Gay Blood Deemed Ok – As Long As You’re Monogamous. Is This A Win?

Photo by Amornthep Srina from Pexels

You enter the booth, sit down, and get ready to spill all your personal history.  Well, you did that one time in high school when you wanted to give blood, but you were soon turned away because you had sex with a man after 1979. 

When it comes time to answer the questions from the Red Cross, I’ve never personally done it because I don’t like the sight of blood.  But what I have done is run many blood banks. As a high school teacher from 1996 to 2006 and the advisor for many different clubs and classes, it would always fall onto me to run the school’s blood drives.  It would also fall onto me to counsel the many gay boys that had a conscience and answered the questions correctly.  The would look at me and be furious that singling them out because of their sexuality was wrong.

Photo from the St George News (2013)

Here we are 25 year later.  Besides me realizing I am old, it’s also a reality that times have not changed.  The gays are still deemed as dirty sexual beings and straight people only have sex with one partner and just to procreate. Straight people are so clean, well except that guzzler you’ve been doing for 5 years, sending him every weekend back to his apartment he shares with his pit bull and his girlfriend.

Hold the phone, Netherlands has decided in a half a year that they will consider receiving donated blood from gay men that are in monogamous relationships. Yes, thank you morality police, we know the rest of the gays are whores or are in open relationships, but if you are in a monogamous relationship, we’ll take your donation. I wonder if they have a category for monogamous throuples? 

The Dutch government has announced their morality stance on gay people.  I wonder, do they ask straight people if they are in a monogamous relationship or if they expect men to say their sleeping around on their wives with other women or men?

Strict blood donation rules for gay men in the Netherlands

For years, gay men in countries around the world have been prevented from being able to donate blood because of the perceived increased risk of them carrying blood-borne infections. Not too long ago, the Netherlands made an exception for men who hadn’t been in a sexual relationship for at least one year – this was reduced to four months in 2019.

But, following research conducted by blood bank Sanquin, the government has decided to expand the donor opportunities for men in the Netherlands. Sanguine concluded that the rule change wouldn’t endanger the safety of the blood supply, and will continue to investigate whether homosexual men without a steady partner could also become blood donors in the future. 

So yeah, I’ve shared my disgust with the issue altogether, but those in the Netherlands are content with this new monogamous ruling. Most of us across the world were semi okay with the abstinence for a year when many nations adopted it (see Australia’s Red Cross documentation below).

Back in 2019, the COC,  a Dutch gay rights organization – originally stood for Cultuur en Ontspanningscentrum (Center for Culture and Leisure) – initially expressed their disappointment in the government’s decision to continue to limit the blood donation opportunities for gay men in their nation. With this new monogamy option, COC has claimed it as a breakthrough

“We are fortunate that this painful form of distinction between gay, bisexual and heterosexual men is now coming to an end.” – chairman Astrid Oosenbrug.

Is it a breakthrough? I would have to ask someone who has been to a blood donation center and see what kind of questions they ask.  Do they accept blood from straight people that are not in a monogamous relationship?  I think if all the questions were equal and fair, then I would be a happy camper. 

“I believe that people’s behavior should be decisive when donating blood and not someone’s sexuality. It is therefore important that men who are in a steady relationship with another man can now also donate blood. We are not there yet, but this is a step in the right direction.”  That was a statement by Acting Minister for Medical Care, Tamara van Ark. 

 


This article contains opinions and personal experiences of this writer and may not reflect those opinions of other writers or the magazine.

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