‘I Was Scared to Sleep’: LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars

June 21, 2010

by Daniel Redman | The Nation

Over the phone, Krystal has a calm and lilting Southern accent. She identifies as a woman now, but when she entered Louisiana’s juvenile justice system at 12 years of age, she presented herself as a boy and used male pronouns. Today, she’s 18 and was just recently released from the system.

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Student Non-Discrimination Act Introduced in the U.S. Senate

May 20, 2010

Today, the National Center of Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds Senator Franken for introducing the Student Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate. The Student Non-Discrimination Act is federal legislation designed to ensure that all students have access to public education in a safe environment free from discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence. The proposed legislation would provide nationwide comprehensive prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure would provide victims of such discrimination with meaningful and effective remedies, modeled after Title IX.

“We applaud Senator Franken for introducing the Student Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate and his advocacy for LGBT youth and their allies,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “The passage of this crucial bill would reaffirm our country’s commitment to our youth and help to ensure the promise of a healthy and safe learning environment for all.”

“LGBT youth have the right to a quality education and are denied this right when school discriminate and become hostile environments,” said NCLR Youth Project Director Jody Marksamer. “This legislation would ban discrimination  against LGBT youth and thus would ensure the safety of public schools for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

On January 27, 2010 Representative Jared Polis introduced the House version of the bill, H.R. 4530. The bill currently has 106 co-sponsors.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights helped draft this key legislation and is among the number of national organizations that support its passage. NCLR’s support for federal legislation to end discrimination against LGBT youth in our nation’s schools is a part of the work of its Youth project, which  seeks to advance the rights of LGBT youth through education, public policy, and precedent-setting casework. By bringing the issues faced by LGBT youth front and center, NCLR changes the legal landscape for all youth, and ensures health and safety for the next generation of all young people.

Coming Out May Cost ROTC Student

May 7, 2010

by Sharif Durhams | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Port Washington High School graduate Sara Isaacson worked for the past eight years toward the goal of becoming an Army doctor like her grandfather. She said she knew she was giving up that dream when she made the decision in January to tell the leader of her Army ROTC program that she is a lesbian.

The University of North Carolina senior’s decision might also cost her $79,265.14 – the price of seven semesters of out-of-state tuition, books and others expenses, all paid for by an Army ROTC scholarship.

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Massachusetts Legislature Approves Anti-Bullying Law

April 30, 2010

by Martin Finucane | The Boston Globe

The state Legislature has unanimously approved a state law cracking down on bullying, following two cases of Massachusetts youths committing suicide after allegedly being bullied.

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School Cuts Gay Student Photo from Yearbook

April 27, 2010

by Adam Lynch | Jackson Free Press

When Veronica Rodriguez opened Wesson Attendance Center’s Yearbook on Friday, she didn’t find a trace of her lesbian daughter Ceara Sturgis after a long battle with school officials to include a photo of her daughter wearing a tuxedo in the school’s 2010 yearbook.

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Franken to Introduce Bill Addressing Anti-Gay Bullying

April 27, 2010

by Andy Birkey | The Minnesota Independent

Al Franken asked testifiers at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee how the nation’s public education system can address bullying targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. And the Minnesota senator announced he’ll be introducing a bill to address the issue of bullying that targets LGBT students. It’s the second time in recent weeks that Franken has spoken out in committee hearings about the issue.

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Illinois Passes Antibullying Bill

April 26, 2010

from The Advocate

With a vote of 108-0, the Illinois house of representatives Friday passed a bill requiring schools to adopt policies prohibiting bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and several other characteristics, according to the LBGT rights group Equality Illinois.

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