Court rejects gay blood donor's case

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-7-9 11:22:00

By Li Shuang

A lawsuit filed by a gay man against the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center, which refused his blood donation offer, was rejected by the Haidian district court Thursday. The judge refused to provide a reason for the rejection or issue a written certificate.

A judge surnamed Zhou told Wang Zizheng, a 32-year-old gay man living in Beijing, that the court made the decision after consulting the Beijing High People's Court. Wang told the Global Times that the court refused his request for an official notice of the rejection.

"The court would not tell me for what reason my case was rejected," Wang said. He is currently contemplating the next move. "I believe this regulation is discriminative, but I don't know what to do to change it," Wang added.

According to the Health Examination Standards for Blood Donors, issued by the Ministry of Health and effective as of October 1, 1998, homosexuals and people with multiple sex partners should not donate blood.

"I think this regulation is China's last discriminative regulation against homosexuals," said Li Yinhe, China's leading sexologist and one of the first scholars on homosexuality. "So far, no other effort has been made to change it."

Wang Zizheng was rejected as a candidate for donation when he went to a blood donation center near Xidan Bookstore in Xicheng district, on June 6. He filed a lawsuit against the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center on June 10 for violating his right as a citizen to donate blood (see Global Times report on June 12). He asked for an official apology from the center and to receive his right to donate blood back.

Before the donation, Wang was asked to fill out a form with the question, "Are you homosexual or have you had multiple sexual partners?" Wang indicated he was gay on the form.

In the United States, gay men are banned from donating blood as well. According to a 2007 Associated Press report, "Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating."

In March 2010, 17 US senators wrote to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner requesting that the policy be changed, but an advisory committee voted to uphold the ban in June.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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