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New York State Implements New Policy for LGBT Youth in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Matt Faiella,
New York Civil Liberties Union
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August 13, 2008

At the end of July, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued an “e-alert” to our subscribers, asking them to thank the Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS) Commissioner Gladys Carrion for her leadership in implementing a policy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in juvenile detention and after-care programs.

In essence, the policy requires OCFS staff to be trained in how to work with LGBTQ youth, as well as for the provision of clothing that corresponds with a youth’s gender identity. The policy is a good thing for LGBTQ youth, particularly where a lot of those youth have been rejected, isolated, exploited and worse because of anti-gay and anti-transgender bigotry.

While the NYCLU and many others applaud the OCFS LGBTQ policy as a much-needed advancement, some lawmakers aggressively oppose it. Their hateful rhetoric embodies the very bigotry that is so harmful to LGBTQ youth. That is why the NYCLU decided to ask New Yorkers concerned about spreading tolerance and respect to thank Commissioner Carrion for her leadership on this issue.

If you are a concerned New Yorker, it would make a lot of sense to let Commissioner Carrion know that you support the LGBTQ policy and appreciate her leadership on this matter. Visit the NYCLU’s “Take Action” page , where you can send Commissioner Carrion a thank-you message.

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