LGBTQ Civil Rights Update

We’re all about LGBTQ friendliness here at Hayden’s List. Some have asked us – is Hayden’s List even needed? Our response – same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states however did you know that in 30 states it is still legal to discriminate against sexual orientation and gender identity? What does this mean? The LGBTQ community can legally be discriminated against in the workplace, in housing, in restaurants, and other places that serve the general public. Now, many cities within these 30 states have nondiscrimination laws that apply within that city but it’s still shocking to know the LGBTQ community isn’t protected everywhere. Curious what the laws are where you live? Check out this very informative video.

Also, did you know, 36 states do not ban discrimination against all LGBTQ students in education. “So in a majority of states, LGBTQ students have no explicit legal protections in schools.”

Studies have shown that nondiscrimination laws reduce signs of prejudice. “These effects occur because anti-discrimination legislation can create social norms that govern what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to display toward stigmatized individuals.” The public is not accepting because of the threat of the law but these civil rights “set the morals of a community”.

So we now have same sex marriage, but we still have a long way to go.

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Gay Day cancelled…over a hug?

Gay Day cancelled…over a hug?

Last week Brandon Hamilton and Barrett Morrison headed out on a casual summer day trip. They visited Wonderland, an amusement park in Canada on the park’s annual Gay Day, an event organized by PFLAG Canada (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to highlight LGBT issues.

Since it was Gay Day, Brandon and Barrett felt they were in a welcoming environment at Wonderland.  While waiting in line for the lazy river, they expressed a typical and commonplace display of affection for a couple by hugging.  That’s when an employee of Wonderland instructed the couple to stop hugging because they were at a “family” establishment.

Brandon and Barrett told the employee the admonishment was offensive and based on Canadian law, illegal.  However the couple does not blame the employee.  Brandon and Barrett want more employee training on how to handle discrimination complaints and to make Gay Day a park-wide event instead of just a booth by the entrance.

Wonderland responded by stating that their employees receive “extensive” training on how to handle discrimination cases.  However, the amusement park also said they had no plans to make Gay Day a park-wide event. “We partner with more than 5,000 groups, communities and companies each season and therefore don’t designate a day to any given group,” Soulla Lindo of Wonderland told BuzzFeed Canada. “But we’ve enjoyed our partnership with PFLAG in hosting this annual event and we hope they will return again in 2017.”

PFLAG Canada, however, accused Wonderland of not being “interested in mending this relationship, and ensuring a safe environment” for LGBTQ visitors. President Bev Belanger told BuzzFeed Canada that her organization’s board “has decided to cancel future Gay Days at Canada’s Wonderland.”

Check out Hayden’s List reviews for LGBT friendly amusement parks.

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All Star Heros for LGBT

“The state of North Carolina grossly overreached by passing the worst anti-L.G.B.T. bill in the nation, and they have cost us the N.B.A. All-Star Game. The blame for $100 million in economic loss and the impact that it has on the city of Charlotte and the entire state is squarely at the feet of the McCrory machine.”

This is the statement from Chris Sgro, the Executive Director of Equality North Carolina. By “McCrory machine,” he is, of course, referring to the state’s governor.   The bill, now state law, passed in March eliminating anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community and prohibiting transgender individuals from using bathrooms in public buildings that do not match their birth gender.

It’s because of this law that the NBA has decided to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.  The NBA aren’t alone in their sentiments.  Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Itzhak Perlman, canceled concerts in North Carolina.  A number of businesses have also canceled plans to create new jobs in the state.

The United States Justice Department has challenged the law as a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Next month a federal judge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will hear arguments about whether to block the law while the litigation is pending.

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Greater Diversity Needed

Florida’s Department of Children and Families were scheduled to remove protections for LGBTQ youth in foster and group homes. Equality Florida and child welfare experts immediately took action and met with DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. A three hour public hearing followed and all testimony unanimously expressed strong support for reinstating the protections for LGBTQ youth.

Along with reinstating these protections against discrimination, bullying, psychological abuse and forced “conversion therapy” DCF also announced its plan to implement long-term training plans. Care providers and other professionals working with DCF will be trained to implement nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ youth. Also a position will be developed to address any complaint of discrimination. An anonymous hotline will be established that will allow an immediate investigation into a claim of mistreatment.

Equality Florida also issued a challenge to members of the LGBTQ community to become foster parents. Greater diversity for foster families is needed. “Nothing will improve the lives of young people in the child welfare system more than proper placement and that depends on an expanded pool of diverse options. I encourage all LGBTQ adults to seriously consider this challenge, and to be the adult you wish you had in your life when you were young. “

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