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Minister of Health can decide on deferral period from giving blood for males who have sex with other males

On 16th March 2016 the Court of Appeal made a ruling that the Northern Ireland Minister of Health is the correct person to make a decision on the appropriate deferral period from giving blood for males who have sex with other males.

Health, LGBT

Stena Line unfair dismissal case to be reheard

In a case covered in a previous Update, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal
has ordered a new hearing in the Industrial Tribunal finding last year that
Martin Shiel was unfairly dismissed.

The Industrial Tribunal had awarded Mr Shiel £37,500 for unfair dismissal and
a further £7,500 for unlawful harassment on the grounds of his sexual
orientation.  While the finding of harassment was not appealed, Stena Line
appealed the unfair dismissal aspect and on 8th October the Court of Appeal

Employment Law, LGBT, Local Developments

Equality Commission intervenes in dispute involving a Christian-owed bakery

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has granted assistance to a complainant to pursue a challenge against a bakery who refused to bake a cake bearing the slogan ‘Support gay marriage.’

The Christian owner of the bakery said that he considered the slogan on the cake to be ‘ odds with what the Bible teaches’ and stressed that this was not the first time the company had refused a customer’s order,                                                        

LGBT, Local Developments

Advocate-General rules France’s MSM lifetime blood ban is unjustifiable

Another Advocate-General’s opinion, which is particularly relevant to local government, is that of A-G Mengozzi in a French case involving a lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

A-G Mengozzi opined that France’s lifetime ban is not justifiable stating that it was too broad and generic.  He said that consideration needed to be given to individual sexual behaviour, and not simply sexual orientation, 

LGBT, Local Developments

Stena Line ordered to pay £45,000 to unfairly dismissed victim of homophobic abuse

Mr Martin Shiel has been awarded compensation of £45,000 against Stena Line, his former employer.  The Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal found that Mr Shiel was the victim of discrimination and harassment at work on the grounds of his sexual orientation.  The Tribunal also upheld Mr Shiel’s complaint that he had been unfairly dismissed, following an incident involving him and another member of staff who had been taking part in the homophobic abuse. 


India’s Supreme Court recognises transgender people as third gender

India’s Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgment creating a third gender category that allows transgendered people to identify themselves as such on official documents.  Prior to the judgment, transgendered people in India had to identify themselves as either male or female. 

The Supreme Court ordered the government to include transgendered people in all welfare programmes for the poor, including education and jobs.  Justice KS Radhakrishan, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench, stated: