Researcher James Larkin writes in The Journal about the discriminatory treatment of gay people in Ireland who wish to donate blood.
Twenty four years after homosexuality was decriminalised [in the Irish Republic], the lifetime ban on men who have had sex with men donating blood was lifted.
It was replaced by a one year ’deferral’ so that if a man has had protected or unprotected anal or oral sex with another man in the last year then they cannot give blood.
One discriminatory rule is replaced by another discriminatory rule under the pretext of safety and practicality…..
It is not men having sex with men that should be of concern to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, but risky sexual behaviour.
It is a very good article, but I am not sure that monitoring sexual behaviour and educating society is within the remit of a blood transfusion service. Surely the onus is on all of us to help all the people we know or serve understand the risks and behave sensibly so that they can enjoy their sexuality and the rest of their life without putting themselves in danger.
Uncredited | RTÉ r
More than 200 people, many belonging to the transgender community in Ireland, marched towards the Irish Parliament asking for better healthcare services for people who are seeking gender reassignment treatment. Current services are “unacceptable” and are falling behind other countries in the developed world, they say, calling on the HSE to engage with a model of “informed consent”.
Many transgender people in Ireland want to end the requirement for anyone seeking gender reassignment treatment having to receive a medical diagnosis.
RTÉ says that
It is estimated that 45,000 people in Ireland identify as transgender, although not all will seek gender reassignment treatment.
Uncredited photographer/RTÉ | 17198
In a story which seems to sum up the year perfectly, RTÉ reports:
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer has married his long-term partner Conchobar Ó Laoghaire in a civil ceremony.
Mr Buttimer was Fine Gael’s only openly gay TD before Leo Varadkar came out in advance of the marriage equality referendum in 2015.
The Taoiseach and his partner were among the friends and family of the couple in attendance at the ceremony at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork City.
Gay Activist sends congratulations.
Gary Daly has told how he was attacked and beaten by up to ten thugs for kissing another lad on a date in a pub in the Republic of Ireland.
Gary Daly, 32, was in a pub in Sligo with the other victim when they were viciously set upon. Gary was left with scars to his face after being head-butted, punched and bitten by a gang of 8 to 10 men.
Mr Varadkar (centre, in jeans) | Peter Morrison/Press Association | 17146
Attending Belfast Pride yesterday, Republic of Ireland Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is “only a matter of time” until same sex marriage is legalised in Northern Ireland. Earlier, he attended a Gay Pride breakfast meeting at the Northern Whig bar in Belfast where he met gay members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, pictured, and others.
The DUP did not oppose Mr Varadkar’s attendence at the event, but a small group of Free Presbyterians staged a protest across the road.
Asked if he believed gay marriage would be introduced in the North, Mr Varadkar – who is openly gay – replied: “I do, I think it’s only a matter of time. Of course, the decision is for the Northern Ireland Assembly. But I am confident that like other western European countries they will make that decision in due course.”
Leo Varadkar | Cyril Byrne | 17103
Congratulations to Leo Varadkar who has been elected the new leader of the Republic of Ireland’s Fine Gael party and will consequently become the youngest and first openly gay taoiseach, ten years after entering politics.
In 2015, Mr. Varadkar was widely praised for bravery and honesty when he became the first Irish government minister to come out. His stand is credited with bolstering the successful gay marriage “yes” referendum campaign, making Ireland the first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote.
Mr. Varadkar was born in Dublin in 1979, and is the son of an Irish Catholic nurse from County Waterford and a Hindu doctor from Mumbai, India. His parents met in England in the 1960s and lived in India for a time before moving to Ireland.
The Irish Republic’s Charities Regulatory Authority has appointed inspectors to carry out a statutory investigation into GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. Glen announced last week it will close following a review of its operations.
The CRA emphasised that the opening of a statutory investigation is not in itself a finding of any wrongdoing, and the scope of the investigation will include the administration, governance and financial management of the charity by Glen’s trustees and whether charitable assets have been used exclusively for charitable purposes and can be accounted for.