Topic

LGBT rights

584 petitions

Update posted 17 hours ago

Petition to Will Schofield

Allow transgender boy to run for Prom King

Last week, the Johnson High School administration was informed by the Hall County Schools superintendent, Will Schofield, that Dex Frier, a transgender male, must be removed from the Prom King ballot. The solution, proposed by Mr. Schofield, was to allow Dex a choice between being listed on the Prom Queen ballot or to be removed from both ballots. Prior to Mr. Schofield's interference, we, the Johnson High School student body, elected Dex Frier to represent us as a male member on Prom Court—this was a free-response, purely democratic election system in which Dex was one of six males who received the most votes. Not only are we confused at this decision, but we are severely disappointed in the Hall County School Board. The two core beliefs of Hall County Schools are outlined on their webpage: “The Most Caring Place On Earth” and “Character, Competency, and Rigor…For All.” The decision made by Mr. Schofield fails to reflect either core value of Hall County Schools and is rather an exposition of a transphobic attitude that endangers many more than just Dex. This petition is absent of any malicious intentions, rather, it is a medium in which Hall County students, and students across the globe, can demonstrate solidarity in the fight for human rights regardless of gender, race, class, or any other perceived difference. Our request is simple: allow Dex Frier to remain as a male member of Johnson High School's Prom Court. I hope that you stand with us, that you stand with Dex, against the transphobic attitude of Hall County Schools. 

Sam Corbett
15,816 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Food and Drug Administration, Donald Trump, President of the United States, Brian Higgins

Encourage the FDA to Review Blood Donation Policies that discriminate against Gay & Bi men.

The FDA's Current Guidance on Blood Donations for Gay and Bi-Sexual men is discriminatory and arbitrary leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so.It needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect current science and HIV testing capabilities to determine one individual donor's risk to the donor pool. And each unit of blood donated in the U.S. is routinely screened for various infectious disease pathogens, including five transfusion–transmitted viruses, using nine laboratory tests which makes the restrictions on donations by gay and bi men unnecessary and discriminatory. Jordan's Journey: Worthless is how I felt after I went to donate blood in October of 2015 shortly after I found out that I have Fatty Liver-Disease, a disease that often requires a liver transplant later in life. I wanted to pay it forward in case I would need a transplant and the accompanying blood transfusions, but I was turned away. At the time, I was unaware of the FDA’s guidance that indefinitely deferred gay & bi-sexual men, or men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. I felt as if I was a 2nd class citizen - as if my blood was not worth anything. Outraged by this policy, I began researching the issue and founded the “Blood is Blood” movement. On December 14th, 2015 I planned a community rally in Buffalo, N.Y. with Congressman Brian Higgins, to push for a change to the policy that is discriminatory towards gay & bi-sexual men - leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so. Shortly after the Community Rally, in January 2016, the FDA released an updated guidance on this policy, replacing the lifelong ban with a 12-month deferral period. The revised guidance removed the blanket discrimination and merely applied a bandage. The revised guidance is still discriminatory towards the gay & bi-sexual community and while a step in the right direction it was not enough. In June 2016, my heart (like many) was stricken by the hate and violence of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I, like many, wanted to help my community and donate blood. People flooded blood banks all over the country to donate lifesaving blood to help those injured. While many gay & bi-sexual men were unaware of the FDA policy, they showed up to to donate and were turned away. At this point, I knew that something had to change. We cannot keep having this conversation after every mass shooting or disaster about how this policy leaves countless healthy donors unable to save lives. I had to act, so I contacted the American Red Cross in Buffalo, NY and organized the First Gay Alliance Blood drive that took place on July 27th, 2016 with the mission to raise awareness and spark conversation about this absurd policy. I encouraged men whom were prevented from donating (due to being gay or bi-sexual) to bring a friend to donated on their behalf, as this way lives can still be saved. I started this movement to save lives and affect change. That day was amazing as 53 donors came forth and helped save over 159 lives. I decided to make this an annual event and at the 2nd annual Gay Alliance Blood drive on July 26th, 2017, I vowed a year of celibacy so I could become a blood donor in 2018. Abstaining from sex for a year would be difficult, but I did so to spark a community conversation about the FDAs antiquated guidance.. Last month, my year of celibacy came to end and I proudly donated blood at the 3rd Annual Gay Alliance Blood Drive - a milestone for me, an accomplishment at least It felt like at the time, after all, I donated blood, right? It was not that simple; I soon realized that nothing had changed. I was still that gay man whose blood was not good enough unless I stopped living my life. My year abstaining from sex was very difficult. There was many nights I felt depressed and closed off from the world, afraid that I would put myself in a situation that would ruin my year celibacy. I cut off contact with men whom I had feelings for, essentially putting my life on hold. While I do not regret my year of celibacy, with the FDA’s guidance that requires gay & bi-sexual men to abstain from sex for 12 months is detrimental to the mental health of the gay & bi-sexual community. In 2016, the FDA said they would continually review this policy, since then, nothing has changed. The policy should be based on one individual donor risks based on current science. The deferral period should be no longer than 30 days. Current testing technology enables an HIV infection to be detected in donated blood within several weeks of exposure. Even those subjected to the deferral period should be screened by their individual sexual history, not discriminated towards because they belong to one group. This is similar to the policy adopted in Italy in 2001 where donors are assessed individually with questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Currently, The Williams Institute calculates that there could be at least an additional 600,000 MSM potential - saving over 1,800,000 lives annually if there was no 12 month deferral period. At the local Gay Alliance Blood Drives I have planned, there would have had an additional 134 donors, saving an estimated 402 lives! I encourage you to do your part by contacting local state and federal officials about this antiquated policy and learn more about “Blood is Blood” and our mission at http://bloodisblood.us

Blood is Blood
1,958 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Sheila Jackson Lee

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

When I was in high school, I was verbally and sexually abused by members of my family. At 16, I finally gathered enough courage to leave. I was terrified I would not survive and that my abusers would follow me. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allowed me to get a restraining order, which I believe saved my life. But the VAWA — which provides critical services to women across the country — continues to be *temporarily* renewed at each spending bill deadline, but Congress still has not fully reauthorized the bill.  Will you add your name now to tell the House Judiciary Committee that they must vote to fully reauthorize the VAWA? When I went into the courtroom and told my story to the judge, I was granted a fully enforceable protective order against the abusive members of my family. If they came near me, they would be arrested. The people who had victimized me for my entire life were no longer above the law. With one piece of paper, the government gave me the first step in getting my life and my freedom back. Before the VAWA, the type of access, help and fully enforceable document I was granted simply did not exist. The legislation helps ensure victims who come looking for help are listened to, believed, and given the protection they need to sleep at night and thrive in a life free of their abuser. More often than not, sexual assault victims are not treated as victims. We are treated the opposite — like we did something wrong. We are cross-examined even though we are not on trial. We are doubted first — not believed. We are mocked for our lack of memory, nerves, and PTSD. Rarely are we offered help, assistance, or simply asked if we are OK. The first time this ever changed for me was with my experience seeking a protective order. The legislation passed by the VAWA is helping to bridge the gap between victims and law enforcement; making it easier for them to understand what victims go through and help them accordingly, obtain the resources they need to help, and guarantee the protections that victims deserve and desperately need. Don’t let our country take such a drastic step backward. Call your reps. Demand this legislation be fully reauthorized. Survivor’s protection is not a bargaining chip. Sign this petition to let your representatives know you support survivors and want to make sure they can rely on the protections and resources granted to them in the VAWA.

Jessica Kovac
54,272 supporters