Tag Archives: LGBT-Supportive Organizations & Companies

Take action to support safe schools in Minnesota!

The Human Rights Campaign reports that Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk will bring the Safe and Supportive Schools Act to a vote this Thursday. As HRC explains, “[t]he vote in the Senate has been seen as the key hurdle to this essential legislation being signed into law. In the last legislative session the bill was blocked in the senate in the final hours after passing the House.”

The legislation would significantly expand the state’s anti-bullying law, currently one of the weakest in the nation. Among many other things, the bill would specifically require schools to address bullying based on actual and perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

In its blog post, HRC provides a way for folks in Minnesota to contact their senators (click on the “quick and effective tool” link within HRC’s blog post).

OutFront Minnesota provides additional information about the bill, and about the organization’s safe schools work, at this link. Outfront also produced the video above. [Update for Safari and iOS users: I've just gotten reports that the video does not play on Safari, including Safari on some iOS devices. But it should work on Chrome and Firefox, as well as Chrome for iOS. You can also see it by visiting YouTube at this link.]

MK

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Arkansas on Green School Chalkboard

I was disappointed to read that gay Arkansas student Taylor Ellis has faced increased homophobia after speaking out against his school’s anti-gay censorship. Administrators at Sheridan High School, south of Little Rock, are refusing to include an interview with Ellis in this year’s yearbook, because the interview discusses Taylor’s coming out as gay. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post—and to learn how to help.

Confused Man with Question Marks Above Head

The gay-straight alliance saga continues in Florida’s Lake County.

In court papers filed in connection with the second lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU) against the Lake County School Board, the board continues its deeply hurtful battle to block the formation of a gay-straight alliance (GSA) as an officially recognized student club at a local middle school. The ACLU is correctly arguing that the school board is violating federal law, including the Equal Access Act and the Constitution.

The school district’s latest filings include several misleading, odd, offensive and just plain sloppy arguments, including an outlandish contention that the GSA, if allowed to form, would engage in “sexual” “advocacy.” Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

California map in blue

I’ve again updated this post: California’s New Transgender Equality Law & the Effort to Repeal It: Frequently Asked Questions.

The updated version improves the section discussing legal developments outside of California; for example, it better incorporates recent news from Maine, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a transgender student in a discrimination case brought by GLAD. The updated version also includes information from a fantastic February 11 post by Luke Brinker of Equality Matters (a project of Media Matters); Brinker’s posts debunks some of the right wing myths and hysteria over California’s new law.

MK

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Victory for Transgender Youth in Maine

Posted by MK on Jan 30, 2014 @ 3:55 pm
Maine on School Chalkboard---

In a major victory for Maine’s transgender youth, the state’s highest court has ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of a girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under the state’s Human Rights Act. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) won the case on behalf of Nicole Maines, who was barred from the restroom during the fifth grade at Orono Elementary School. A lower court had ruled against her. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

Computer Screen with Speech Bubbles

A series of Google Hangouts will provide opportunities this week (and next Monday) to learn more about the intersection of LGBT and intersex (LGBTI) equality issues, athletics, the situation in Russia and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. An impressive group of organization leaders, athletes, educators and others will participate in the on-line conversations.

Uprising of Love’s website explains:

The Olympic games in Sochi are approaching quickly, and all eyes are on Russia. With many focused on the recent criminalization of LGBTI “propaganda,” and a highly publicized wave of hate crimes against LGBTI youth, the main-stream media has promised to shed light on the status of LGBTI rights in Russia during the Olympic games in Sochi. We will also be making efforts of our own to assure there is a progressive, diverse, and productive conversation about LGBTI rights taking place while the world celebrates in a country with a proven record of discriminating against its LGBTI citizens.

It Gets Better Project & Uprising of Love are teaming up with a number of the country’s leading LGBTI organizations to host a series of Hangouts during an Olympics inspired LGBTI Rights week. These Hangouts will engage the larger community in discussion about the importance of acceptance in sports while also discussing LGBTI rights generally.

Click here or on ‘Read More’ to learn more about the on-line events.

California Drawn on a Blackboard

[I will soon be updating this post to reflect an exciting development: The California Secretary of State has determined that opponents of California's new law failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a statewide vote to repeal it. The battle to preserve the law is not over yet, but the recent news represents an important victory. - MK (February 27, 2014)]

Original post as updated February 12:

LGBT equality advocates across the country are bracing for the results of a full signature count in California that will determine whether the state’s new transgender student equality law, often called AB 1266, will face a repeal vote in the November 2014 election. Opponents of AB 1266 submitted 619,244 signatures in support of their repeal effort; 504,760 of these must be deemed valid for the repeal question to go to voters.

In the face of misleading talking points from the law’s opponents, plus some less-than-stellar media coverage of the issues, this post aims to clarify some of the confusion surrounding the new law.

This post is (and will continue to be) a work in progress; that is, I’ll start today with some of the basics, and I’ll periodically add new questions and answers, as well as links to new sources and other materials. (Latest update: February 12; see below.) If you’d like to suggest something for the post, or have other ideas, objections or concerns, leave a comment below or send a private note via the Youth Allies contact form.

Click here on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

Gavel

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced a new lawsuit today over anti-LGBT mistreatment at school: The organization is suing Mississippi’s Moss Point School District, the district’s school board, and two district administrators on behalf of a student, Destin Holmes, “who endured such severe harassment she was eventually driven out of school.” Click here or on ‘Read More’ to learn more and to watch a related video.

India

Political leaders, human rights advocates and editorial boards around the world have condemned a ruling from India’s highest court that upheld an anti-gay law known as Section 377. The law bans certain sexual acts that are supposedly “against the order of nature,” including private consensual sexual relationships between adults of the same sex.

The Indian Supreme Court’s ruling means that Section 377 will remain in effect until the nation’s legislature repeals it or until court litigants devise an additional or alternative legal strategy with a better chance of success. Both approaches face major hurdles, though the fight is hardly over.

Click here or on ‘Read More’ to read the full post and to see a video of a U.S. State Department representative’s reaction to the ruling.

LGBT Video Highlights: November & December 2013

Posted by MK on Dec 6, 2013 @ 12:40 pm


For this post, I’ve collected some of the best LGBT-themed videos making the rounds on the Internet over the last six weeks.

In the first video, NBC Chicago reports on the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Illinois. Lambda Legal, which successfully represented the couple, recently wrote about the case on its blog.

Illinois approved marriage equality legislation last month, but the new law won’t take effect until June 2014. The couple in this video sought and received a special judicial order to allow an earlier wedding.

Blue Phoenix Skyline


The Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) offers a treasure trove of data on city and county policies, including policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and their allies. The report, issued annually, “examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people.”

The 2013 MEI, released late last month, rates 291 cities and counties from every state. Twenty-five municipalities received a perfect score of 100—though, as explained below, a perfect overall score does not necessarily mean the municipality scored perfectly on youth-related policies.
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see a table of over 170 cities.