Thursday, May 7, 2009

Equality in the News: May 2 - 8, 2009

First things first: The School Violence Prevention Act passed in the Senate on a final vote of 26-22! We know this has everything to do with the e-mails, phone calls, personal meetings, postcards that you were a part of, so thank you for helping to pass the first ever LGBT-inclusive bill in the North Carolina State Senate! Now, let's get it passed in the House and make schools safer for all students in NC. Lots of stories on that bill from across the state below.

The Healthy Youth Act still needs your help, so keep making those calls and sending those e-mails to give parents a choice on which sex-ed curriculum is taught to their students. Of course, on the national level, we can't forget to congratulate Maine on becoming the 5th state to take a stand for same-sex marriage. It's all happening so fast, isn't it? And now, on to the news:

School Violence Prevention Act:
  • North Carolina Public Radio's fabulous Laura Leslie covers the Senate debate on the bill in her blog, including the opposition's indignity towards openly gay and bill champion Sen. Boseman, and it includes a great audio clip from the debate from Sen. McKissick of Durham.
  • The Charlotte Observer has a great editorial supporting the bill.
  • Public Policy Polling's blog has an interesting article on how Republican Senators may or may not be following their constituent's opinions when it comes to the bullying bill, considering most Republican voters support the bill, but no Republicans in the Senate voted for it).
  • Raleigh's News & Observer's political blog, Under the Dome, notes the crazy idea being pushed by the Catholic bishops that protecting LGBT kids from bullying will lead directly to same-sex marraige. Seems like they're missing that the bill that clearly states it creates no protected or suspect classes. (Bill sponsor Sen. Julia Boseman even directly refuted this claim, which you can read about at WUNC.)
  • Q-Notes offers their take on the historic passage.
  • National gay blog Queerty discusses the School Violence Prevention Act here. Be careful, they refer to us as "New Hampshire" towards the end of the article, but it's really us they're talking about!
Healthy Youth Act:
  • Wilmington's Star News online covered the bill's action here. New Hanover County is the only in the state to offer the three options - comprehensive, abstinence-only or no sex education and finds that most parents prefer comprehensive over any other.
  • The Daily Reflector of Greenville, NC also weighed in on the Healthy Youth Act in this editorial.
  • Carborro's recent attempt to create equal and fair housing opportunities for all of its citizens (the attempt was to add sexual orientation/gender identity and expression to the enumerated list) was blocked by the House of Representatives. The Carrboro Citizen has an opinion piece about that here.
Virginia Foxx:
  • Kudos to Winston-Salem's PFLAG for having their voices heard in the Winston-Salem Journal and YES! Weekly with ads denouncing Virginia Foxx's recent appalling comments on Matthew Shepard's death while debating the Federal Hate Crimes Bill.
That about does it for this week. There's sure to be more stories and opinions about the passage of the SVPA over the weekend, so we'll be looking! Enjoy your weekend, and thanks again for all that you do for Equality NC.

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