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What is Change.org?

Change.org is an online activism portal where people anywhere can set up campaigns to push for legislative and social change. It was founded in 2006 by Ben Rattray, who is quoted on his company profile page saying that he created the site to “deepen engagement in social issues and empower people to make a difference in their communities and the world around them.”

The company employs more than 30 staffers in its Washington, DC, and San Francisco offices, and more than 100 writers around the world. Editors and managers highlight and promote submitted petitions based on a dozen categories that the site identifies as “Our Causes,” including economic justice, LGBT rights, human rights and health.

Even though the site has its own causes, it allows anyone to set up a campaign on any issue.

“People started a petition against marriage equality, and that’s not something we would police,” explains Joe Mirabella, change.org’s manager for LGBT rights. “There’s no one right or left political agenda.”

While the LGBT Rights page is focused on queer issues in the US, often petitions posted there have an international reach, such as the Christian Values Network petitions. Mirabella says international LGBT rights petitions are frequently posted in the human rights page.