Boy Scouts Contradict Their Own Handbook in Defending Anti-Gay Policy

Boy Scouts 3 cents stamp

In a post last month, I explored the absurdity of the Boy Scouts of America’s frequent claim that “the topic of sexual orientation” does not have a “role” in Scouting, pointing out how frequently the BSA discusses−and celebrates−heterosexuality.

This follow-up post looks at how the organization’s attempts to restrict Scouts’ LGBT-supportive expression stand in conflict with the official Boy Scout Handbook and other BSA materials. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

Does MA’s Bullying Law Require Schools to Recognize “Categories of Students, Including LGBTQ Students”?

Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts


There was great news last week for safe-schools and LGBT-equality advocates in Massachusetts, where the governor signed a measure strengthening the state’s anti-bullying law.

The many advocates who worked for the bill’s passage—including the organization Mass Equality and state Attorney General Martha Coakley—deserve wholehearted thanks and congratulations from those who believe in safe schools for all youth. Still, it’s worth pointing out an inaccuracy that appears in statements issued by the law’s supporters as well as in the media. Some advocates, journalists and bloggers have suggested that the law requires schools to single out specific groups, including LGBTQ students, for special protections. This is incorrect, though I recognize that the law may appear ambiguous on this point, at least at first glance.

Clarifying this issue may help prevent confusion among those who must work to implement the law; it may also help ensure that, moving forward, safe-schools advocates who favor inclusive policies don’t inadvertently feed into anti-LGBT talking points. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

There’s No Parental “Liberty” to Dictate Discrimination

Texas on Green School Chalkboard

There’s been a bit of a flap in Lumberton, Texas, where school officials suspended transgender school teacher Laura Jane Klug after parents complained that she was a “distraction.” Fortunately, the school district appears now to have reinstated Ms. Klug, though the district says it has not made a final decision, and it has asked her not to come back right away to minimize distraction during a student testing period.

One parent concerned about Klug’s presence in the classroom reportedly said, “Each parent has the individual liberty, individual rights to determine at what age it is appropriate for their children to be exposed to certain things.”

Actually, no. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

Victory! Overcoming Vicious Misinformation Campaign, Minnesota Legislature Passes Safe Schools Act
[EVENING UPDATE: Governor Signs Bill]

Minnesota on School Chalkboard

Safe-schools advocates and LGBT-equality supporters can celebrate in Minnesota: The state legislature has approved the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, a major expansion of the state’s safe schools law. The governor plans to sign the bill today.

[UPDATE: Twitter has lit up with the news that the governor has signed the Act into law. Per the Act’s own terms, some parts of the law will take effect tomorrow (Thursday), other parts in July, and other parts by the start of the next school year. The Pioneer Press provides an additional update here.]

The Act requires school districts to enact anti-bullying policies, and it defines bullying to include, among other things, intimidating and abusive conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.