Brazil’s Supreme Court overturns rules limiting gay men from donating blood

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Brazil’s Supreme Court has overturned rules that limit gay and bisexual men from donating blood in a decision considered a human rights victory for LGBT+ people in the country.

The move came as more nations review restrictions on blood donations imposed during the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis, with some countries imposing blanket bans, some waiting periods after gay sex, and others — like Italy — having no limitations at all.

After almost four years in court, seven of 11 Supreme Court justices voted on Friday in favour of overthrowing guidelines that barred men who had sex with other men from giving blood for 12 months, ending any waiting time.

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The Supreme Court said the ban was unconstitutional as it imposed restrictions on gay and bisexual men, backing Supreme Court Minister Edson Fachin who argued this offended the basic human dignity of gay and bisexual men.

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“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.

The decision comes after several nations have relaxed rules on blood donations in recent weeks as supplies face mounting pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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