(WB) Israel on Thursday announced it will allow men who have sex with men to donate blood without restrictions.
The Associated Press reported Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who is openly gay, made the announcement.
“Today we removed the degrading and irrelevant questions in the blood donation questionnaire,” wrote Horowitz in his Facebook post. “Every blood donor who comes with the goal of saving a life will receive equal treatment, no matter what his gender or sexual orientation [is], whether he is LGBT or straight.”
A Wider Bridge — a U.S.-based organization that describes itself as “building a movement of LGBTQ people and allies with a strong interest in and commitment to supporting Israel and its LGBTQ communities” — welcomed the announcement.
“This is a landmark moment for the entire LGBTQ community in Israel and a step closer toward equality for everyone,” said A Wider Bridge on its Facebook page.
Israel is the latest country that has lifted restrictions for MSM who want to donate blood.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently allows MSM to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man for three months. The FDA deferral period for MSM before April 2020 was a year.