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    ISTANBUL (AP) — Police in Turkey broke up an LGBTQ pride parade at one the country’s top public universities and detained all of the participants Friday. Riot police entered Bogazici University and surrounded dozens of students who were waiving rainbow flags and calling for tolerance. They arrested the students one by one and led them into police buses with their hands cuffed behind them. A small group of students tried to resist arrest. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative government has banned LGBTQ parades since 2015, citing security concerns, “public sensitivities” and other issues. Authorities have ordered other LGBTQ events stopped as well. Bogazici University students and staff have protested the university’s presidentially-appointed rectors since January 2021, demanding that academics who are elected by faculty members hold the position. Tensions at the university heightened a month into the protests after a poster depicting the Islamic holy site Kaaba with LGBTQ flags appeared in a campus exhibition. Turkey’s interior minister called the students involved “LGBT deviants,” and two were arrested on charges of inciting hatred...
    A 17-year-old gay Florida high school student who was suspended after organizing a highly-successful statewide protest against Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law now says school officials are blocking him from running for class president. Jack Petocz was suspended for four days, he and school administrators say, for handing out several hundred small LGBTQ Pride flags just before the walkout that drew hundreds of his classmates at Flagler Palm Coast High School and thousands of students across the Sunshine State. The walkout he organized was approved by school administrators although reports at the time say barely hours before it began he was told to cancel it. That order allegedly came one day after a school board member who has opposed Petocz in the past toured his school. Now Petocz wants to run for senior class president. In a letter he posted to Twitter he says school officials told him there would be no additional disciplinary action against him after his suspension but, he says, one month later they “broke this verbal agreement and placed a level 3 referral on...
    Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis It’s not clear what Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis was expecting when she decided to go transphobic during a commencement speech at the University of Wyoming last weekend, but she was clearly taken aback by the resounding booing she got in response. Footage taken during the commencement Saturday shows graduates booing after Lummis claimed that “even fundamental, scientific truths such as the existence of two sexes, male and female, are subject to challenge these days.” Lummis smiled at the booing graduates and seemed like she was going to argue with them, but then hesitated and stopped. By the end of the weekend, her office had issued a supposed apology. RELATED STORY: Here comes the wave of copycat 'Don't Say Gay' bills in red states “In a statement released by her office Sunday, a spokesperson noted that Lummis was apologizing to those who felt ‘un-welcomed or disrespected’ by the comments,” Los Angeles Blade reported, claiming that she “appreciated hearing from members of the University of Wyoming community on this issue.” Vivian Topping, director of advocacy and civic engagement at the Equality Federation, and Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center...
    Critics accused the law of restricting speech in the classroom and hatefully targeting LGBTQ+ people, while its supporters asserted it is inappropriate to discuss sexual material with children between five and eight years old. The plan to cover up the yearbook page drew opposition from students, parents, and teachers, who accused the superintendent of censorship and took to social media posting "#stopthestickers." "It is silencing the LGBTQ-plus community and silencing the journalistic community,” said Sara Ward, a student on the yearbook staff who spoke at Tuesday's school board meeting. Beamon denied that her intention was to censor pro-LGBTQ+ students or silence anyone's voice. “I want to be clear to each and every student that this was not about the Lyman High School administration looking to try and target any student, to try and silence any voice,” she said. She argued that school board policies authorize administrators to restrain certain speech in school-sponsored publications that could be disruptive of school activities. “There is some speech that is prohibited. And that includes speech that is likely to...
    Emails also revealed that when an online assignment prompted a student to describe themselves as being "pansexual," the school counselor encouraged the student’s teacher to “ask [the student] if they would be interested in starting some type of club or group to focus on LGBTQ+ topics/issues.” Another teacher reportedly wrote, “Middle schoolers are NOT too young to know their sexual orientations and gender identities. LGBTQ-related content is age appropriate for them.” Fox News reported that No Left Turn in Education, a group saying they “believe that K-12 education should be free from indoctrination and politicization,” heavily criticized the school’s actions. The organization’s president, Dr. Elana Fishbein, said, “It is unconscionable for any teacher to go behind a parent's back to meddle in a child's mental, physical and emotional health. While us concerned parents get called domestic terrorists, it's the radical ideologues who actually threaten, harass, and intimidate parents who object to their woke agenda. No Left Turn in Education is standing up for these families and is holding officials accountable for enforcing the laws that are supposed to protect our...
