Israel allowed gays in the military years before America and it looks like the country might beat the U.S. in lifting the complete ban on homosexual men donating blood, too. Last week, Labor Party chair M.K. Shelly Yachimovich asked Health Ministry director Dr. Roni Gamzu and Eli Bin, CEO of Magen David Adom’s National Blood Bank, to alter the country’s current policy:
“The question about sex between men, without asking the donor whether he had had unprotected sex, is a serious deficiency,” Yachimovich wrote. “Under such circumstances, there is a significant risk of AIDS infection even among heterosexuals, yet the questionnaire doesn’t address this and creates the mistaken and dangerous impression that AIDS is a ‘homosexual disease.'”
Next month, the ministry will discuss altering the policy to allow blood banks to accept donations from men who haven’t had what Haaretz refers to as “same-sex intercourse” in at least a decade. Currently any homo who has engaged in what the Ministry defines as “homosexual relations” since 1977 is disqualified.
First of all, the language being bandied about is distressingly vague: Can we use grown-up words like “anal sex,” please? Or would a gay man who’s only ever performed oral sex be denied for having had “homosexual relations”?
Leave it to heteros to be coy about what constitutes intercourse.
Secondly, if the change passes, it’ll be a positive symbol but we can’t see it having much practical importance: How many gay men stopped fucking ten years ago?
Okay, it’s been a while for us, but not that long!