Moving ahead of
countries like the United States, France, and England,
Russia is lifting its ban on gay male blood donors, the
country's ministry of health and general prosecutor
activists from the group Project GayRussia lobbied for
the change in a letter sent to officials in May. On
September 14, 2001, the minister of health announced
that gays would be lumped together with drug addicts
and prostitutes as groups at high risk for HIV and therefore
would not be permitted to donate blood.
prosecutor recognized that there is nothing in the law
which prevents gays from donating their blood," Nikolai
Alekseev of Project GayRussia told the U.K. gay
advocacy group OutRage! "This is probably the first
positive gain for gay Russians since 1993, which saw
the decriminalization of male homosexuality."
OutRage! the health minister for France announced that his
country is taking steps to lift the prohibition on gay
blood donors as well.
recently hosted the G8 summit in St.
Petersburg, still has a long way to go to catch up with
gay rights advances in other Western nations, however.
In May, Moscow officials refused to sanction a pride
parade in that city, although activists defied them
and marched through the streets despite the lack of a
permit. (The Advocate)