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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.

Pacquiao issues apology, faces backlash

Published in the Windy City Times.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao issued what some are calling a weak apology after causing a storm by claiming gay people are “worse than animals,” The Daily Mail reported.

The pugilist world champion made the comments in a television interview in the Philippines, where he is running for a senate seat in the May elections. At one point, he asked, “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” In his apology, he posted on Facebook, “Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what The Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT.”

Pacquiao is already facing consequences as a result of his comments. CNNMoney noted that Nike has dropped him as an endorser, saying it found what he said to be “abhorrent.” Nike has previously dropped other athletes, including Lance Armstrong, Ray Rice and Michael Vick; however, the company re-signed Vick after five years and kept its contract with Kobe Bryant in the wake of his charge for sexual assault.

“Manny is seen as a role model for youth around the world and we find his words deeply disturbing. Words like the ones mentioned above are extremely harmful to LGBTQ and allied youth who may have previously looked up to him” said Brad Delaney, president of One Million Kids For Equality, in a statement. Athletes such as basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson—who has a gay son of his own—applauded Nike for its action, according to Queerty.

New online publication ProudYouth: For, by, and about youth

Published in the Windy City Times.

Seattle, WA, September 30, 2015 — ProudYouth.com launched this morning offering LGBTQ and allied youth contributors an early introduction to journalism and an opportunity to elevate their voices around the issues that matter most in their lives.

The publication will offer youth an opportunity to cover everything from advice columns to Op-eds and anything in between — including but not limited to current events, sports, politics, art, music, movie and event reviews, exclusive stories, personal stories, as well as artistic pieces such as poetry.

Historically, youth contributors have been few and far between in mainstream media — often being written or spoken to instead of being allowed to write or speak for themselves. This new publication aims to change that by empowering youth with all of the tools they need to share their authentic voices.

Participating youth will have access to experienced and accomplished journalists and editors to work with them on grammar, punctuation, and pulling their message together to make sure it reads as intended. As long as the story falls within ProudYouth editorial guidelines, it will run — even if it presents a less than rosy picture – no story will be altered or slanted in any way.

“I am very happy to finally have my voice elevated, and to have an outlet like ProudYouth where I can share my views, as well as discuss other young people’s views.” Curtis Galloway, a ProudYouth Contributor and One Million Kids Board member

ProudYouth is seeking additional youth and allied contributors. If you would like to write for ProudYouth, or know someone who may be interested, please email editor@proudyouth.com for more details.

ProudYouth is a platform where LGBTQ youth, children of LGBT parents, and allies can use their voice to speak about important issues in their lives,” said Managing Editor, Theresa Volpe. “ProudYouth is unlike any publication on the media circuit today. Its approach empowers youth to express their views and, at the same time, learn important skills. The publication places tools into the hands of the people who will shape our world to come, our youth.”

One Million Kids For Equality is an organization of people working collectively to engage, educate, and empower youth with a voice around equality. We work on a broad spectrum of issues, utilizing the power of the personal story to elevate the voices of youth in our efforts to create positive change for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender ( LGBT ) people and their families. Learn more at onemillionkids.org .