ACLU-TN Lawsuit Supports Students’ Right To Free Speech….


The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has filed a lawsuit to protect students’ right to free speech after a senior was censored for wearing a shirt to school supporting equality for lesbian and gay people.

The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Richland High senior who was censored by the Giles County school system. Giles County is about 86 miles south of Nashville.

The shirt read: “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.”

“Our goal in this case is to ensure that students are not censored for expressing their support for the equal treatment and acceptance of LGBT students,” Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee director, said in an interview.

The lawsuit said the school’s principal, Micah Landers, prohibited the student from wearing that shirt or any other shirt referencing lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender rights because it might provoke other students.

According to Giles County dress code policy, students cannot wear clothing or accessories that have slogans about or suggestive of “drugs, alcohol, sex, obscenities or prove to be a disturbing influence.”

Following the incident, ACLU-TN sent a letter to the school system explaining that schools can only censor student speech when the speech itself — and not other people’s reaction to it — is disruptive to the educational process.

“We know from a series of cases that as long as that the shirt is not obscene or doesn’t constitute a threat, then the student’s speech or expression cannot be censored,” Weinberg said.

Landers and Superintendent Philip Wright didn’t return a request for comment by the newspaper by the time of publication on Monday.

Associated Press

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KKK Leaflets Urge People To “Support Gay Bashing” Against “Disgusting And Inhuman” Gays….


The KKK has distributed leaflets in Florida urging people to “support gay bashing” agianst “disgusting and inhuman” gay men.

The leaflet was distributed by the hate group in Jacksonville, Florida – with Jimmy Midyette of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality warning about the message.

He wrote on Facebook: “These flyers have begun to appear at the homes of LGBT people – and surely others – in Jacksonville.

“This is an unfortunate consequence of our recent success. Both with marriage equality and the progress we’re making on equality in Jacksonville, we sadly can expect the vocal minority to freak out.

“Between this and the bomb threat made yesterday, our vigilance is required.”

The leaflets appear to have been issued by a group identifying itself as the ‘Loyal White Knights of the KKK’.

The KKK recently distributed the same leaflets in Louisiana – calling for people to help “stop AIDS” by slaughtering gays.

Despite the leaflets, other chapters of the KKK insist they’re perfectly welcoming to gay members.

One leader claimed the group no longer discriminates on issues of race, religion, or sexual orientation, adding: “The KKK is for a strong America. White supremacy is the old Klan. This is the new Klan.”

His views are clearly not shared by others in the hate group.

Hick Duffy – Pink News

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Ohio Highway Section Memorializes Leelah Alcorn….


Almost one year ago, transgender teen Leelah Alcorn took her life along a stretch of Interstate 71 near Kings Mill, Ohio. She left a handwritten suicide note for her parents, and one on Tumblr that went viral after her death, galvanizing the country around transgender issues and against the so-called conversion therapy Alcorn said she’d been subjected to. 

On Friday, a tribute went up along I-71 that aims to honor the 17-year-old’s short life. Alcorn’s friends and supporters teamed up to participate in the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program, placing a sign reading “In memory of Leelah Alcorn” along the Ohio highway where Alcorn’s body was found, according to Cincinnati TV station WCPO. 

The sign was placed on Friday, which also marked the international Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those lost to transphobic violence nationwide. Friends and community members plan maintain the two-mile stretch of highway, near the South Lebanon exit in Warren County, reports Cincinnati’s WLWT.

A Facebook community page called the “Leelah Alcorn Memorial Highway” explains the the thought behind the dedication:

“We are keeping her memory alive by adopting and maintaining the stretch of highway where she lost her life, in hopes of bringing to light the issues faced by transgender people and so that these tragedies can be brought to an end.”

After Alcorn’s death, trans advocates and allies nationwide repeated the teen’s final call to “Fix society” that tells trans people they are broken, including the Christian counselor Alcorn was reportedly sent to by her parents. Calls to end the discredited, ineffective therapy ultimately found their way to the White House in the form of a We the People petition signed by more than 100,000 people. The Obama Administration responded, noting that “we share your concern” about conversion therapy, and shortly thereafter, the U.S. Surgeon General officially came out against the harmful therapy aimed at changing someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

At press time, conversion therapy is banned for use on minors in California, Oregon, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and Illinois. This year, California Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu and Nancy Pelosi also introduced federal legislation that seeks to label all efforts to engage in the debunked therapy as fraud according to the Federal Trade Commission. 

If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, Trans Lifeline can be reached at 877-565-8860. LGBT youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach the Trevor Project Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.

Sunnivie Brydum – The Advocate

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Maybe We’re Missing The Point….


“No Men In Women’s Bathrooms” was on T-shirts and posters and brochures that the opposition used during the campaign to keep Houston an inclusive city for all its residents. And these five words inflicted enough fear, based on lies and anti-trans rhetoric, to prevent an equal rights ordinance to pass. We once again have an opportunity to learn that civil rights should never be put to a vote. Historically, even when equal right ordinances have won in a vote, the most marginalized lives still suffer great harm from backlash and hate rhetoric from opposition.

I’m from Kalamazoo, where in 2009 our city also had to vote to keep our nondiscrimination ordinance that our city commission unanimously passed. In Kalamazoo, we won. But that didn’t mean trans people stopped getting harassed for trying to pee, or while walking to work, or while living their lives. That’s because regardless of win or lose in these campaigns for inclusion and fairness, this country needs a lot of in-depth and intentional education around trans people.