    Attorney General Jason Miyares has denied claims from Loudoun County LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Loudoun that students’ records were subpoenaed in an ongoing grand jury investigation. On Saturday, the organization posted a notice on its social media handles asking that parents reach out if they are dealing with any messages via email or mail. “One family received what is referred to as a FERPA notice on May 4 with a deadline of May 10 to respond,” Equality Loudoun wrote. It also claimed that one transgender student was the subject of records requests that were “unrelated to the initial scope of the investigation” and that the grand jury requested “any documents tied to a keyword search for ‘transgender policy.'” “In a community already wracked by politically-motivated hate against our LGBTQ+ population, we strongly condemn the targeting of our transgender students simply because of their identity,” the organization said. WTOP reached out to Miyares’ office to confirm his office’s participation in the grand jury process and for comment on the claims made by Equality Loudoun. Spokesperson Victoria LaCivita denied the claims. ...
    A Pennsylvania middle school is being blasted for conspiring to conceal a student's decision to identify as non-binary from their parents while launching an LGBTQ+ club for students to join.  An email exchange between several teachers and a counselor at Charles F. Patton Middle School allegedly reveals that the school was attempting to hide the student's preferred pronouns 'they/them' from their parents, Fox News reported.  In one of the emails obtained by Fox News Digital, the school counselor informs the teachers that when referring to the student, ''She' is fine too, but [the student] likes 'they/them' the best.'  The counselor went on to write that 'if you are emailing home, it may be best to use she/her when referring to [the student.]' On a segment of 'Fox & Friends Weekend,' 'No Left Turn in Education' president Dr. Elana Fishbein slammed the school's efforts to hide kids' gender transitions from their parents.  An email exchange between several teachers and a counselor at Charles F. Patton Middle School allegedly reveals the school was attempting to hide the student's preferred pronouns  Fox News Network,...
    (CNN)When Jillian Orr walked across the stage to accept her degree in psychology from the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University, she was anxious -- and not just with the usual pre-commencement, rest-of-your-life-ahead-of-you jitters.Orr planned to use her final moments as an undergrad to honor herself and the other LGBTQ students at BYU like her who hadn't felt comfortable being fully authentic on campus, instead feeling pressured to hide some or all aspects of their LGBTQ identities. In recent years, the school has made clear that it does not embrace gender and sexual diversity. She took a breath, smiled and opened up her graduation gown to reveal a rainbow Pride flag, which one of her sisters had sewn into the gown's lining. It was a quiet moment of recognition for the years she spent hiding her LGBTQ identity at a school where, Orr said, she feared school administrators and classmates might have turned her in to the school's Honor Code Office if they discovered she'd been in a same-sex relationship. The Honor Code Office may investigate reported students and choose to take...
    ALAMEDA — Anika Miller is the first agender student to be honored by Girls Inc. of the Island City with its annual award, “Women Who Dare,” and is redefining the organization in the process. Among other things, the nonprofit Girls Inc. provides youth with classes outside of regular schooling. Miller, who has been attending the program since middle school, is being recognized as its stand-out participant this year because of personal growth, LGBTQ+ activism and engagement with STEM classes. Miller, 17, identifies as agender and uses they/them pronouns. “If we were ever outdated at some point with how inclusive we’re being, teens like Anika are really helping pave the way to a new meaning to Girls Inc.,” Maria Tijerino-Lew, director of teen programs at Girls Inc. of the Island City, calling Miller a trailblazer because of their gender identity. Girls Inc. has classes in several fields, but Miller focused on STEM, a career path the teen hopes to follow. The Girls Inc. classes have allowed Miller to meet both professionals in the STEM field and instructors from the College of...
    Depending on where you live and your upbringing, hearing people reference Bringham Young University (BYU), the private, religious university operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, might bring up a number of connotations for you. Here at Daily Kos, for example, we’ve covered the institution’s frustrating and disappointing stance on LGBTQ+ issues, including the brave forms of protest coming from current and past students. One form of protest has gotten a lot of attention in recent days as graduate Jillian Orr went viral on social media for revealing an LGBTQ+ Pride flag stitched into her graduation gown while receiving her diploma. At some universities, this wouldn’t be a huge deal; after all, some schools let students wear Pride pins and related memorabilia as part of the ceremony. But BYU explicitly bans students from being in same-sex relationships under the school’s Honor Code.  Orr, who is bisexual and had to hide her relationship with another woman as a student, decided she wasn’t going to end her time at BYU in silence. Thus the hidden Pride flag and the big reveal...
