Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network filed a motion on Dec. 21 to intervene in federal district court in San Diego to defend the California statutes that prohibit discrimination and harassment in publicly funded schools, including the newly enacted Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777). EQCA was the official sponsor of SB 777, and both organizations actively supported the law. The two organizations are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, the law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell.
The half-dozen lobbyists who crowded into a lawmaker's office here recently didn't come bearing campaign cash or votes to swap. Instead, they recounted tales of high school torment as fresh as their faces. Ignacio Pitalua, 19, spoke about having a trash can dumped on him by other boys who suspected he was gay.
"It's a big obstacle to learning," Pitalua said, pressing Assemblyman Curren Price to co-sponsor a bill that sets specific requirements for schools to stem anti-gay discrimination.
BARSTOW - While part of the Barstow High School student body ate lunch on Friday, a new club met in a classroom. About 25 students socialized, complained about parents, compared iPods and cell phones and planned T-shirts, fund-raisers and community service - men and women, freshmen through seniors, and the word "gay" was only mentioned once.
On March 25, the Gay-Straight Alliance club at a San Francisco public high school, International Studies Academy (ISA), defended marriage equality in the face of possible student and parent protestors. Student members of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club did a presentation supporting marriage equality as part of a school spirit rally. The presentation featured a lesbian couple, gay male couple and straight interracial couple dressed in wedding attire.
National Coming Out Day is having a greater presence on high school campuses these days. As with Transgender Day of Remembrance and the National Day of Silence, many high school gay-straight alliances (GSAs) observe National Coming Out Day in hopes of educating faculty and students about the importance of GLBT students’ safety on campus.
This week, the Gwen Araujo murder trial was declared a mistrial because the jury could not decide whether the three defendants were guilty of first- or second-degree murder. According to the Alameda County district attorney's office, none of the jurors was willing to settle for the lesser offense of manslaughter -- despite efforts by defense attorneys in the case to argue that Gwen Araujo's killers were somehow justified because she did not disclose her transgender identity to them.
12/10/02 - Julie Silva was determined. The enthusiastic and intense 17-year-old had decided in May 2001 to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Clovis High School in Clovis, a medium-sized town in California's culturally conservative San Joaquin Valley.
The first requirement was that she produce a list naming other students who wanted to join the GSA, a significant hurdle in itself, given many students' confidentiality concerns.