Here’s some of the latest news about and affecting LGBT youth and their allies:
• The school board in Lake County, Florida, is meeting to decide on new policies for student groups. The school district might ban all extra-curricular clubs in order to evade the legal requirement that it allow a gay-straight alliance (GSA) to meet. (If the school board allows any extra-curricular clubs, it’s not legally permitted to discriminate against the GSA. It can ban the GSA only if it bans all other extra-curricular clubs too.)
• A gay student is challenging Jamaica’s anti-gay sodomy law.
• An LGBT-inclusive sex-education bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.
• A bill proposed in Virginia would allow student groups at public colleges and universities to engage in discrimination.
• A Maryland school district has eliminated curriculum references to “ex-gays.”
• A Missouri gay teen has won the right to bring a same-sex date to his prom. In other prom news, the anti-gay group seeking to hold a “gay-free” prom in Sullivan, Indiana, continues to face criticism (see, for example, this opinion piece in the Indianapolis Star). LGBT supporters in Indiana have also launched a new Facebook page to tell young LGBT people that they have a “purpose”; this is in response to a teacher in the Sullivan community who said that gay youth don’t have a purpose in life. And it’s at least the second Facebook page set up to support LGBT youth in this community (the other page is here). For more coverage, check out this post from last week.
• A church in Michigan is standing up to support LGBT youth.
• A new study will examine how supportive universities are in the United Kingdom when it comes to LGBT students.
• A new play in Chicago highlights struggles of gay and disabled youth. (See video below.)
• A national conference for educators focusing on LGBT youth took place in San Diego, California.
• Brown University’s health plan will now cover certain sexual reassignment surgeries.
• Massachusetts’ Education Department issues new guidance for transgender students.
• Derek Penwell at the Huffington Post asks, “What if Gay Kids had a Church that Loved Them?“
• A $100,000 award is being offered for information about gay student Scott Johnson’s death 24 years ago.
• Private Timothy McCormick, a 24-year-old gay EMT from, Indiana, was tragically killed in Indianapolis over the weekend when a 21-year-old driver struck the ambulance he was in. McCormick had made an “It Gets Better” video in 2011; I’ve posted it below.