    Missouri’s Grain Valley Schools school board has banned teachers from displaying popular “Safe Space for All” stickers on or in their classrooms, mysteriously citing “a concern.” The stickers are used nationwide to enable LGBTQ students, and all students, to know they have a safe space to be themselves without fear of reprisal from staff or students. The board left it to schools to notify parents, which they did on Monday via email, KSHB reports. The notice came after last Thursday’s board meeting, but the Safe Space sticker ban was not on the agenda. The board claims it initiated the ban because all classrooms should be safe spaces for everyone. In a move similar to the “All Lives Matter” retort to the Back Lives Matter movement, the school board wrote to parents: “Our goal is for every classroom to be a safe place for all students, not just in classrooms where teachers choose to display a particular sign,” “We remain committed to providing professional development to help our staff create a safe, collaborative, and inclusive environment, consistent with our core beliefs,...
    When Texas A&M University held its first-ever drag show two years ago, it was met with resistance almost immediately. Right-wing student groups lobbied to shut it down, collecting over 1,800 signatures on a Change.org petition claiming the February 2020 event would foster a “climate of degradation” on campus. Dozens of protesters gathered outside Texas A&M’s Rudder Auditorium holding signs reading “God Created Them Male and Female” and “Texans Reject Transgender Tyranny.” The backlash was even worse the following year. A petition referring to the show—dubbed “Draggieland” in a reference to the college’s nickname–as “sinful” and “immoral” this time attracted nearly 20,000 signatures. It was accompanied by an even larger rally. Daniel Hou, the executive showrunner of Draggieland 2022, says protesters flicked holy water at LGBTQ+ students with their fingers. Despite the blowback, the shows were an enormous success. The criticism unintentionally backfired by serving as free advertising for Draggieland, leading to both performances completely selling out. (Some students and faculty members who couldn’t get tickets joined counter-protesters outside the event.) RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Mo Heart and Alyssa Edwards presided...
    By Devan Cole and Tina Burnside | CNN Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed legislation banning certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, approving the controversial measure that opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. HB 1557, titled the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, was given final passage by Florida’s GOP-controlled legislature earlier this month. The law is set to take effect in July. The legislation set off a social and political firestorm in Florida when it was introduced by Republican lawmakers in January. Its passage comes as conservatives around the country are pushing a host of bills that would further marginalize members of the LGBTQ community. DeSantis, a staunch conservative with a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ causes, previously approved legislation targeting LGBTQ Floridians, including an anti-trans sports ban last year. “We will continue to recognize that in the state of Florida, parents have a fundamental role in the education, health care and well-being of their children. We will not move from that,” DeSantis, a Republican, said during Monday’s bill signing. DeSantis’ move was...
    By Devan Cole | CNN Lawmakers in Florida gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, sending the controversial bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has signaled his support for the measure. Florida’s GOP-controlled Senate passed HB 1557, titled the Parental Rights in Education bill, in a 22-17 vote. The state House had approved the bill late last month. Conservatives have argued that the bill is needed in order to give parents greater oversight over what students learn and discuss at school, stressing that LGBTQ-related topics should be left for families to discuss at home. Opponents, however, have dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, arguing the ban it creates would negatively impact an already marginalized community. They’ve pointed to data showing that LGBTQ youth reported lower rates of attempting suicide when they had access to LGBTQ-affirming spaces. The bill’s opponents have also decried a part of the legislation that allows parents to bring civil suits against a school district for any potential...
    Washington (CNN)Florida moved one step closer on Thursday to banning teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms for young students, with the state's GOP-led House of Representatives approving a controversial bill that's facing intense opposition from LGBTQ advocates and the White House. HB 1557, titled the Parental Rights in Education bill, was passed by Florida's House by a vote of 69-47. The legislation now heads to the state's Republican-controlled Senate, where a similar bill is already under consideration. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has signaled his support for the legislation. The bills have become a major flash point in conservatives' nationwide push to give parents greater oversight over what students learn and discuss at school, but opponents have strongly denounced the legislation, saying they would have a harmful impact on LGBTQ youth. President Joe Biden has called the proposed ban "hateful.""Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance...
