Conservative MP pushes health minister to end limits on blood donations from gay men

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11/27/2020

Eric Duncan, the first openly gay Conservative MP, laced into the federal health minister Thursday over the Liberals failure to end a ban on gay men donating blood. In a heated and emotional exchange during a late-night committee hearing in the House of Commons, Duncan pressed Patty Hajdu repeatedly, including a direct question on whether she’d accept a blood donation from him. Hajdu didn’t directly answer, pointing to ongoing work to end a ban on donations from men who have sex with men. Canada banned blood donations from gay men since 1992 before allowing it in 2013 if the donor abstained from sex with another man for at least five years. That was changed to one year in 2016, and then three months in 2019. But the Liberals promised to end the ban completely in both 2015 and 2019. Duncan said there is a desperate need for blood donations during the second wave of COVID-19. “I want to donate and make a difference, but I can’t because I’m gay,” he said. “In the year 2020, why is that?

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