The Free Speech Coalition joins a coalition of 26 human rights, civil liberties, and LGBTQQIA organizations in support of the “Don’t Block LGBTQ Act” as introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (10th District Illinois). (read the full announcement here)
The “Don’t Block LGBTQ Act of 2017” would clarify that schools and libraries that block LGBTQ resources are not eligible for discounted rates under the E-rate program. This bill does not prevent schools from blocking obscene and other explicit content that could be harmful to minors, as current law intends.
“The internet can be a critical source of information and support for LGBTQ youth, especially in moments of need” said Schneider. “No American should be prevented from accessing potentially life-saving resources because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to ensure LGBTQ individuals are not prevented from getting help at important moments – whether asking health questions, responding to bullying, or seeking support to come out to family and friends.”
A recent study by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network found 57.6% of LGBTQ students who were harassed or assaulted in school did not report the incident to school staff, often because they doubted an intervention would occur or worried the situation could become worse if reported. Online websites and communities can be an important resource for LGBTQ youth in this difficult situation.