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Advocate-General rules France’s MSM lifetime blood ban is unjustifiable

Another Advocate-General’s opinion, which is particularly relevant to local government, is that of A-G Mengozzi in a French case involving a lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

A-G Mengozzi opined that France’s lifetime ban is not justifiable stating that it was too broad and generic.  He said that consideration needed to be given to individual sexual behaviour, and not simply sexual orientation, 

‘By definitively excluding every man who has had, or has, sexual relations with another man from giving blood, the French legislation introduces obvious indirect discrimination on the combined bases of gender (men) and of sexual orientation (homosexuality and bisexuality).’

While A-G Mengozzi's opinion is not binding on the ECJ, the positions of advocate generals are frequently adopted by the court. If the justices back his opinion, France could be forced to drop its ban.

In relation to the position here, the Health Minister has lodged an appeal of the decision of the High Court last year which ruled that Northern Ireland’s current ban on gay men giving blood was ‘irrational’.

Click here to read an article by Pink News on the French case.

LGBT, Local Developments