Florida Representative Shevrin Jones is having a tough go of it lately.
Jones, campaigning to become Florida’s first Black gay Senator, was turned away from donating blood. Making matters worse, Jones has been the target of negative text messages linking to a fraudulent website.
“My opponents have sent out a discriminatory and hateful text message to voters,” Jones tweeted Aug. 9. “This type of bigotry should have no place in our community. For the past eight years, I have worked towards a path to equality and prosperity for all of us.”
The Aug. 18 Democratic primary election will determine the district’s next senator. Jones, 36, is one of seven candidates for the District 35 seat. He has declined to identify who is behind the text attacks.
“I ask that you ignore this kind of trash,” Jones tweeted.
Having recovered from COVID-19, Jones sought to donate plasma last Friday in Hollywood only to be barred due to his sexual orientation. OneBlood, the blood donation center, cited a U.S. Food & Drug Administration policy that defers donations by men who have sex with men. In April, the FDA announced it was shortening the deferral period for gay and bisexual men from 12 months to three months.
“Saving a life shouldn’t be prevented because of who you love,” Jones tweeted. “The @US_FDA should look at this antiquated policy and do away with it.”
Jones added he would like to work with Florida’s U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to end the gay blood ban.