Bad blood? The Belgian Constitutional Court ruling on gay and bisexual blood ban

In  September 2019, the Belgian Constitutional Court (‘BCC’) reviewed the constitutionality of a law setting up a 12-month blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men (MSM). Like other European countries, Belgium converted a permanent ban on gay and bisexual male blood donors to the requirement of a temporary deferral period. This conversion took place in the wake of a European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) judgement. In Léger, the ECJ established criteria determining the compatibility of such bans with the non-discrimination prohibition. Applying these, the BCC mostly left the deferral period in place.

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