In addition to GLSEN’s top federal priorities, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act, we also monitor and lend support for a number of other bills that impact LGBT youth.
The Equality Act was introduced on July 23, 2015, by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public accommodations, public education, employment, housing, federal funding, jury service, legal protections and credit. Read a public statement by Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director, issued after the bill’s introduction.
Every Child Deserves a Family Act
More than 100,000 youth in the foster care system are eligible for adoption, by many state laws, policies and practices exclude potential adoptive and forest parents solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act will remove these barriers and expand access to loving, permanent homes. It was introduced on May 19, 2015 by Rep. John Lewis (GA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Heltinen (FL) in the House of Representatives and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) in the Senate.
Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act
While GLSEN’s work is primarily K-12 focused, we want students who go on to higher education to have welcoming, supportive, and safe college campuses. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act was introduced by Rep. Mark Pocan (WI) in the House and Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI) in the Senate. It would, for the first time, require publicly funded universities and colleges to establish enumerated anti-harassment policies. The bill would provide funding to universities and colleges to either create or expand anti-harassment policies and would also officially recognize cyber-bullying as a form of harassment.
The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act
Since 2004, The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act has provided a grant program to allow states and colleges to engage in suicide prevention efforts. It was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Jolly (FL) on February 12, 2015, and in the Senate by Sen. Jack Reed (RI) on May 12, 2015. This bill must be reauthorized or critical funding for suicide prevention will disappear in 40 states.