LGBT Youth Allies’ Global News Roundup #5

Posted by MK on Aug 8, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
Photo of Andrew Shirvell, the anti-gay former assistant attorney general of Michigan

Remember this guy? Try not to get on his bad side.

Posted by MK on 8/8/12

This week’s selection of news stories for the LGBT Youth Allies’ Global News Roundup is not particularly global (sorry), but there are still some good stories, and we’ll do better branching outside of the U.S. in future Roundups–as we’ve done before.

Stories this week come from, among other places, Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Uruguay. Here goes:

  • A new ad campaign will aim to educate and persuade parents, among others, to do something about bullying. “Every day, kids witness bullying,” says a narrator in a television ad that forms part of the campaign. The narrator adds, “They want to help, but don’t know how. Teach your kids how to be more than a bystander.” The campaign sounds like a great idea to me. The Huffington Post has the story.
  • Infamous hate-group leader Bryan Fischer tweeted that “[W]e need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.” Zack Ford from Think Progress comments on the tweet and the reasons behind it.

  • Kevin Burra at the Huffington Post reports on Jeff Sheng’s long-running “Fearless” Project, which features portraits of young LGBT athletes. The report includes a slide show with some of the pictures.
  • Kelsey Sheehy blogs at U.S. News & World Report about a panel discussion at the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit, where participants discussed, among other things, bullying of LGBT and immigrant youth.
  • According to 48 News in Alabama, an LGBT group is requesting a federal Title IX investigation into an incident involving a JROTC instructor preaching to students about (and against) homosexuality. The preaching apparently began after a student expressed a desire to live someday in San Francisco.
  • Tami Abdollah reports for Southern California Public Radio that state legislators in California are requesting an audit to determine how schools have applied anti-bullying and anti-harassment laws. The request comes in response to recent news of students being targeted based on their sexual orientation.
  • Also in California, the Hollywood Reporter states that Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg of Dreamworks will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at GLSEN’s eighth annual Respect Awards in October.
  • The Huffington Post reports on an effort in Illinois to get children pulled from classes with LGBT-supportive teachers. Incidentally, in a separate post I plan to publish later today or tomorrow, I will quote an extreme, off-the-wall statement from an activist at the same organization that is supporting the effort in Illinois, the Illinois Family Institute. Stay tuned.
  • You may have heard of the gay student in Indianapolis, Indiana, who was expelled after allegedly using a  ”stun gun” to protect himself from bullies. The school later overturned the expulsion and invited him back, sort of: He would have to attend an “Alternative School” rather than his original school. According to WIBC in Indiana, the student has rejected the offer, and will continue to attend a charter school instead.
  • LGBTQNation reports that jury selection has begun in the federal civil lawsuit against the anti-gay former Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, Andrew Shirvell (photo above), who is accused of stalking and defaming a former student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
  • I commented in earlier Global News Roundups at this blog (here and here) about a controversy brewing over a proposed gay-straight alliance at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania. I’m happy to report that, according to an on-line article from The Sentinel, the school board has approved the alliance’s formation (though the vote was close: 4-3). This is great news for the students, and also for the school as a whole, regardless of whether some community members recognize it or not (and some clearly don’t). The district also saved itself from a likely lawsuit, which it probably would have lost.
  • After a legal battle, a lesbian woman in Uruguay has successfully become the second legal parent of her partner’s biological child. It’s the first such case in Uruguay, though such adoptions have technically been legal for a few years. Latin America has progressed surprisingly quickly in its recognition and fair treatment of LGBT people, including LGBT families, in recent years–though there is still much work to be done, of course. I worked on a legal brief that recounted some of the positive developments in the region; a press release, with a link to the brief, is available here.
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