Gay Rights

After Benefiting From Voter Furor Over Economy, Conservatives Prioritize Divisive Social Agenda in States

The morning after Election Day, conservative candidates across the country woke up to find themselves the beneficiaries of an historic national wave of voter anger over the state of the economy and record unemployment.  Yet in the first few weeks after this clear voter statement of frustration over the economy, conservative state lawmakers across the fifty states are already making it clear that their legislative priorities next year will include pushing a divisive social agenda - an agenda that remained largely hidden during the campaign.

Stopping Bullying in Schools

The outcry following the suicides of two Massachusetts students, who killed themselves after being subjected to intense bullying in the past year, culminated in Gov. Deval Patrick signing anti-bullying legislation on May 3rd.  The Massachusetts House and Senate passed the bill unanimously, following more than a decade of work by advocates.  The law prohibits actions that cause emotional or physical harm to students, including taunting over the Internet.  Faculty and students are required to have anti-bullying training and parents must be informed of incidents at school.  School employees, including custodians and cafeteria workers, must report incidents of suspected bullying and principals must investigate each case. 

Eye on the Right: Attempting to Block Protections for Gay Community, OK Sen. Removes Hate Crime Protections for Race & Religion

Right-wing legislators often disassociate gay rights from civil rights, yet their actions demonstrate that hate against one group can inevitably lead to the same toward another.  Take Oklahoma, where several right-wing lawmakers were livid following President Barack Obama's signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in October, extending federal hate crimes protections to the gay and lesbian community.