Below is an email from Ryan Allen, a MoveOn member who created a petition on SignOn.org, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.
Dear MoveOn member,
Years ago, my grandmother had breast cancer, and while undergoing a double mastectomy, she lost an immense amount of blood and required multiple blood transfusions. Had it not been for those in her community who cared enough to donate their blood, I would not have grown up having a grandmother.
However, even though I am healthy and willing, I can't give blood to help people like my grandmother because I am gay.
This policy was created at the beginning of a tragic epidemic to protect the blood supply, as 30 years ago there were insufficient tests to detect the various antibodies that are created when HIV is present in blood. But today there are 14 tests that all blood donations receive to ensure that the entire blood supply is safe. These tests check for infectious diseases and detect any HIV antibodies present.
The only reason this policy stays on the books is anti-gay bigotry.
This unscientific, discriminatory policy keeps thousands of healthy Americans from donating blood and is preventing innocent children with blood disorders like sickle cell anemia from receiving needed transfusions. Many children are unable to attend school like other children or even die because of the lack of blood supply.
FDA policy states that "anyone that is in danger of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, cannot donate blood." Well, my fellow Americans, that is everyone who is having sex with anyone other than themselves, right?!
Please join with me in calling for an end to this ugly and discriminatory policy, and together let's increase the number of lives saved.
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This email was sent to eddie alfaro on June 14, 2012. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.