On February 11, 2003, the Spanish GL organization Fundacion Triangulo sent out a message of alarm that the Spanish Autonomous Communities of Murcia and Cantabria were excluding homosexual and bisexual people (and their sexual partners) from the possibility of donating blood, exclusively because of their sexual preferences.
Statutes of the Murcia Blood Bank previously read that those who "... have had sexual relationships with a homosexual or bisexual male..." must "wait at least one year since the last time you were exposed and only then donate". In the case of Murcia, those who wished to donate blood were provided with a self-exclusion chart that read, "If you indulge or have indulged in any of the following risky practices, do not donate blood... homosexual or bisexual relationships."
IGLHRC joined in by launching an Action Alert on February 24. Hundreds of emails and letters reached the Presidents of both Autonomous Communities. The government of Cantabria agreed to amend the protocols at the Cantabria Blood Bank. But the Murcia government persisted in their discriminatory behavior and the campaign went on.
Finally, on May 23, 2004, the Murcia government sent a letter to Fundacion Triangulo saying that they have decided to amend the self-exclusion chart in such a way that it now reads "... risky sexual practices (multiple partners and relationships with sex workers)..." In other words, it no longer lists homosexual or bisexual relationships as inherently risky. The government also apologized for the damage that the previous statutes might have caused and expressed that it was never their intention to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.
Fundacion Triangulo is encouraging people to send a letter of congratulations to the following authorities:
Published on May 23, 2004 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization