We reported last month about Schools filtering LGBTQIA sites.
The sites being blocked have included Gay Straight Alliances, GLSEN, support sites, and even blocking news items related to LGBTQIA issues. This affects all students, who are blocked from vital information, but especially the vulnerable LGBTQIA youth that are the inspiration for this site’s being.
Students from around the USA have been checking up on their schools filtering policies and reporting in. The ACLU has been collating all this information and has now starting acting against the offending school districts.
The initial round of legal action has resulted in letters sent to school districts in Michigan, Kansas and Western Missouri demanding they stop their censorship, and Freedom of Information requests to school districts throughout the rest of the USA on their filtering policies.
Its sad to see that schools have been doing this filtering, often hurting their most needy students, but hopefully the ACLU can start the momentum coming from the legal direction.
However its only part of the story, we need to contact our representatives, our board members and Principles to demand that censorship will not be tolerated.
I’ve started a new petition to be sent to the House, Senate and the Whitehouse demanding they take action against such unconstitutional, discriminatory and potentially life threatening censorship.
Please sign the petition to make your voice heard.
Found via Pink News
Its becoming clear that many school’s filtering is including sites about Gay Straight Alliances, and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. However those schools doing the censoring often fail to censor the hate filled “god can fix the gay” groups who perpetrate potentially fatal lies about being able to cure being gay.
The ACLU is fighting against this unconstitutional censorship, and asking for student’s help with a survey of website accessibility.
Found via Pride in Utah.
When a lesbian couple wanted to walk as a couple in their school’s traditional Snowday Parade, they were told that it was not acceptable, because it might make some of their compatriots uncomfortable.
However you look at the response by Mary Olsen official for the schoolboard, she seems to think it was acceptable to try to sanitize these events, and does not seem to have any problem with repressing lgbtqa expression.
As a result, Desiree and Sarah filed a federal discrimination lawsuit. They were shocked that their school would do this. However in a move for sanity and understanding the lawsuit was resolved by mediation, and the couple were able to walk proudly with the other couples.
The reason i call it happyish, is because its clear that figures involved did not realize what harm they were doing by trying to censor this couple. Hopefully these figures will be more understanding next time an issue of LGBTQA rights.
Thank you for this couple who said do not step on me and stood up for their rights.
US Weekly, while not my usual magazine of choice, showed a picture that made most people go “Awwwww”, but a few people to scream “The Horror!, Won’t someone please think of the children”. In response a supermarket in Arkansas decided to put a “Family Shield, to protect younger shoppers” in front of the magazine as it does for porn mags. So what could be so shocking, was it some emaciated child from a conflict in The Congo, or perhaps some controversial piece of artwork that perhaps you wouldn’t want your children to see without context. No not even a picture of Santa’s Grotto out of season, what the photo showed, was a family.
A family you say, what’s so controversial about that, its not like the Citizens Councils are going to complain about an interracial family, or the idea of a celebrity adopting from Africa. Sadly no, this was a different and equally unpleasant kind of prejudice to the Citizens Council, you see this was of a celebrity couple, and their newborn son, the trouble for these new bigots, it was Elton John and his husband David Furnish. Can’t you see their point, if little Suzy has been taught that gay people are depraved monsters to see them as a happy family is going to make her question her parents bigotry.
I was talking about this back in my “I’m not a good queer piece”, where there are people who want to censor reality from their children, in the hope they’ll never be exposed to ideas of free expression and self evolution. In some ways this article is very dated, a gay couple having a child would be news in the 1970s, not in 2010, however US Weekly is a celeb gossip magazine and one of the most universally famous celebrities in the world having a child is big news, the same as if any other major figure was.
It was a non issue, or at least it should have been, except the store manager felt it was acceptable to support and tolerate the open hatred of his clientele. I realize that Harps has already disowned the action, but i see no message of disciplinary action, that would have been applied if this had been a racist situation rather than a homophobic situation.
If the manager made a poor judgement call, then i’d like him to be disciplined, but if he did it because he agreed with the covering up, then i’d like the store to underline this action with a demotion or a firing, because thats what they’d do if he were to have done that on racist grounds.
Story source SF Gate
Everything is still pretty quiet, Rachel’s comments were cut short in the podcast, and everyone is digging at the story.
Watching Anderson Cooper, looks like its a political issue within MSNBC’s office structure with the Comcast take over. They are not saying its a direct link, but the Comcast takeover may have made the environment untenable for Keith or his superiors to have the editorial freedom he was used to.
However he’s back to tweeting, and hopefully we’ll see Keith, and a full explanation soon.
In the meantime, #FOK is the trending keyword on twitter. We are Friends of Keith here at No More Lost.
It seems strange that i’m tearing up at the thought of a celebrity being forced out. But this isn’t about a celebrity, its about a friend who’s been the one glimmer of light in the dark places. I may not have been focused on the US back then, but the impression of 2001-2003 USA was one in which dissent was frowned upon, i felt sick that a country that stood up for freedom of expression was acting in an almost proto-fascist manner.
In that time someone stood up, and said No Mr President you don’t get a free ride, but due to the fact that John Stewart was a political satirist, he was not able to have the same impact as a “serious journalist”.
Keeping an eye on the American airwaves, someone stuck his head up above the sand and my first exposure was this special comment.
He risked his career, and gave voice to those who did not believe the talking points given by the Whitehouse, he challenged the cheer leading and stood up for what he felt was right.
I cannot show all his career in this article, but there is still one piece that comes to mind as one of his finest moments, a special comment on marriage equality.
I may be a brit and used to genuinely neutral coverage of the BBC, but his perspective and commentary has help make me proud to be an American, that such a voice stayed on the airwaves, who kept fighting for what was right over what was convenient or politically expedient.
In a total shocking move, apparently happening in the moments before a commercial break, Keith Olbermann was told that this would be the last show.
Its still unclear about what caused this departure, but the Comcast takeover may have been responsible, including the firing of Jeff Zucker prior to this.
As i find out more about this travesty i’ll keep writing about it, but unless i find out otherwise MSNBC is on the censorers of voices list. I hope that Rachel Maddow being off the air tonight is a show of solidarity with this firing.