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France Not Permitted to Ban Blood Donations from Gay Men

LUXEMBOURG : Institutions Europeennes + Ville

The European Court of Justice had an official issue a rule that said French authorities cannot exclude sexually active gay men from giving blood donations, according to Breitbart.

An Advocate General from the court, Paolo Mengozzi, issued his opinion on Thursday. It came after a challenge from Geoffrey Leger, a homosexual. Leger challenged a French law that permanently excludes men who have or had sexual relations with other men from donating their blood.

The court was asked by a lower one if this permanent exclusion is compatible with the EU directive that says “that persons whose sexual behaviour puts them at high risk of contracting severe infectious diseases that can be transmitted by blood are permanently excluded from giving blood.”

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The opinion from Mengozzi is not binding on the court, but the majority of the time will be followed by other judges. The opinion said “a sexual relationship between two men does not, in or of itself alone, constitute conduct that justifies permanent exclusion from giving blood.”

Mengozzi also said that the directive does not define what “sexual behaviour” is, which means that it might “be defined by the sexual practices and habits of the individual concerned, in other words, by the specific circumstances in which sexual relations take place.”

He continued, saying “that the mere fact that a man has had, or has, sexual relations with another man does not constitute, within the meaning of the directive, ‘sexual behaviour’ warranting permanently excluding that man from giving blood.”

He concluded that even though the French law appears to regard male homosexual activity “as an irrebuttable presumption of exposure to high risk,” the wording for the law is “too broadly and too generically.”

Mengozzi continued with the following in his ruling: “The French law obviously introduces indirect discrimination on the combined bases of gender (male) and sexual orientation (homosexuality and bisexuality).”

“For example, there is no specific contraindication for a woman whose partner might have or have had sexual relations with other men.”

He concluded with, “a person whose partner is HIV-positive is subject only to a temporary contraindication of four months, although, in such a case, the risk exposure is real.”

Advocate General of European Court of Justice Rules Against French Law by

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