Letter to Achille Public School District

(In response to details around this story)

Dear Achille Public School District,

On behalf of One Million Kids for Equality, I would express our dismay and outrage at your inaction and ignorance around the recent events regarding your student Maggie Rose. Not only have you allowed the endangerment of a youth, but your lack of public announcement about the issue has given pass to the vile and violence-inciting comments made by parents within your school district.

Your website has a no-tolerance bullying policy posted that states, “The policy of this school district is that harassment of students by other students, personnel, or the public will not be tolerated.” Despite having a policy in place against harassment by the public, your inaction speaks volumes on how noncommitted you are to these values. Indeed your policy also provides definitions of harassment, bullying, and intimidation as, “Any gesture, written or verbal expression, or physical act that a reasonable person should know will harm another student, damage another student’s property, or insult or demean any student or group of students in such a way as to disrupt or interfere with the school’s educational mission or the education of any student.” Your schools were shut down due to the violent comments made online, which directly violates this policy, yet you have made no effort to publicly correct the issue or inform the public of your plans.

As a public service and educational institution, it is your duty to ensure the wellbeing of your students and to condemn any unacceptable behavior within the school and from outside forces. So far, you have failed to do so. In fact, your student will be relocating because of public comments and the fear inflicted upon them. Although it is too late to correct the issue for those involved, it is not too late to publicly condemn the comments made and to uphold your dedication to no tolerance against bullying and harassment. We at One Million Kids for Equality urge you to do so and want to inform you that your next actions will have an impact on other students who come through the Achille school system.
If you would like to discuss how to address a public announcement of this nature, please feel free to contact me.

Fearlessly,

Curtis D. Galloway
Executive Director
One Million Kids for Equality
206-429-5357

One Million Kids for Equality Comments on Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Published on Windy City Times

From a press release
2018-07-12

Seattle, WA ( July 12, 2018 )- Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee passed the Child Welfare Inclusion Act ( CWIA ) bill that allows Federally funded adoption agencies to refuse LGBTQ+ families based on religious convictions. This bill would amend the 2019 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This is in addition to the Health and Human Services Proposed Rule to remove LGBTQ+ and Native identity data from AFCARS.
In the text of the bill, the purpose reads, “To prohibit governmental entities from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider declines to provide a child welfare service that conflicts, or under circumstances that conflict, with the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions of the provider.” This means that adoption agencies can refuse service to anyone and cite religious beliefs as the basis for their refusal.

We, One Million Kids for Equality, condemn this heinous move by the House of Representatives Committee and recognize that it is nothing but another attack on the LGBTQ+ community. Not only will this affect LGBTQ+ individuals who wish to adopt, but it will also affect foster children in the adoption system. According to an ACLU study on foster care, more than 500,000 children are in foster care and of that 100,000 need adopted. However, only about 20,000 will be adopted. Lifelong Adoptions’ statistics estimate nearly 2 million LGBTQ+ couples are interested in adopting, but with the passage of this amendment, that number will be greatly impacted. We are in the middle of a foster care crisis and our Government is about to make it worse. The House of Representatives is making a clear statement that the needs of children in foster care is not their main concern, but rather, that they care more about strengthening their religious agenda through discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The passage of the bill is completely unacceptable and goes against what we stand for as a country.

One Million Kids and The Personal Stories Project to Host 2nd Annual Garden Party and Mixer In Los Angeles

Do you like schmoozing on Saturday? Do you like parties with open bars and free food? Do you consider yourself an LGBTQ activist or ally? Do you like to travel or live in the greater Los Angeles area? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then have we got the party for you!Come out Saturday, April 21st, to our garden party benefiting The Personal Stories Project and One Million Kids For Equality.

Registration:

Early Bird (Before March 15th):
$125 Event Host
$100 Very Important Person
$75 Affluent Advocate
$30 Starving Artist

Registration (After March 15th):
$150 Event Host
$125 Very Important Person
$100 Affluent Advocate
$35 Starving Artist

Registration (Day of Event):
$160 Event Host
$135 Very Important Person
$110 Affluent Advocate
$40 Starving Artist


Food/Beverages:

An open bar with liquor, wine, beer, Hors d’oeuvres, and deserts will provided.

Entertainment:

Music for the afternoon will be provided by the extremely talented, Rob C and Alessa Ray.

Party Hosts:

Joseph Chan & Charles Chan Massey
Brad Delaney
Nikki and David Duncan
Donna Shaw
Tom Carmichael

Where the money goes:

10% (TBA) LGBTQ Youth Serving Nonprofit

45% Personal Stories Project’s Digital Storytelling Program

45% One Million Kids For Equality’s Monthly Storytelling Events

Guests will also have the opportunity to help assemble personal hygiene kits to be donated to a youth homelessness organization – this is optional for anyone interested in helping.

