Tuesday, September 21st | 15 Tishri 5782

August 19, 2021 10:11 am

Israeli Health Minister Ends Ban on Blood Donations From Gay Men

avatar by i24 News

Meretz Party head Nitzan Horowitz participates in an event in Beersheva on Feb. 29, 2020. Photo: Flash90.

i24 News – Israel’s Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Thursday morning that all restrictions on blood donation by gay men will be lifted soon.

“The discrimination against gay men who donate blood is over,” Horowitz tweeted.

“When I became minister, I ordered the removal of degrading and irrelevant questions from the questionnaire on blood donations, which are the remnants of a stereotype from history,” he said.

Horowitz, who is the second openly gay MP in Knesset history, added that the road to Thursday’s decision has been long.

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“For years we have tried to get rid of [the restrictions] and now we have finally succeeded,” he wrote. “There is no difference between blood and blood. It is a historic step forward for equal rights for the LGBT community in Israel.”

The minister said all restrictions will be lifted from October 1.

Instead of a question about same-sex sexual contact, the questionnaire will simply advise all donors to wait three months “after high-risk sex with a new partner or multiple partners.”

The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel welcomed the announcement.

“Ending discrimination in blood donations is a historic step for the gay community and for Israeli society on the road to equality,” the organization said in a statement. “The blood of hundreds of thousands of citizens is not second class.”

The organization thanked Horowitz “for this important decision, which eliminates outdated stereotypes towards the gay community.”

The decision comes five years after the Health Ministry ended a ban on Ethiopian Israelis donating blood.

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