A DUNFERMLINE councillor has called for an end to a “homophobic” blood ban that he likened to a “relic from the 1980s” and scare stories about Aids.

James Calder urged the Scottish Government to review restrictions that prevent gay or bisexual men, who have had sexual intercourse with a man within three months, from giving a blood donation.

The petition launched by the Fife Liberal Democrats argues it’s discriminatory to prohibit blood donations based on sexual orientation rather than sexual behaviour.

Cllr Calder, who represents Dunfermline South, said: “The blood ban is a relic from the 1980s and unfairly stigmatises gay men. The fact is that if gay men either practice safe sex or are within a loving relationship their blood is not going to be any less safe than heterosexual people’s.”

“The Scottish Government needs to review this ban- it effectively bans a lot of gay men from giving blood and I view it as homophobic.

“At a time when we need as many people to give blood as possible, it is ludicrous that we maintain this ban.

“It was heartening to see the level of support for ending the ban at another brilliant Fife Pride this year with a huge response to our petition to end the blood ban.”

Fears over infections through blood donations from gay men led to an outright ban during the Aids epidemic.

It wasn’t until 2011 that the law shifted allowing them to donate if they had abstained from sex for 12 months. That was further brought down to three months in 2017.

Lib Dem campaigner for Dunfermline Central Aude Boubaker-Calder added: “The blood ban is discriminatory and it should apply the same rules for everybody, whatever their gender or sexual orientation.

“We should look forward and demand that the Scottish Government adopt a 21st-century position on blood donation.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to promoting LGBTI equality.

“In relation to blood donation, we follow the advice of the independent UK Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).

“In 2017, the donation deferral period was reduced from 12 months to three months following recommendations from SaBTO, based on the latest scientific evidence.

“We recognise this means many gay men who would like to donate are still not able to.

“The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is currently working with colleagues in England on a research project to consider viable alternatives that could enable more men to donate, for example through individualised assessment.”