HRC Blog

Angry About Constance’s Fake Prom?  Help LGBT Students Everywhere!

lbgtyouthalliasSince Constance McMillen and her girlfriend were sent to a "fake prom" while her classmates had their own secret prom, more than 70,000 HRC supporters signed a petition to show the Itawamba County school board we're on her side. Unfortunately, one thing still isn't on the side of students like Constance: America's civil rights laws. Though it's illegal for public schools to discriminate against students based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students get no explicit federal protection. Right now, Congress is considering a bill to give LGBT students the same civil rights protections as their classmates. We need your help to pass it. Tell Congress that LGBT students like Constance deserve equal protection – urge them to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act! Constance has the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) fighting valiantly in her corner and has captured national media attention – but there are hundreds more stories of bigotry that aren't making national headlines. Like that of Juin Baize, a transgender student at Constance's school, kicked out for wearing "feminine clothing." Or the 18-year-old student in Terlingua, TX, kicked out of school because an administrator didn't want other students exposed to him, after two men sexually assaulted him and burned the car he was living in – because his parents threw him out when he told them he is gay. These students aren't just up against bullies and bigoted administrators – they're also up against right-wing groups trying to infiltrate schools with anti-LGBT propaganda. This month, a group calling itself the "American College of Pediatricians" (a name clearly meant to be confused with the reputable American Academy of Pediatrics) sent a letter masquerading as a scientific resource to every public school superintendent in the U.S. – telling them LGBT youth can, and should, change their sexual orientation and gender identity. When right-wing lies encourage teachers and principals to tell LGBT kids they can be "cured" by therapy, they foster school environments where bullying, violence – and, well, fake proms – are never far behind. Without a federal law, school administrators will continue to decide who to expel or suspend for not fitting in. And unchecked discrimination can lead to violence and suicide. These kids need our help. Stand up for equal protection for LGBT students – write your Congress members today!

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