Every 9th of November, the Health Ministry of the City of Buenos Aires in Argentina observes the annual "Volunteer Blood Donor National Day" to promote recognition of those who have donated blood throughout the year and to promote future blood donations.
Just as in the United States, gays are barred from donating blood in Argentina so yesterday members of the Youth Area program of the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina disrupted the official event and plastered walls with signs that read "I can't because I am gay."
In a statement that tagged the gay-ban policy as discriminatory, the group said that the policy was based on outdated concepts that segregate all gay men into "risk groups" instead of taking a look at "risk behaviors" not only by men who have sex with men but also by anyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
"We expect that the proper measures are taken to guarantee the employment of valid and trustworthy scientific criteria in the donation of blood," the statement reads; "We demand that the State stop using homophobia as institutionalized criteria in any regulation, which, in this case, results in restricting the altruistic right to donate blood and to help those that need it."
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