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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

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.

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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 for Equality Comments on the HHS AFCARS rule

Seattle, WA (June 13, 2018)– Once again the well being of Native Peoples, LGBTQ youth, and families are in jeopardy, and we, One Million Kids for Equality, are issuing this public statement on the issue. In response to Trump’s Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda to lower regulatory burdens on the American people, issued on February 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published a Proposed Rule (RIN 0970-AC72) on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) with comments due June 13, 2018. AFCARS collects and records data from state and tribal title IV-E agencies on children in foster care and those who have been adopted. This data includes sexual orientation and gender expression of the children, as well as the sexual orientation of the adopting parents and foster data for Native people. By doing so, it ensures the safety and well being of LGBTQ youth, families, and Native peoples in the foster system. However, Trump’s order to “streamline” AFCARS is stripping sexual orientation, gender expression, and Native identity from foster care reporting, opening children up to exploitation, discrimination, and abuse.

One Million Kids for Equality, issued a formal comment yesterday to the HHS on the Proposed Rule, “One Million Kids for Equality is very concerned with the well-being of LGBTQ foster children due to this proposed rule, and feel very strongly that the streamlining of AFCARS will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on LGBTQ foster children and potential adoptive families due to the reasons outlined below.”

We are also expressing many points that defend the collection of sexual orientation, gender identity, and Native data and why they should continue to be collected. Our points state that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster system (meaning that there are more children who identify on the LGBTQ spectrum than not), and in being so they are reported as more likely to be treated poorly, be hospitalized due to emotional trauma, or become incarcerated in Juvenile Justice Facilities. These facts are reported by the federally-funded R.I.S.E study. The removal of this data will negatively impact the ability to track and prevent outcomes such as these, including similar outcomes in Native children. We also assert many reasons why sexual orientation and gender identity question need to be included on foster care forms.

We, One Million Kids for Equality, would like the HHS to know that LGBTQ and Native children are not a burden and that the notion of “streamlining” our adoption system by erasing them from data is appalling and abhorrent. When it comes to youth, we need to take every step necessary to ensure their safety and livelihood. This move by the Trump administration is a blatant attack on LGBTQ and Native people, and we will not let it go unchallenged.

To read our full comment or read about the Proposed Rule, visit: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ACF-2018-0003-0094

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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