Archive for October 2011

The Equality Network is really great about getting the word out when it comes to supporting lgbt equality in Oklahoma.
As it stands right now, sexual orientation is not included as a protected class in Norman or Oklahoma City’s non-discrimination policies for public employees. If sexual orientation is not added as a protected class, then when a current or former city employee wants to bring charges against their employer, then their only cause of action will be what has brought them harm (harrassment, discriminatory hiring/firing policies, promoting/paying…). If they are able to prosecute their cause of action and add the element of being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, then they may have more liberal remedies (money or the ability to make their employers right the wrong in some way) available to them.

T.E.N. announced:
On Monday, October 24th, many TEN supporters will be meeting with the Norman Human Rights Commission (5:30 p.m. Municipal Building Conference Room, 201 W. Gray) to discuss the current status of the HRC’s recommendation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination policies for public employees. TEN Board Member Will Weir will be there to answer any questions you might have.

On Tuesday, October 25th, TEN Board Member James Cooper will be observing and reporting on the Oklahoma City Council meeting (8:30 a.m.) in which Councilor Ed Shadid (Ward 2) will be introducing a resolution to add sexual orientation to the city’s non-discrimination policies for public employees.

That evening, TEN Vice-President Laura Belmonte will be speaking with GATE at the University of Central Oklahoma (7:00 p.m., LAR 211). She will discuss TEN’s origins, goals, current projects, and plans for the future.

theequalitynetwork.org

Check out more inspiring stories from other youth around the USA at the GLSEN website: www.glsen.org
Make sure you sign up for their newsletter!

“My name is Tommy and I’m a senior from Houston, Texas.

I’m not gay myself, but my dads are. In my short life I’ve already seen, heard and experienced way too much anti-LGBT bullying. That’s why I’ve made it a personal cause to stand up against anti-LGBT behavior whenever I encounter it, especially when it’s directed at my family.

I know that the endless taunting can be unbearable for a lot of kids my age. Lots of guys think they need to prove how macho they are by being “tough” on other kids. Put-downs, slurs, shoves, threats, knocking books onto the floor, and other destructive behavior are their weapons of choice. They hit young people where it hurts the most and where the damage is hardest to see.

I try to speak up whenever I hear someone called a “fag” or see someone pushed into a locker. I tell them that this kind of language or behavior is just not cool and won’t be tolerated at our school. If the problem is more than I can handle, I’ll find a faculty member who can help. And I’ve taken my case to the principal’s office on more than a few occasions.

I don’t think of myself as a hero, but I know I’ve made a difference. I also know that one person can’t fight a problem as big as this all by himself. That’s why I’m so glad I found GLSEN.

GLSEN backs up people like me with all kinds of support, resources, training and inspiration. It builds leadership in our schools, and empowers kids to stand up for themselves. It also holds schools and districts accountable for how they handle anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. I know that’s why my dads support their work. I hope you will, too.

And next week, I’ll have the honor of speaking at the annual GLSEN Respect Awards in Los Angeles. I’ll be there with many of my peers in the GLSEN community, and the event will be filled by hundreds of the great people — like you — whose contributions make GLSEN’s work possible. It would be great if you were among them. Find out more about attending the Respect Awards in LA by clicking here.

Thank you for caring about LGBT and allied students. Change won’t happen overnight, but with everyone working together, LGBT and allies, and by continuing to support the work of GLSEN, we can make our schools a safe place for everyone!”