More LGBT MPs, fewer Bi MPs

photo: Houses of Parliament

photo: Houses of ParliamentBi Community News reports that following the General Election the UK has fewer bisexual MPs – down to just one openly bisexual Member of Parliament.

During the campaign polls had suggested there would be bi MPs on the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat benches, but the last-minute swing cost both Lib Dem and Labour the crucial seats.

BiCon’s planning a Ball

bicon-2015-logo2This year’s BiCon Ball theme has been announced by the 2015 team.

BiCon’s fabulous Saturday night Ball is always much anticipated. This year, we’ll excel ourselves. Inspired by our Nottingham location, the theme is “The Magic Forest”.

As part of this year’s theme, there’ll be…

  • A Mysterious Magician doing actual magic
  • The Magic Forest treasure trail
  • Trees of gifts and blessings
  • A giant dressing-up box
  • Forest snacks, including plenty of cake.

For those who like to wear a costume, some ideas:

  • Animals: wolves and wild boar, woodpeckers and jaguars
  • Trees, plants and flowers from forests around the world
  • Magical beings: dryads, gnomes, faeries, goblins
  • Characters from forest stories: Robin Hood, Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, A Midsummers’ Night’s Dream.

The organisers add that they need:

  • Crafters and artists to help with decor
  • Body painters and performers
  • Help getting hold of real or fake foliage
  • Outdoor fairy lights
  • People to help set up on the day.

Please email 2015@bicon.org.uk if you can help.

The Saturday night party has had a theme each year since the 2003 and 2004 teams decided in parallel to incorporate that for their BiCon Saturday plans.

Dressing for the theme isn’t obligatory but perhaps a third of attendees do.

Find out more here.

 

ECJ neutral on blood ban

European Union Flag

European Union FlagThe European Court of Justice has ruled that blood donation bans on men who have sex with men may be justifiable and are a matter for member states to reconcile with anti-discrimination laws.

Practice varies widely across the 28 countries with some having no restrictions on blood donation based on sexual orientation and behaviour, some having lifetime bans, and others – like the UK since 2011 – having time limits. In Wales, Scotland and England, gay and bi men and their partners are barred from donating unless they have not had sex for 12 months, while in Northern Ireland there is a life ban.

The ruling came following an appeal from a man whose blood donation offer was refused in France and reflects a balance between epidemiological evidence and latest best testing techniques.

Their published ruling declares that

“(T)he Court rules that, although the permanent deferral provided for in French law helps to minimise the risk of transmitting an infectious disease to recipients and, therefore, to the general objective of ensuring a high level of human health protection, the principle of proportionality might not be respected. It is possible that HIV may be detected by effective techniques able to ensure a high level of health protection for recipients.

“The national court will have to verify whether such techniques exist, it being understood that the tests must be carried out in accordance with the most recent scientific and technical procedures.

“If there are no such techniques, the Tribunal administrative de Strasbourg will have to ascertain whether there are less onerous methods of ensuring a high level of health protection for recipients other than permanent deferral from blood donation and, in particular, whether the questionnaire and the individual interview with a medical professional are able to identify high risk sexual behaviour more accurately.”

However with recent HIV detection techniques effective just weeks after infection it will be surprising if the French courts are able to defend the life ban.

Help promote BiCon 2015

BICON-ljBiCon Nottingham have printed a big pile of flyers – can you help distribute them?

The A6 (postcard) size leaflets are ready to go, they just need homes to go to.  Leaflet racks in community centres, LGBT venues, bookshops, noticeboards, or wherever else you might think up.  Be sure to ask the venue first though!

The team will post you some for free. Just fill in the flyer request form

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