As long as the opposition uses lies and fear-mongering to scare people out of doing the right thing, the solution has to be putting the humanity back into trans identities. As long as trans people, particularly transwomen, are associated with humanity-robbing slogans like “no men in women’s bathrooms,” not only will we continue to lose, but we will continue to watch transwomen be harassed, assaulted and murdered. In fact, if we don’t speak out against it, we will be culpable in this dehumanization. The opposition is relying on people’s fear and discomfort with trans bodies to justify not protecting trans lives. When the opposition uses this tactic, it’s not just an ordinance on the line: it is real, living and breathing lives on the line.

When we focus on whether an ordinance wins or loses, maybe we’re missing the point. When we focus on getting out the vote, maybe we’re missing the point. When we focus on nationwide trends of acceptance of LGBT families, maybe we’re missing the point. When we leave out the presence of racism and sexism and how it plays out in transphobia, maybe we’re missing the point. When we forget to include trans people in the leadership and direction of these campaigns, maybe we’re missing the point.

We are missing the point. These transphobic narratives are intentionally written not only to keep us from winning, but to keep us from being seen as human. Because it is easier to kill, imprison, fire, evict and harm someone whom we do not see as human. We’re missing the point that these narratives are not only transphobic, but they are also racist, sexist, misogynist and classist. Until we invest in a campaign rooted in education and led by trans people that focuses on taking control of this narrative to reclaim the humanity of trans identities, we will continue to miss the point.

Before we wage a costly ballot campaign, it is crucial that we focus our efforts on educating people on trans lives. We have to help people hear the truth over the lies they are hearing from opposition. We have to connect people to the reality of living as a trans person and why legislation that protects trans lives is imperative to all of our livelihoods. We have to understand that transphobia has racist and sexist roots, and incorporate that understanding into our education campaigns. And most importantly we must maintain the unity of our community around the importance of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and allow trans leaders to guide us forward. Because after all, it will be the trans community that takes the brunt of the backlash.

Trans folks are strong, and we overcome barriers on a daily basis to live as our authentic selves. We fight for every breath we inhale, every step we walk, every day we live. And we are having to fight to have our stories heard. We need to intentionally create spaces and avenues for trans voices, particularly transwomen of color, to be heard. The invisibility of trans lives from our narrative is not because trans people aren’t telling their stories; it’s because we aren’t hearing their stories. Intentional and in-depth education by trans people about trans lives is the only way we will shift control of the narrative and begin securing protections for trans people.

Jay Maddock – Between The Lines

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Someone Has Written A Book Of Haikus About Lesbian Sex And Cats And It Is Awesome….


The traditional Japanese Haiku is not exactly known for having LGBT themes.

But a new book coming out next year will attempt to fill the gap on the bookshelves of anyone who wants to read short, beautiful poems about lesbian dating, sex…and cats.


Billed as a “humorous guide to lesbian sex, dating rituals, and relationships,” the book will utilise illustrations of cats in “various stages of sexual awkwardness,” to guide people through the world of lesbian relationships.


Anna Pulley, the book’s author and self titled ‘haiku revivalist’, has published several examples of her work on The Toast. Here are a few examples of what you can expect when the book emerges in April next year.


Drink excessively
the whole night. When she’s nearby,
talk a lot louder.

Meet crush. Think she’ll make
the first move. She thinks you will.
Both die celibate.

Visit a witch store.
Not for spells, just to support
local queer business!

If you cannot wait until the book is released in April, follow Anna Pulley on Twitter here for more lesbian/cat based poetry.

Last month a children’s book about a transgender teddy was released and took the world by storm.

Michelle O’Toole – Pink News

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School Bans All Student Clubs Rather Than Allow LGBT Society….


A school in North Carolina has opted to ban all students groups, rather than allow students to form an LGBT club.

Students at Lake Lure Classical Academy had asked permission to form a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Club.

However, local parents swamped the school with complaints after news of the club got out – with one grandmother complaining she had to explain what “gay” meant to a child.

According to the The Daily Courier of Forest City, tensions were high at the school’s board of directors meeting last week, when the issue came to a head.

After anger from parents, teachers, and pastors, the school board incredibly voted not just to ban the group, but to suspend all clubs at the school until further notice.

Visual arts teacher Layne Long had allowed students to hold her club in her classroom.

She said: “This is not a religious club. This is a human rights club.

“My father is a Christian and I’ve been brought up to understand that God is love. Jesus wants to help people.”

School Director Jessica Boland expressed dismay at the decision to ban all clubs, saying: “From the school side, when you are in the school community, the issues aren’t as prevalent as the outside community is making it.
“I find it disappointing that we have to suspend all clubs.”

The new rules also bans student groups from putting up posters, unless they have been ‘approved’.

Nick Duffy – Pink News

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Six Men Beat Gay Couple Leaving French Club.…


A selfie of Clement Grobotek of Montpellier, France, snapped after six people taunted him and his boyfriend with slurs, then viciously beat them, is going viral on the Internet.

The couple, in their early 20s, were leaving a nightclub Tuesday night when the trouble started, Grobotek posted on Facebook.


“A car passed,” Grobotek said, and when he heard antigay insults coming from the people in it, he shouted back.
Four people immediately jumped from the car and set upon his boyfriend, Aaron, while two more attacked Grobotek. 
Aaron got the worst of it: He was beaten so badly, said Grobotek, that he still cannot speak.

“I managed to remain conscious, but when I turned around, I saw that my boyfriend was down and he had blood in the head,” Grobotek said, adding that their attackers also dragged Aaron, bruising his ribs and leaving road-rash-style burn marks on his body. 

Grobotek suffered a busted lip and required four stitches to his head.

In his Facebook post, he sent a message to their attackers: 
“Obviously, in addition to being intolerant, you are also cowards! But you know what?You will always be powerless! You can strike and strike again, you never will remove the smile you see on my face, and will not prevent me from loving my guy more than any!”

Dawn Ennis – The Advocate

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