End California’s search for the “gay cure”
Posted on April 30, 2010
by David Cohen

I got this email from Geoff Kors Executive Director Equality California and it is my duty as a publisher to share it with all of our readers. Please let your friends know about the “gay cure”. Don’t allow right-wing extremists to propagate the myth that sexual orientation is a choice and an illness.

Outrageously, California law instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the supposed “causes and cures of homosexuality.”

Yesterday, the California Assembly — with only one member voting no — passed an EQCA-sponsored bill, authored by Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), to repeal this dangerous law. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

But the anti-LGBT right-wing is already activating their base to kill this bill. Why? Because they know that when people learn that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed they are much more likely to support full equality.

The Traditional Values Coalition has made defeating this bill a priority — they want the state to support their dangerous position that sexual orientation can be changed. The Traditional Values Coalition has added this bill to their “Target List” of bills to be defeated saying:

“AB 2199 would forever strike from the Welfare and Institutions code the requirement that the State Department of Mental Health conduct research on the ’causes and cures of homosexuality.’ Right now, this is required in the law. But homosexual advocates do not want the state to study ways to help people leave the homosexual lifestyle. They want the world to think that people are ’born gay.’”

Sign our petition to the Governor urging him to support repealing this offensive law! And please forward this email to everyone you know asking them to contact the Governor today!

We must remove this blatantly false, offensive and dangerous language from California Law and educate Californians that sexual orientation is not a choice. People no more choose to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender than they do to be straight. And when people learn the truth, they move to support equality.

Please urge Governor Schwarzenegger to support this legislation so that California law will treat LGBT Californians with the dignity and respect they deserve.
 
 
Posted on April 26, 2010
by David Cohen

The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed an enumerated anti-bullying bill today that includes protections from bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

The Senate passed the bill last month. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the bill.

If signed, Illinois will become the ninth state to enact an enumerated anti-bullying that includes a list of characteristics most often targeted by bullies, which research shows is more effective than a general anti-bullying law.

LGBT students in particular in Illinois face extreme victimization. Inside Illinois Schools: The Experiences of LGBT Students, a research brief based on Illinois students who participated in GLSEN’s 2007 (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) National School Climate Survey, found that 89% of LGBT students in Illinois had been verbally harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
Having an enumerated anti-bullying policy can make a difference and improve school climate. GLSEN’s From Teasing to Torment: A Report on School Climate in Illinois found that 75% of students at schools without enumerated policies reported that they heard homophobic remarks often or very often from other students, versus 54% of students at schools with enumerated anti-bullying policies.

The eight other states that have enumerated anti-bullying laws are California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Three additional states (Colorado, Maine and Minnesota) have nondiscrimination laws that include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

The Safe Schools Improvement Act is a federal anti-bullying bill introduced in the House with 103 bipartisan cosponsors that would require schools that receive federal funding to have enumerated anti-bullying policies.

For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.
 
 
Posted on April 9, 2010
From Joe Solmonese President of HRC.

Imagine getting fired. Not because you aren’t good at your job. Not because you show up late or slack off.

Imagine getting fired solely because you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In most states that is fully legal.

We are pushing for a vote on the bill that would end this injustice soon after Congress returns next week.

There’s not much time. You’ve helped us lay years of political groundwork for this bill; now we need your help to make sure the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has the votes and momentum it needs in the House.

Tell your U.S. representative to push hard to end this discrimination – without delay!

With health care finally off the agenda and the November elections looming, this is the right moment. But it won’t last forever – we need to do what we can to pass ENDA immediately!

And half-measures aren’t enough. We demand a fully inclusive bill that covers our whole community, with no additions, subtractions, or poison-pill amendments.

Rep. Barney Frank, the bill’s sponsor, said, “What people in our community need to do now is focus on lobbying members of the House so that we have the votes for it.”

HRC supporters have already sent more than 87,000 messages to Congress – and have submitted more than 1,600 letters to the editor across the country. But we need to do more.

Right now we are fewer than 20 cosponsors away from having the votes locked in to pass this historic legislation in the House. Tell your U.S. representative to put an end to workplace discrimination. Then pass this along to your friends and family.