The Léger ruling as another example of the ECJ’s disappointingly reticent approach to the protection of the rights of LGB persons under EU law
Tryfonidou, A. (2016) The Léger ruling as another example of the ECJ’s disappointingly reticent approach to the protection of the rights of LGB persons under EU law. European Law Review, 41 (1). pp. 91-104. ISSN 0307-5400
In the 1980s, in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, many countries introduced lifetime bans on blood donations by men who had sexual relations with men (MSM). These blanket bans have, recently, begun to be challenged and, as a result, many countries have either relaxed them or completely abolished them. The case under examination (Léger ) is another instance of questioning the legality of such a ban. In particular, in this case, the European Court of Justice was called on to rule on whether a measure such as the French lifetime exclusion from blood donation of the MSM population that was at issue before the referring court is contrary to EU law. The Court ruled that although discriminatory on the ground of sexual orientation, such a ban may be justified in certain circumstances, and left it to the national court to make the final decision. This article seeks to analyse the case and to explain why, in the author’s view, the Court can be accused of—once more—not going far enough in the protection of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) rights.