Blood donation: China court rejects gay lawsuit
Beijing: A court in Beijing has thwarted attempts by a Chinese man to sue a Red Cross centre in the capital after his blood donation was turned down because he was gay, state media reported Thursday.
The man, an editor identified by his pen name Wang Zizheng, filed the lawsuit last month at a court in Haidian in northwest Beijing, in what state media said was the first such case in China.
But according to the state-run Beijing Times, an official at the court told Wang on Wednesday that his case had been rejected, without giving him a reason.
When he went to donate blood in early June, Wang said he was gay in a health questionnaire and was then told he could not be a donor, previous reports said.
According to regulations issued by China`s health ministry and published by the national blood transfusion association, "homosexuals and those with multiple sex partners" cannot be donors.
Wang, who said he had been the victim of discrimination, was seeking an apology from the blood centre and permission to become a donor. Huang Yizhi -- his lawyer -- and court officials were not immediately available for comment.
Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder in China until 2001, and gays still face crushing social and family pressure, despite gradual steps towards greater acceptance. Experts estimate there are about 30 million gays and lesbians in China -- 2.3 percent of the population -- but observers say the number could be higher as many still refuse to come out.
In December last year, the government warned that homosexual transmission of HIV/AIDS was gaining pace.
According to the Beijing Times, Wang said that despite this setback, he will "not give up on his duties" and would seek justice through other means.