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New Jersey School Refuses To Enroll Transgender Student as Female - VIDEO

Teen

Rachel Pepe, a transitioning transgender student from New Jersey, has been refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, reports The Raw Story.

Pepe last year attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Rachel’s mother Angela Peters said that sending her daughter back to school as “Brian” would cause a recurrence of the crippling depression that she suffered with last year.

“She would get off the bus and just cry. Then she would go to sleep for 17 or 20 hours and refuse to go back there. Although Pepe wouldn’t share her grief, a mother knows when something was wrong.”

An official also told Peters that the school lacked the ability to accommodate Rachel and rejected her attempts to propose possible solutions.

Although Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George said he had no knowledge of the controversy, he added that “every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”

Last year, California passed a bill requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their chosen gender identity

Watch a report about Rachel Pepe, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Campus Pride Unveils List of Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges

Pride

Campus Pride released its annual list of the top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities today, revealing that over 80% of participating colleges improved their ratings from the previous year. 

Additionally, the number of campuses located in the South increased as did the number of religiously-affiliated campuses and Minority Serving Institutions. Campus Pride also found that many schools have begun addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBT students as well as concerns for transgender student safety and accommodations.

“For six years in a row, Campus Pride has seen an increase in the number of campuses coming out as LGBT-friendly and making notable improvements to LGBT academic life, so we decided to honor 50 campuses with our national distinction,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride and the creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Today the Campus Pride Index has over 425 campuses featured online and for the first time ever we have 56 campuses who achieved the highest 5 stars overall rating, the largest number to date.”

Check out the list, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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Catholic High School Stands Behind Openly Gay Coach

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 7.35.30 AM

As we have reported many times before, Catholic schools do not have a good track record with gay teachers. As such, one would be forgiven for thinking that a story about a gay coach for a Catholic school, in South Dakota no less, would be one that ended in tragedy. Unbelievably, this is not the case; quite the opposite in fact.

Last week the volleyball and baseball coach for St. Mary High School, a Catholic school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Nate Alfson came out in an email to Outsports. Said Alfson of his follow-up meeting with the school:

The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!

It's almost as if Alfson's orientation has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to be a leader, teacher, and role model. Congratulations to St. Mary for acknowledging and supporting Alfson's worth as a teacher and a person rather than dragging everyone down with archaic dogma, and here's hoping that more Catholic schools will follow their lead.

Check out a KSFY report on the original story HERE.


Delaware School Board Cancels Summer Reading List Rather Than Include LGBT Novel

The Miseducation of Cameron Post coverThe Miseducation of Cameron Post is a coming-of-age novel about a young lesbian  sent to live with her conservative aunt after her parents die in a car crash. She is subsequently sent to a "de-gaying" camp where she develops a relationship with another girl who becomes her best friend.

The Cape Henlopen School Board in Delaware removed the book from its summer reading list after complaints from parents, allegedly about profanity within the book, but the book's author emily m. danforth (who spells her name in lowercase) and others believe it was due to the subject matter of homosexuality.

When danforth and an AfterEllen campaign protested the school board's decision - a decision they reached by violating their own rules and deciding without proper investigation - the school board took the logical and completely not-crazy next step by canceling the reading list program altogether.

danforth responded with an open letter to the school board, stating in part:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was included on a librarian-developed list that was part of a summer reading program for incoming freshman. You took the drastic action of removing the book from that list, thereby eliminating it as one of the books students participating in that program might choose to complete their assignment. Yes, my book is (apparently) still available in the school library--which is wonderful--but it is no longer a part of this important summer reading program because of a direct action taken by this school board. Period. That's the very definition of censorship, Mr. Brittingham. But surely you know this. (It does seem that this board rather likes to hide behind its rhetoric.)

The book, as she mentions above, is still available in the school libraries.

[via New Civil Rights Movement]


Anti-Gay Christian Radio Host John Balyo Admits To Second Child Rape: VIDEO

John baylo

Cornerstone University radio host John Balyo, who was arrested in June in connection with the rape of an 11-year-old boy, confessed late last month to the rape of a second boy.

Detroit Free Press reports:

“Balyo and Ronald Lee Moser paid the boy for his involvement in the April 19th assault. His hands and feet were handcuffed and he was tied to the bed, according to courtroom statements today. While bound, Balyo took nine photos of the boy, first in his underwear and then naked. The boy's family wept in the back of the sixth floor courtroom as details of the assault were told to Magistrate Ellen Carmody during today's plea hearing.”

Baylo’s courtroom confession reads in part:

“I did take images of a child and they were sexually explicit involving bondage and nudity. I performed sex acts as described. I knew it was wrong.''

Cornerstone University, a "Christ-centered" college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, requires students to sign a "lifestyle pledge" prohibiting "every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating."

Concerns have been raised that Balyo may have had many more victims.

Balyo faces life in prison on the first case and up to 50 years for the second.

Watch a Wood TV 8 report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO

Kim driscoll mayor salem

On Wednesday we reported the decision by the City of Salem, Massachusetts, to kill a contract with anti-gay Gordon College.

Under the contract, the college operated the city’s Old Town Hall.  College president Michael Lindsay was one of more than 140 signees of a letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions from a pending executive order which aims to prevent work discrimination by federally funded organizations. Letter by Kimberly Driscoll

Speaking to The Christian Post, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said that Gordon College's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior," "is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year.”

Driscoll has since published an awesome letter defending Salem’s inclusive policies and calling out attacks made by right wing blogs and websites.  Specifically citing wingnut Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Driscoll writes that “this has resulted in a number of phones calls being place to my office from people outside of Massachusetts who have expressed some patently offensive views regarding LGBT individuals.”

In response to the barrage of phone calls, Driscoll goes on to say “we are keeping a tally of these phone calls and for each one we receive I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth], in support of your good work to create, sustain, and advocate for the policies and services that support youth here on the North Shore.”

Driscoll also asks that individuals make contributions to nAGLy as a response to “the persistence of those who would deny LGBT citizens their equal rights.” 

Watch a video introducing nAGLY, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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