Gay and bisexual men in Greece can now donate blood after the government lifted a ban that had been in place since 1977.
Earlier this month, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris and his deputy Mina Gaga signed a ministerial decree instituting the policy change, which brings in a new form for people to complete when they want to donate blood.
The new form removed homosexual sex acts from the list of things prohibiting people from giving blood. The blood donation document previously banned any man who had sex with another man.
Plevris requested the president of the National Blood Transfusion Center to review the ban soon after he became minister in September 2021.
Alex Patelis, the chief economic adviser to the prime minister of Greece and the first openly gay, high-profile member of Greek government, was quick to donate blood after the ban was lifted.
“An absurd regulation that completely excluded homosexual citizens from becoming blood donors and reproduced stereotypes and prejudices has been abolished,” Patelis tweeted alongside a photo of himself donating blood. “On a personal level I am really moved. I can finally help my fellow human beings who need blood.”
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