I'd like to use this post to give a virtual high-five and my public support to Kyle Freeman, who's making a Charter challenge on the Canadian blood donation laws.
Edit to add, because reading is fundamental: I'd like to make clear, I'm not calling for a boycott. I'm calling for public pressure to be put on the agency to change their rules to something more effective, and I'm personally choosing not to donate. I'm not even encouraging you not to donate; just asking you to consider speaking up about the discrimination here.
In short, the Canadian blood donation system, which has been rocked with repeated scandals in the last couple of decades, doesn't want any of that dirty dirty gay blood. They reject a man outright if he admits to having had sex with another man ever, while failing to reject women for exactly the same thing (unprotected sex with men). Only gay and bi men get the boot from the list of respectable allowable donors.
This is why, in protest, I've not been donating blood to the Canadian services for a number of years in solidarity with my gay and bi brothers, instead sending a letter once a year to urge them to change their discriminatory policy, if they want my sweet sweet queerbait AB- to start flowing into their little baggies again.
See, if blood from gay and bi folk is too suspect to use, then you don't want mine, cause I'm queer as fuck and proud of it. And I've had sex with men, ever.
This outdated ban, of dubious medical value, needs to end, and the highlight put on people who engage in HIV-high-risk activities: anyone having unprotected sex with men, those who engage in needle-sharing, and so on, not on entire classes of people because some of them may do things which are high risk. In Canada, we call that "discrimination", and it's against the Charter of Rights.
Canadians can contact the Canadian Blood Services by the following means:
* toll-free telephone: 1 888 2 DONATE
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
* mail: Canadian Blood Services, 1800 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 4J5.
If I find any place to be able to donate to help Mr. Freeman in his challenge, I'll pass that link along.
Teaspoons up, my fellow maple-flavoured Shakers! o.oP