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Nope! This event is open to all ages. If you are under the age of 21, we operate on an honor system, but we ask that you please refrain from consuming alcohol.

Is there parking available at or around the venue?

There are a limited number of off-street parking spaces available. Once they run out, then there is also street parking available. If you need off-street parking, we recommend you come early as it fills up fast.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can reach Brad at brad@onemillionkids.org and Charles at charles@personalstoriesproject.org.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

To speed up the check-in process, we ask that you please bring your printed ticket with you. But we understand that uh ohs happen. If you forget your ticket, we should be able to find you on our list at the door. Please inform our attendant if you registered the day of the event and we will get you squared away.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes! We understand that scheduling conflicts occur from time to time. While we can’t offer a refund, we are happy to transfer your ticket to another attendee. Please contact Brad at brad@onemillionkids.org and he will get you taken care of.

nevada conversion therapy

Bravo! Nevada Passes Ban on Conversion Therapy

Nevada passed a ban on conversion therapy yesterday and today Nevada’s Governor signed that legislation. Conversion therapy is an attempt by “therapists” or religious leaders to change a person’s sexual orientation – although it does more damage than good.

Senate Bill 201, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, Las Vegas, would make it illegal for licensed mental health practitioners to provide therapy attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This puts Nevada on the list of progressive states that are passing laws to make the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals better. Seven other states including Oregon, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy.

You may recall the story our board member, Curtis Galloway, who testified in support of the Illinois bill to ban conversion therapy. Curtis now lives and operates a chapter of One Million Kids in St. Louis, and provided comments on the subject.

“I think it’s fantastic that Nevada has chosen to protect LGBTQ youth from this harmful practice! More and more states are realising that this practice is ineffective and does more harm than good. And I hope that more states follow in this path. I know that what I went through was awful, but I also know that it gets much worse than what I experienced,” said Galloway.

Many states are currently attempting to ban conversion therapy including Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. However, some are worried that our current White House Administration may attempt to hinder the progress towards banning the practice in other States.

Curtis added, “I am very worried about the future of this movement. Vice President  Pence has publicly come out in favor of conversion therapy. I remember rallying against him when he was Governor of Indiana, driving several hours, after he signed his religious freedom act. And now this same man is second in command of our country. It’s very worrying and unsettling,” Galloway said. He added, “One thing is certain though, the bans that are in place, at least in Illinois, cannot be touched by this administration.”

Laws in other States, and now Nevada, do have flaws. They all exempt religious organizations, only creating the ban for certified therapists and psychiatrists. This means that anyone who claims to be operating a conversion therapy like establishment or session under religious grounds are exempt.

“It is a huge exemption as many of these individuals are going to start using religion as means ‘to pass the baton’ to religious leaders,” Galloway said. “However, I am hopeful that with this law as a basis, even religious attempts to convert will be found to be child abuse.”

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge of California’s Ban on Conversion Therapy

The United States Supreme Court on Monday rejected a California Christian minister’s challenge to California’s ban on conversion therapy.

The Pastor challenged the law with an assertion that it violates religious rights.

For the third time in two years since it’s passage, the court let stand a lower court’s ruling that the law is constitutional and neither impinges upon free exercise of religion nor impacts the activities of clergy members.

The law prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors, including psychologists and social workers, from offering therapy to change sexual orientation in minors. The Supreme Court in 2014 refused to review the law after an appeals court rejected claims that the ban infringed on free speech rights under U.S. Constitution’s the First Amendment.

‘Conversion therapy’, often referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” is a range of practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that there is no place in civilized society for so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ We at One Million Kids For Equality applaud the justices for affirming that California’s law against this barbaric ‘treatment’ for something that isn’t a disorder, is correct and just.” said OMK Co-Director, Charles Chan Massey.

To date, ‘conversion therapy’ has been outlawed in 6 states (CA, IL, NM, NJ, OR, VT) and the District of Columbia.

Statement on Attack in Orlando

In the early hours of Sunday, June 12th a deranged gunman walked into Pulse Nightclub, an LGBTQ club in Orlando, Florida and opened fire on hundreds of bar patrons. It was latin night and many of the victims are young people of color.

Our co-director and Board President, Brad Delaney had the following to say about this harrowing tragedy:

“50 people lost their lives last night and another 50 are wounded after a gunman opened fire in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando Florida. To say we are devastated would be a huge understatement. There are simply no words strong enough to describe our sadness.

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones who have been affected by this deliberate act of violence against our community.

June is supposed to be a month filled with pride, joy, and celebration. Instead, this has left many of us with feelings of sadness, anxiety and fear.

