Anti-LGBT Bills Introduced in 28 States
March 24, 2015 by HRC staff
The wave of anti-LGBT bills filed across the country continues to swell. As of today, lawmakers have introduced more than 85 anti-LGBT bills in 28 state legislatures.
Some state legislative sessions have already drawn to a close, but other state legislatures will be in session for several more weeks or even months. So far this year 34 anti-LGBT bills in nine states have been defeated or failed to meet key legislative deadlines, but two have passed — one in Arkansas and one in Indiana.
Among the recently introduced anti-LGBT legislation is a pair of bills in Nevada that would allow individuals and businesses to use religion to challenge or opt out of laws, including laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Similar legislation was also recently introduced in Montana and is still pending in Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and elsewhere.
Bills that would allow adoption agencies to use religion to discriminate against eligible parents and guardians have been newly introduced in Alabama and Florida. These new bills are similar to a series of bills moving through the Michigan legislature.
Even in states with long traditions of support for equality, anti-equality lawmakers are introducing anti-LGBT bills. Massachusetts, for example, is the latest state with a bill that would criminalize transgender people for using appropriate restrooms. Anti-transgender “bathroom surveillance” bills have are now pending in Florida, Texas and a handful of other states.
About GLSENs Day of Silence
GLSENs Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.
Organizing for Day of Silence
Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you’re making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying, and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger. Discover ways of organizing your event here.
While you DO have a right to participate in GLSENs Day of Silence between classes and before and after school, you may NOT have the right to stay silent during instructional time if a teacher requests for you to speak. According to Lambda Legal, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause.” However, this right to free speech doesn’t extend to classroom time. “If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn’t have a constitutional right to refuse to answer.” We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class. Find more Lambda Legal advice here.
For more: http://dayofsilence.org/resources/