Calling Carina Garland MP to address blood donation injustice

From: Michael Barnett OAM <⬛️⬛️⬛️@⬛️⬛️⬛️>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2023 at 18:46
Subject: Addressing blood donation injustice
To: Dr Carina Garland <>
Cc: Gregory Storer <⬛️⬛️⬛️@⬛️⬛️⬛️>

Dear Carina,

We refer to your call in Parliament yesterday for residents of Chisholm to donate blood.

My husband and I live in Chisholm.  We dearly want to be able to donate blood but we are prohibited from doing so because donation rules require we abstain from sex with each other for a period of three months prior to donating blood.  Neither Gregory nor I have HIV.  We take personal responsibility for our health and safety and do not expose ourselves to risky sexual situations.  We are not a risk to the blood supply.

We note the Labor National Conference resolved to support the end of blanket blood donation bans from some within the LGBTI community as well as sex workers. We also note an end to the gay blood ban and the adoption of individual risk assessment has been publicly supported by the Queensland Health minister and Victorian state Liberal member, Matt Bach.

We urge you to advocate for reform to blood donation bans so that exclusion is determined by individual risk rather than the gender of your sexual partners.  Doing so will increase the supply of much needed safe blood.

Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer
⬛️⬛️⬛️ Address redacted ⬛️⬛️⬛️   

Dr GARLAND (Chisholm) (16:18): I recently donated blood at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Donor Centre in Mount Waverley. I thank the wonderful team at the Mount Waverley Donor Centre for inviting me to donate, and for their kindness and dedication to their very important work.

One in three Australians will need blood products in their lifetime, and that means we need a new blood donor every four minutes. One blood donation can save up to three lives. Blood or plasma donations are needed for things like cancer treatment, autoimmune condition, support after traumatic events, surgeries, and neonatal procedures. We have around 4,200 active blood donors in the Chisholm electorate, but thousands more people in our electorate are eligible to donate. People in Chisholm have saved up to 36,108 lives in the past 12 months alone by donating blood. I urge people in my community to become a regular blood donor if they are able to, and to add to this number of lives saved. If you can, please consider giving the gift of life, and donate blood.



Bobby and Danny: victims of religious bigotry

Bobby and Danny are dead.  They were victims of religious bigotry.  They were someone’s sons and now they’re dead.  They’re dead because their families didn’t understand them and let them suffer and die horrible, miserable lonely deaths.  Their families believed they were doing the right thing because of their own selfish religious beliefs.

These deaths were all avoidable.  If the families of these boys told them they loved them irrespective of their sexual orientation they would probably still be alive today, living happy, fulfilling lives.  But they’re gone, forever.  Their memories live on, but that’s a poor compromise.  These were normal boys.  They deserved better of their families.

Ask yourself if upholding your religious beliefs is worth the death of your children.  In 2009 Suicide Prevention Australia released research that showed people who experience same-sex attraction are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.  This statistic is frightening.   Add to this that the situation is exacerbated in religious communities and you have a recipe for disaster.

You owe it to your children to ensure they receive the most loving, accepting environment possible.  Religious intolerance is guaranteed to harm them.  This is proven.  The only way to overcome this is to overcome your prejudices and accept them for the wonderful people they are.

Remember Bobby and Danny and don’t let your children become statistics like them.