We ask that you join us in a moment of silence this morning to honor the many lives we lost last night. Take your moment whenever you’re ready.”

Gayby Baby in Chicago! Join Us For A Special Screening.

One Million Kids For Equality has been working to share the stories of youth since we got started last January – from sharing the voices of 5 youth last spring with the Supreme Court in the Voices Of Children brief to working to end conversion therapy in Illinois. Time and time again we’ve seen that when youth speak up they are able to present their stories in a way that changes hearts and minds forever.

Kids being raised by same-sex couples are growing in numbers worldwide. We are in a Gayby-Boom. But who are these kids? What do they think about having same-sex parents? And do they face different issues to other kids? At a time when the world is debating marriage equality, these questions are more pertinent than ever. Told from the perspective of the kids, Gayby Baby is intimate and sometimes humorous account of four children and their families.

We invite you to join us for this FREE special screening of GAYBY BABY in Chicago on April 30th, an Australian feature documentary in which four kids take us into their homes and share their personal experiences.

One Million Kids For Equality is cohosting a panel discussion between screenings with filmmakers and partners addressing how we empower children of LGBT parents and improve the lives of families in our work.

Secure your seats and learn more athttps://gaybybabychicago.splashthat.com/

In honor of International Family Equality Day, our sponsor for this event, MyFamilyBuilders is offering all attendees and members of One Million Kids For Equality an exclusive $10 discount off of all toy set purchases. Use promo code OMK at checkout. See the coupon below for more details.

My Family Builders

Businesses Are Joining The Fight Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

Published in The Huffington Post.

Companies are taking a stand against North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, which Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed on Wednesday.

House Bill 2, approved by the state’s General Assembly in a special session, prevents cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. The law came in response to an anti-discrimination ordinance recently passed in Charlotte, which allowed transgender people to use the bathroom designated for the gender with which they identify. Conservatives, including McCrory, vowed to take down the so-called bathroom bill, arguing the law would give predators license to enter women’s bathrooms. (As HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports, this rhetoric has doomed many equal rights initiatives.)

The resulting legislation is a wide-ranging measure that blocks local governments from passing laws protecting LGBT people, requires schools to designate single-sex bathrooms based on “biological sex” and preempts city policies involving wages, benefits and other workplace regulations.

Corporate leaders in the state have been swift to condemn the law, echoing the backlash that helped take down Indiana’s “religious freedom“ law last year.

Dow Chemical, which has several factories in the state, tweeted its opposition to the law. Biogen, a biotech company that employs more than 1,000 North Carolinians, also opposes HB 2. PayPal, which just announced a new 400-person office in Charlotte, offered a similar message.

The law also drew opposition from the NCAA, which had planned to host at least 20 high-profile games in the state in 2017 and 2018, including the immensely popular Division I men’s tournament. The association hinted that HB 2 could change its mind.

“We’ll continue to monitor current events, which include issues surrounding diversity, in all cities bidding on NCAA championships and events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites,” the organization said in a statement. “Our commitment to the fair treatment of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has not changed and is at the core of our NCAA values. It is our expectation that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect in cities that host our NCAA championships and events.”

American Airlines, which has a major hub in Charlotte, also condemned HB 2.

“We believe no individual should be discriminated against because of gender identity or sexual orientation,” American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said. “Laws that allow such discrimination go against our fundamental belief of equality and are bad for the economies of the state in which they are enacted.”

The NBA, which has scheduled the league’s 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, said its leaders “do not know” how the law will affect plans for the game.

Another big name going after the law is Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who fought Indiana’s anti-LGBT bill and is battling a similar bill in Georgia. Benioff told The Huffington Post he is lobbying Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Charlotte-based Bank of America, to speak out against the law. The bank, one of the largest employers in the state, has not specifically condemned the legislation, but did release a statement to the Charlotte Observer saying the company has “been steadfast in our commitment to non discrimination and in our support for LGBT employees through progressive workplace policies and practices.

Equality groups are also pressing Bank of America, along with BB&T and Burt’s Bees (a subsidiary of Clorox) to break their silence on the law.

“As three of the largest corporations in North Carolina, all of which proudly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees through LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination policies, we believe these corporations have a moral obligation and responsibility to voice their opposition when state legislatures put the communities they serve in danger of discrimination,” said Brad Delaney of One Million Kids For Equality in a Wednesday statement.

Facebook, which has a data center in Forest City, said it was “disappointed” by the law. “As a company, Facebook is an open and vocal supporter of equality. We believe in ensuring the rights of LGBT individuals and oppose efforts that discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” a company spokesperson said.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was among those from outside the business community to express disappointment.

On Thursday evening, demonstrators gathered outside the governor’s mansion on North Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. Several were arrested, according to posts to Twitter and Facebook.