Students, Backed by ACLU, Head to Trial in Lake County (Florida) Gay-Straight Alliance Case

Florida drawn in chalk on green school chalkboard
Bill Mathias Official Photo
School Board Member Bill Mathias finds it “odd” that I write about Lake County, since he is “sure there is injustice in [my] part of the world.
The long-running dispute over the right of students to form a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Carver Middle School in Lake County, Florida, is headed to trial in federal court this week before a Nixon-appointed judge, the Honorable William Terrell Hodges. For some background on the saga, check out the short local news video and the list of earlier Youth Allies posts (below).

It’s certainly frustrating that the school board, after all this time, is still fighting this club. (Some readers may recall that one Lake County School Board member told me in a ridiculous email almost two years ago that the board had “not blocked the GSA.” That statement, evidently, was false. Around the same time, another school board member inappropriately questioned a middle school student’s sexual orientation in an email to blogger Katy Bourne.)

Nevertheless, I am inspired by the tenacity and courage of the students, their families, their attorneys, and their many other allies. I wish them much luck (though they shouldn’t need it) as they continue their work to overcome the misunderstandings, misinformation, unfounded fears, hostility, and bias that have run rampant in Lake County over this issue. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

Third Set of Videos from the National Campaign for Youth Shelter Rally (3rd of 3 Posts)

Rally participants

This is the third of three posts with videos from the June 2 rally organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter in Washington Square Park (New York City).

In the first post about the rally, I included videos of Edie Windsor, Chris Bilal, the Reverend Melvin Miller, and Jennifer Louise Lopez. In a second post, I included videos of David Mixner, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Emanuel Xavier, and Martin Boyce. This third post has videos of Wade Davis, Carl Siciliano, Mark Herrington, and Jerry Jones. I’ve also included a video of some dancers who took the stage right before the rally began. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see the videos.

More Videos from the National Campaign for Youth Shelter Rally (2nd of 3 Posts)

Rally participants holding sign for LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent

As I noted in an earlier post, I attended and took videos at a rally this week organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter in Washington Square Park (New York City).

In that first post about the rally, I included videos of Edie Windsor, Chris Bilal, the Reverend Melvin Miller, and Jennifer Louise Lopez. In this second post (below), you’ll find videos of David Mixner, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Emanuel Xavier, and Martin Boyce. In a third post, you’ll find videos of Wade Davis, Carl Siciliano, Mark Herrington, and Jerry Jones.

Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see four of the videos.

Videos: Edie Windsor & Other LGBT Advocates Rally for Homeless Youth (1st of 3 Posts)

Edie Windsor speaking at rally

This past Monday evening, I attended a fantastic rally in Washington Square Park (New York City) organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter (NCYS). NCYS, a collaborative project of the National Coalition for the Homeless and the Ali Forney Center, aims to bring greater national attention to youth homelessness.

A diverse and impressive group of speakers—including Edie Windsor, Carl Siciliano, the Reverend Melvin Miller, Wade Davis, Chris Bilal, Jennifer Louise Lopez, and David Mixner—spoke passionately about the challenges faced by homeless youth, including those who are LGBTQ, and about the need to protect and provide care for them. Junior Labeija, pictured above with Edie Windsor, emceed the event. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the rest of the post and to see the first four of the my thirteen videos from the rally.