Thursday, June 7th, 2012
A resolution is under consideration by the Boy Scouts of America that would change the 102-year-old policy banning gay men and boys from leading or participating in scouting. From MSNBC.com:
The new policy would throw out the national ban and allow local chartering organizations to decide whether or not they would accept gay youth and leaders, said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout who has advocated for the change, citing unidentified people he spoke to within the organization.
Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said a resolution to amend the national policy to allow each of the Scouting’s chartered groups to set its own standards regarding gay members was turned in by a Scout leader from the northeast before April 30, the deadline for submitting resolutions. He said the resolution was read on May 31 at their national annual meeting.
“While we’ll carefully consider this resolution, there are no plans to change this policy,” he said noting that resolutions and petitions on the matter were “not unique” and dated back to 2000, when the Supreme Court heard a challenge over their stance (the justices sided with the Boy Scouts in the lawsuit involving a former Assistant Scoutmaster who was gay, citing the protections of the First Amendment).
Image: Boy Scouts of America, via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Therapy techniques intended to “convert” gay teenagers to heterosexuality could soon become illegal in California, if a new bill passes the state’s Senate. MSNBC.com reports:
Sen. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Torrance, says so-called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy wrongfully treats homosexuality as a disease and can be dangerous to minors. If his bill becomes law, California would become the first state to ban therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian teens straight.
“Some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” Lieu said before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the bill on Tuesday. “These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish.”
Image: Teen in therapist’s office, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
An Indiana mother has sent her high school-aged son to school with a stun gun to enable him to fend off bullies who reportedly have harassed him because he is gay. Darnell “Dynasty” Young was bullied for months, he said, before his mother helped him take this latest measure, and the 17-year-old now faces expulsion. CNN.com reports:
[Chelisa] Grimes sent her son, Darnell “Dynasty” Young, to Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis with the stun gun after he said he was taunted and bullied for months.”I brought the stun gun ’cause I wasn’t safe,” the 17-year-old said.
After six other students surrounded him at school on April 16, calling him names and threatening to beat him up, Young pulled the stun gun from his backpack. He raised it in the air, setting off an electric charge, and sending the group scurrying, Young said.
Unlike a Taser, which fire barbs attached to long wires at a target, a stun gun has to be near or pressed against a person to shock them.
“I got kicked out of school for me bringing the weapon to school, but I honestly don’t think that that was fair,” Young said. “I didn’t use it on nobody. … All I did was raise it up in the air and went back to my class.”
School police officers arrested him a short time later and took him away in handcuffs, The Indianapolis Star reported. School officials are investigating the incident, but none of the students who allegedly surrounded Young has been positively identified.
Young is known as a flamboyant dresser and Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff had been trying to get him to “tone down” his accessories.
“If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say,” Yarrell told The Star. “Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter. People should be able to wear what they want to wear.”
Image: Stun gun, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Childrens Hospital Boston has just released a study reporting that gay teens in Massachusetts are more likely than their straight peers to be homeless. The Boston Globe reports:
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The researchers analyzed a survey of more than 6,000 public high school students and found that approximately 25 percent of gay and lesbian teens and 15 percent of those who said they are bisexual were homeless, compared with just 3 percent of heterosexual teens who were homeless.
“It may be that their living situation is so difficult that they decide to leave home, and it may be that they are coming out and their parents are telling them, not under my roof,” said the study’s lead author, Heather Corliss, a research scientist at Children’s and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Corliss’ team analyzed the data from the 2005 and 2007 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a comprehensive survey conducted every other year by state education and public health officials to assess teen health, such as tobacco, alcohol and drug use, and sexual orientation.
The researchers found that 34 percent of the students who said they were homeless in the survey also indicated that they were either gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure of their sexual orientation. Of that group, 19 percent said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Other studies of homeless teens have found that anywhere from 5 to 50 percent said they were not heterosexual.