      A proposed amendment requiring parental involvement when gender and sexuality issues arise at schools was withdrawn after LGBTQ advocates argued that informing parents could be dangerous to students. The amendment, sponsored by State Representative Joe Harding (R-Chiefland), required school officials to facilitate a meeting between a student and parents to disclose child-specific information. The amendment states that the “school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within six weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent.” Florida State Representative Carlos Smith (D-Orlando), an outspoken LGBTQ advocate, said the amendment would “make it even more dangerous for vulnerable kids with a STATE-MANDATED outing of LGBTQ students to parents, specifically in cases of abuse, abandonment + neglect. This will have devastating consequences for our youth.” This position – that parents should not be notified when these issues arise – has been integrated with policies in many school districts throughout Florida via LGBTQ guides. For example, in Palm Beach County, an LGBTQ guide directs a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator, to respond to parents who seek information...
      A proposed amendment to the already controversial Parental Rights in Education bill  requiring parental involvement on sensitive student issues has drawn more criticism from LGBTQ advocates. The sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative Joe Harding, introduced an amendment on Friday which would require school officials to facilitate a meeting between a student and parents to disclose child-specific information. The amendment states that the “school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within six weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent.” The six-week provision gives school officials a time frame to decide if a student is facing unsupportive or abusive parents related to specific issues. If there is a determination by school officials that a student could be in danger from the parents, the amendment details a course of action. The amendment provides that the “plan must facilitate disclosure between the student and parent through an open dialogue in a safe, supportive, and judgment-free environment that respects the parent-child relationship and protects the mental,...
    Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler is a longtime opponent of LGBTQ rights. Long before her 2010 election to Congress, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) earned a reputation as one of her state's most outspoken opponents of LGBTQ equality. Now that she's running for an open Senate seat, she's trying to use that bigotry as a selling point. In a new ad released Sunday, Hartzler takes aim at Lia Thomas, a transgender college swimmer. After showing a photo of Thomas before she transitioned and invoking her deadname, Hartzler says: "Some people are afraid to talk about it. Not me. I'm Vicky Hartzler. I ran and coached girls track and I won't look away while woke liberals destroy women's sports. Women's sports are for women — not men pretending to be women." Transgender people are not "pretending" to be anything. That fact has not stopped GOP politicians like Hartzler from pushing for harmful, discriminatory policies that would make life harder for LGBTQ student-athletes and would bar transgender people from participating in sports on the teams...
      Amid a debate over parental rights in education legislation (HB 1557/SB 1834), a review of policies across several Florida school boards indicates there is inconsistent guidance related to parental rights and student confidentiality. For example, recent reports about elementary school officials in Clay County engaging in the counseling of a student without notifying parents revealed competing views about parental rights within the school district. Clay County school officials allegedly invoked “confidentiality rules” to justify not including parents in the counseling sessions. However, a lawsuit notes that the Clay County Public Schools’ written guidance expressly contradicts the use of “confidentiality rules.” An exhibit attached to the lawsuit indicates that children do not have a confidentiality right and that school officials must obtain parental consent before guaranteeing confidentiality to a child. In Palm Beach County, an LGBTQ guide directs a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator, to respond to parents who seek information about their child by saying, “Based on our policy and federal guidelines, I cannot divulge whether your child and I have had any such confidential conversations, as even students...
    Arizona is no stranger to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. For example, Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers proposed Senate Bill 1045 to block gender-affirming health care for trans youth and teenagers, such as hormones, as well as forcing teachers, nurses, and any other school staff to tell a minor’s parent about their gender identity. Also proposed by Rogers is Senate Bill 1046, which would bar trans youth from sports at both public and private schools and at all levels. It would also require a medical review of a student’s anatomy to determine sex assigned at birth.  Recently, Republican state Rep. John Kavanagh introduced House Bill 2011, which would effectively require consent from a parent or guardian in order for a student to participate in an LGBTQ+ club at school. And no, this parental consent isn’t required when it comes to other clubs, just the ones for queer students and allies.  The text of the bill says that school districts would be prohibited from allowing any student to participate in “any school student group or club involving sexuality, gender, or gender identity” without the student’s parent providing “written permission”...
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