood. This decision came after almost a four-year court battle. Seven of the eleven Supreme Court justices voted in favor of eliminating the unconstitutional 12-month ban on men who had sex with other men this past Friday (May 8). Now, there is no waiting time for when gay men can donate. Supreme Court Minister Edson Fachin was especially proud of this decision, as he argued that the wait time offended the basic human dignity of gay and bisexual men.
“Instead of the state enabling these people to promote good by donating blood, it unduly restricts solidarity based on prejudice and discrimination,” wrote Fachin in his vote.
Brazil joins the ranks of many other nations who’ve lowered their own wait times in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This marks yet another interesting facet in Brazil’s LGBTQ rights situation. While the country upholds several LGBTQ rights like gay marriage, it also has very few laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Due to that, Brazil has a large amount of anti-LGBTQ crimes. Plus, the county’s president Jai Bolsonaro is a self-proclaimed “proud homophobe.”
Despite all this, however, some of the government’s officials are sane enough to realize the waste that is a blood donation wait time. They see not only the restrictions on human rights that the wait time inhibits, but also the waste of resources it creates.
“A historical victory for the LGBT population! And the measure benefits everyone who needs donations, as blood stocks are almost always insufficient,” federal politician Samia Bomfim wrote on Twitter after the decision.