WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will join the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and other community organizations to present a special blood drive event: “Include Inform Inspire — An Inclusive Blood Drive, Festival and Speakers Forum.” The event will collect blood from eligible donors, honor those who can’t donate for themselves, encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reexamine its permanent deferral on blood donation from men who have sex with men (MSM), and provide expert speakers on the status of the ban.

The event will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. It will differ from typical blood drives in several important ways:

1) Include: Standard blood drives offer incentives solely to blood donors, but don’t allow everyone to participate.  This drive will also offer incentives to those who recruit blood donors, allowing everyone to participate. Participants who are unable to donate for themselves will also be honored.

2) Inform: The Inclusive Blood Drive will educate people about the FDA’s permanent deferral preventing gay men from donating blood, about HIV/AIDS issues, about decreasing the stigmatization of those affected, and about related transgender issues. The policy to be highlighted at the event was implemented by the FDA in 1983.

3) Inspire: The Inclusive Blood Drive will advocate for a deferral policy based on behavior instead of orientation via an online petition, and will endorse proper guidelines for donations from transgender people, so that they are not turned away based solely on gender identity.

The event will also feature a Speakers Forum and Festival, which will include a panel of expert speakers, educational materials, event supporters, food trucks, and entertainment.

Scheduled speakers include: John J. Duran, West Hollywood City Councilmember; Richard Bloom, California State Assemblymember; Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Councilmember; Ayako Miyashita, Williams Institute Brian Belt HIV Law & Policy Fellow; Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal HIV Policy Director; and Rich Meyers, HRC Board of Governors and Blood Drive Event Chair.

The event will also bring together a number of community partners, including AIDS Project Los Angeles, The Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Trevor Project, Lambda Legal, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Vox Femina, Valley Community Healthcare, Banned4Life, Love Don’t Hate, and The Pop Luck Club. Prop. 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo also plan to attend to lend their support. The American Red Cross will serve as the blood collection agency.

Learn More: www.hrc.org/blooddrive
Donate Blood: www.redcrossblood.org using sponsor code HRCLA
Sign the Petition: www.hrc.org/msmbloodban
Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/642582639162257
Twitter Hashtag: #HRCBloodDrive

For additional information, please contact Liz Halloran at liz.halloran@hrc.org or 202-423-2888, or Rich Meyers at rich@hrcla.net.


Source: http://www.ballantinespr.com/News/CityWeHo/WEHO_blooddrive2.html