Today, the TRUSU Equity Committee sent 853 postcard petitions from the TRU community to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor urging her and her government to fulfill their promise to “end the discriminatory ban that prevents men who have sex with men from donating blood.”
The Committee was out on campus in September raising awareness of the government’s 2015 election promise and collecting petitions calling on the government to end this ban that they themselves described as “ignoring scientific evidence,” and as “stigmatizing donor-screening policy.”
“We were pleased to receive such an enthusiastic endorsement from the campus community for our End the Ban campaign,” said Caitlin Orteza, TRUSU Vice President Equity. “We had some excellent conversations with students, faculty, and staff about this issue and well exceeded our 500 petition goal.”
Currently, there is a 1-year ‘deferral period’ for men who have sex with men based on historical homophobic stereotypes and attitudes that all men who have sex with men engage in high-risk sexual activities. The End the Ban campaign instead proposes that Health Canada, Canadian Blood Services, and Héma-Québec move towards a behaviour based model of donation screening like many other nations such as Spain, Italy, or Chile, and away from a blanket ban based on one’s identity.
“We’d like to thank the TRU community for their participation and support,” concluded Orteza. “It’s through your political engagement that we can make positive change in our community.”
For additional information about the launch of the campaign, click here.
About the Equity Committee
The TRUSU Equity Committee is a group of eight elected and appointed students who work to raise awareness about the systemic oppression of marginalized communities in society, and to challenge that oppression on campus.
For more information, contact:
 Liberal Party of Canada. “Platform: Ending MSM Blood Donation Ban.” liberal.ca/realchange/ending-msm-blood-donation-ban/. 2015