SAN FRANCISCO — In one ad after another, voters in California and Maine were besieged with images of what would supposedly happen if same-sex marriage were legal: Students on a field trip to a lesbian wedding, elementary kids gobbling up books featuring gay couples, kindergartners learning about homosexuality from their teachers.
Armed with a message of God’s wrath and “imminent doom,” six members of the Westboro Baptist Church staged a peaceful protest outside San Diego High School Friday, but were overshadowed by a large counter-demonstration chanting messages of love and tolerance.
Hundreds turned out to try to silence Westboro’s members, who wore shirts with the church’s URL — GodHatesFags.com — on them. Members of the Topeka-based congregation also carried colorful signs that read, “America is Doomed,” “Antichrist Obama is Doomed” and — with no explanation — “You Will Eat Your Babies.”
On Oct. 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law two historic LGBT rights bills – one recognizing the contributions of slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk, and another underscoring that same-sex couples married before the passage of Proposition 8 are entitled to full recognition as married spouses in California, regardless of whether they married in California or out of state. Both bills were sponsored by Equality California (EQCA) and were introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The bills were the top priority of EQCA, and were targeted by right wing anti-gay groups who worked to defeat the bills first in the legislature and then urging the governor to veto the measures.
Students representing more than 25 San Fernando Valley Schools will meet this weekend for Gay-Straight Alliance Summit
[Excerpt from pages 7-8] On the national Day of Silence last April, I visited Daniel Webster Middle School in Los Angeles, one of 21 middle schools in California with a G.S.A. California is one of only 12 states that have passed laws to protect students from bullying and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
Data from a 2007 survey commissioned by the San Francisco Unified School District indicate that homophobic remarks are made frequently in schools citywide, regardless of neighborhood, an analysis by the Bay Area Reporter shows.
The survey results also show that teachers and staff often do not intervene when such comments are made.
But changes appear to be happening.
In 2007, students in grades 5-12 were presented with a school climate survey that asked them about violence and harassment, among other things.
Back-to-school time can be fraught with tension for many parents as we realize our children’s shoes are too small, they need new knapsacks, and for reasons that surpass understanding, a perfectly working locker padlock somehow isn’t cool enough to be acceptable this year.
For LGBT parents, there is an additional concern about how our children’s new teachers and classmates will react to knowing our kids have LGBT moms or dads. Do you approach teachers and school administrators beforehand to inform them about your family and detect any potential problems?
LA MIRADA — Edy Ruvalcaba, a 16-year-old junior at La Mirada High School, says he was verbally harassed and called "faggot" by some of his physical education classmates after he told them he is gay.
Ruvalcaba also says he was physically abused after his announcement in February. At least one student in the class shoved Ruvalcaba against a gym-room locker.
Ominous clouds did not deter the more than 300 LGBT young people and others who marched through the streets of Los Angeles on March 22 to demand an end to discrimination, homophobia, abuse and homelessness.
The "Youth March for Equality," which started in Chinatown, continued down historic Olvera Street and ended at Los Angeles City Hall. Equality Action assisted march organizers with securing permits, supplies, marketing and volunteer. And both it and the Gay Straight Alliance Network sponsored the event.
This Thursday, Feb. 12 marks the first anniversary of the school shooting that tragically claimed the life of openly gay, gender nonconforming eighth-grader Lawrence King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, CA last year.
Students are preparing to remember and honor King, who according to classmates was regularly harassed because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. King, who sometimes wore makeup to school, was brutally murdered by a male classmate. Allegedly King had asked the student to be his valentine.