Media Release
Monday December 11th 2023
"As a gay Sydney-sider I want to see my state government do more to remove this archaic ban." - Thomas Buxereau

NSW Health Minister has not followed the lead of Queensland by calling on the federal government to move toward allowing blood donation by gay men, and bisexual men and trans women who have sex with men.

In October the Queensland Health minister, Shannon Fentiman, wrote to her federal counterpart, Mark Butler, asking for Australia to move quickly to allow whole blood donation by gay, bisexual and trans people.

In response NSW Greens health and LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Dr Amanda Cohn MLC, asked the NSW health department if they have done the same. Their answer was that they have not.

Let Us Give spokesperson, Thomas Buxereau, said he is disappointed the NSW Government has done nothing to remove discrimination against him as a Sydney resident who wants to give blood.

"This year's national Labor conference supported gay blood equality, as has the Queensland Health minister, but NSW is dragging its feet."

"As a gay Sydney-sider I want to see my state government do more to remove this archaic ban."

Amanda Cohn said,

"With regular shortages of life-saving blood donations, it's outrageous that Australian governments have continued the practice of excluding entire groups of potential donors because of their sexuality, rather than adopting the international best practice of assessing risk on an individual basis for all potential donors."

An increasing number of countries have removed the three month sexual abstinence period required of gay men before they can donate. They include Canada, the US, the UK and the Netherlands.

However, the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service has proposed that gay, bisexual and trans people only be allowed to donate blood plasma, not whole blood.

Mr Buxereau said the proposal is not a substitute for full blood equality.

"There is no reason for Australia to continue to discriminate in blood donation given the policy of treating all donors equally is working well overseas."

For more information contact Thomas Buxereau on 0415 896 884 on Amanda Cohn's office on (02) 9230 2566.