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Transparency, educating the community on LGBTQ+ topics, and speaking out on issues of importance are an important part of our organization. Check out this page for updates regarding:

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Our Executive Director & Board President, Rickie Kreuzer, (right) with a volunteer at Battle Creek Pride with the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan, petitioning to repeal the FDA blood ban. Executive Director Kreuzer sits on the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan's DEI Committee, representing the LGBTQ+ community.

Chosen Family of Michigan has been working with the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan to advocate for the FDA to repeal the “blood ban” on men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and woman who have sex with MSM.

What is the FDA Blood Ban?

The FDA Blood Ban restricts MSM and women who have sex with MSM from donating blood within 3 months of having sex. Although this used to be a lifetime ban and has gradually been reduced- most recently in 2020 due to the blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic- this ban still prohibits much of the LGBTQ+ community from donating blood.

Why was the Blood Ban created?

The ban- which used to be a lifetime restriction- was created in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, which was wrongfully branded as a “gay disease.” Despite the LGBTQ+ community not having the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in many years as well as all donated blood being tested, the stigma remains and thus the ban remains too.

What harm does the Blood Ban cause?

  1. This ban feeds into the stigma around HIV/AIDS and wrongfully discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community.

  2. It creates a “blanket” ban against any sexually active MSM, with no exemptions even if the person is only having sex in a committed relationship or even if they are on PrEP, such as Truvada or Descovy.

  3. We are currently in a blood shortage. Restricting populations from donating blood prevents many people from helping to combat this shortage. It’s estimated that repealing this ban could result in an increase of blood donations by 2-4%, which could result in upwards of a million lives saved.

Is there a risk with blood donated by MSM?

MSM haven’t had the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in years. Additionally, all blood donations are tested before being given to patients. Although you can test negative for HIV for the first 1-2 weeks, a 3 month ban relies on stigma, not science. If all people were expected to abstain from sex for 2 weeks in order to compensate for the window of time where you could test negative, this would make scientific sense, rather than a 3 month restriction on only a certain population.

What can I do to help overturn this ban?

It’s important to note that this ban is an FDA policy, not a law that went through the legislative process. This means that this policy is the FDA’s responsibility to repeal. You can sign the petition to pressure the FDA to overturn this ban here.

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Today is great day for Michigan. In a 5-2 decision, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the word "sex" in existing state civil rights legislation includes sexual orientation, protecting the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. This is a win for our community & a win for civil rights. Not only will this ruling provide needed protections, but it further establishes that LGBTQ+ people aren't less than & are deserving of rights, decency & respect. This is a historic day. To all of the LGBTQ+ young people: Know that you are worthy of love, opportunity, & protection & are equal under the law.

Despite this win, there is still more work to be done. We hope that the Michigan Legislature will still work to explicitly include gender identity & sexual orientation in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect us from the potential of an unfriendly court in the future who could attempt to overturn this ruling. We also hope that the Equality Act will be brought up for a vote & pass the U.S. Senate, to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination all across our nation, rather than the patchwork of state laws & rulings where LGBTQ+ rights can be different depending on what State or even zip-code we drive through.

We celebrate today's ruling & look forward to the work ahead.

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In the aftermath of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas made threats to Obergefell v. Hodges- the Supreme Court decision that overturned gay marriage bans in many states, including Michigan. If the Supreme Court were to overturn this decision, the law would revert back to each State & in the case of Michigan, would ban marriage equality. Chosen Family of Michigan works to protect the right to marriage equality & is pleased that the U.S. House has passed The Respect for Marriage Act, which protects the right to same sex & interracial marriage. This bill will move to the U.S. Senate where it will need the full support of the Democratic Party as well as 10 Republican Senators to avoid the filibuster. With a vast majority of Americans supporting marriage equality, we hope that the U.S. Senate will protect this right. We are also pleased that both U.S. Senators from Michigan support this bill.

Additionally, we are hopeful that this bill along with the Equality Act, will come up for a vote in the Senate before the end of this term. The Equality Act would protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination by adding them to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Equality Act was also passed by the House but has stalled in the Senate. We hope both of these bills stay at the forefront of the minds of U.S. Senators. Michigan residents can contact their Senators at the contact information provided below:

Senator Debbie Stabenow:

Additionally, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is the state non-discrimination act that currently does not explicitly protect LGBTQ+ people. You can find your State Representatives & State Senators & encourage them to take action on this issue with the information provided below:

Find your State Representative:

Find your State Senator:

Lastly, many localities in Michigan have taken action to pass LGBTQ+ non-discrimination ordinances. If your locality has yet to take these actions, please reach out to us for additional support.

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