HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — An online petition that seeks to oust the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's CEO and president, Michael Weinstein, now has the support of the Free Speech Coalition.
Weinstein has been asked to resign from his post for recent comments made about Truvada, the pre-exposure prophylaxis, FDA-approved medication for use by people at high risk for HIV. The drug is intended to help prevent transmission of the virus.
Eric Paul Leue, Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2014, created the "Remove Weinstein" petition on Change.org because of Weinstein's statements calling the pill "a party drug."
"This statement needlessly stigmatizes individuals trying to protect themselves from AIDS by likening them to illicit substance abusers," Leue said on Change.org. "Mr. Weinstein's comments and actions are unbefitting the head of the world's largest AIDS service organization, and we are calling for his removal."
Diane Duke, the FSC's CEO, told XBIZ that the adult industry trade group sides with Leue and his Change.org petition that asks for 50,000 signatures because Weinstein has made it a personal mission to stomp on civil liberties in numerous directions, including the adult entertainment industry.
"Unfortunately, Michael Weinstein's personal political agenda has taken precedence over AHF's mission to provide HIV testing, treatment and education to those in need," Duke told XBIZ. "When it becomes more about the political posturing of the leader of an organization than its mission, it is time for a change.
"FSC supports the Change.org petition," Duke said.
The FSC has fought tooth and nail against some of AHF's initiatives through the past nine years that have impacted the adult entertainment industry.
The Hollywood, Calif.-based AHF was largely responsible for passage of Measure B, the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, which requires the use of condoms in the production of adult movies in Los Angeles County, and has been a major supporter of AB 1576, a statewide porn-condom bill that is wending its way through California's Legislature.
Weinstein did not immediately respond to XBIZ for comment on the online petition that seeks to oust him
Leue, with his Change.org petition, has asked for 50,000 e-signatures. At post time, the petition has more than 1,000 supporters.
Change.org is the largest grassroots petition platform on the web.