VILNIUS, May 02, BNS – Lithuania has changed the existing rules for homosexual blood donors after new amendments drafted by the country's Health Ministry came into force on May 1.
From now on, a special questionnaire donors are required to fill in at the country's blood centers will no longer include question about homosexual relations for men. All donors will be asked the same question about unprotected sexual relations they have had in the last six months.
These changes were presented on Monday by Tomas Vytautas Raskevicius, an openly gay lawmaker and member of the parliamentary the Human Rights Committee and the country's National Blood Center.
"By making it possible for homosexuals to become blood donors, Lithuania is coming out of the fear and closed-mindedness that date back to the Soviet era. A person's ability to become a blood donor is not determined by their sexual orientation but by their behavior and health," Raskevicius said in a statement.
Currently, there are no question discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in Italy, Spain, Hungary, Russia, South Africa, Argentina and Russia.
The NBC figures show 2.35 thousand liter of blood on average are donated every month in Lithuania.