Blog of Rights

Chris
Hampton
"Protecting" LGBT Youth by Putting Them in Harm’s Way

"Protecting" LGBT Youth by Putting Them in Harm’s Way

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 4:19pm
Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield is well known for such antics as claiming AIDS resulted from “one guy screwing a monkey” and trying to weasel his way into the state’s Black Legislative Caucus.  But perhaps Campfield’s greatest source of notoriety is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a nasty proposed law he’s introduced and reintroduced every chance he’s gotten during his nine years in the legislature.  In its earlier incarnations, the bill would have banned any discussion of sexuality except for heterosexuality in public schools up through the eighth grade.  This week, Campfield has brought “Don’t Say Gay” back yet again, with a misleading new name (the “Classroom Protection Act”) and a particularly disturbing new addition: The bill now seeks to require school nurses and guidance professionals to notify the parents of any student they work with who identifies as gay or questioning.
Ban Censorship, Not Websites!

Ban Censorship, Not Websites!

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 6:13pm

Today is Banned Websites Awareness Day – a designated day within Banned Books Week – which is sponsored by our friends at the American Association of School Librarians and designed to raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of…

"Don't Filter Me" at Six Months

"Don't Filter Me" at Six Months

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project & Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 6:00pm

Last February, the ACLU LGBT Project launched the "Don't Filter Me" campaign to take on the problem of public schools censoring LGBT-friendly content on the web. Today — which just happens to also be Banned Websites Awareness Day…

Don't Filter Me!

Don't Filter Me!

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 1:13pm

If you’re a public high school student and would like to know more about your school’s web filter, read the story of what one kid found and check out this video showing how to test whether your school is illegally filtering content and how to report censorship.

In Memory of a Social Justice Warrior: LGBT Rights Champion Carolyn Wagner

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 11:50am

Last week, the ACLU mourned the death of Carolyn Wagner, who died on January 18 after a long battle with cancer, hepatitis, and liver failure.

Carolyn and her husband Bill are the parents of a gay son who was brutally harassed and…

Protecting LGBT Students Is a No-Brainer

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 3:09pm

With so much recent news coverage on suicides of LGBT youth, those of us who work on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender safe schools issues have a lot on our plate. We're trying to figure out how best to respond to the needs of LGBT youth,…

Why Fred Phelps's Free Speech Rights Should Matter to Us All

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 3:22pm

The first time I saw those signs, with their vivid neon colors and crude images of stick figures, was 16 years ago. "Fags Die, God Laughs." "No Tears for Queers." "God Hates Fags." Like most people seeing a Westboro…

Changing Hearts and Minds in the Grocery Store and the Church Parking Lot

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 3:00pm

At the ACLU, we've long believed that real people's stories about their lives are the key to changing the minds of the public when it comes to full equality for same-sex couples. And some stories we've been hearing from some of the plaintiffs in…

Four Things You Should Know about Student Rights and Day of Silence

Four Things You Should Know about Student Rights and Day of Silence

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 12:00am

Today is the Day of Silence, an annual, student-led day of action involving hundreds of thousands of students around the country.The students who participate take a day-long vow of silence to reflect the bullying, harassment and discrimination — in effect, the silencing — of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in America’s schools.

A Gleeful Thought About School Clubs

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 5:46pm

"My two gay dads have a very close relationship with our local branch of the ACLU!"

When the overachieving show choir diva Rachel Berry delivered that line during last night's episode of Glee, I perked up a bit on the sofa. It's…

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