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Elizabeth Warren joins ‘It Gets Better’ project

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren might just be the poster child for liberal politicians this fall, and lucky for LGBT rights advocates, she’s on our side.

The wave of national attention gained from Warren’s bitter battle over her position at the Obama Administration's Bureau of Consumer Protection propelled her into public light. Warren has focused the attention into a bid for the U.S. Senate, and plans to run against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) this fall. So far, polls have her favorably positioned against the incumbent.

Since her the announcement of her Senate bid, Warren has been the “it” candidate in the Democratic party.

Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, is known mainly as a consumer advocate. She is also a gay rights advocate. No, not the “I have a personal objection to same-sex marriage,” kind of advocate. She's a full-on, support-us-until-we-win advocate.

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Franken drums up support for pro-LGBT Student Non-Discrimination Act

Minnesota Senator Al Franken

Al Franken, the former funnyman turned senator from Minnesota, released a video this week calling for voters to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act. If passed, the bill would forbid discrimination against students based on sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools.

The bill would also prohibit schools from discriminating against LGBT students or ignoring reports of harassment.

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado's 2nd Congressional District first introduced the legislation in the House in 2010 during the 111th Congress.

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Braves release anti-bullying PSA to public

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones

The Atlanta Braves publicly released an anti-bullying video today that was previously available to view only at Turner Field on Braves' game days.

The video features prominent Braves players like Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward speaking directly to those bullied, who witness bullying and to bullies themselves.

A Spanish version has also been released featuring infielder Martin Prado, according to the team.

The video will be distributed to more than 100 local area schools as part of the Anti-Defamation League's “No Place for Hate” campaign.

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Tea Party activist calls LGBT bullying ‘healthy’

Mike Ritter takes on school bullies

Homosexuality, like drugs and cigarettes, harms young people that experiment with it. Well, that's what right-wing activist Rich Swier from Tea Party Nation thinks, anyway.

Earlier this week, Swier posted a blog on Tea Party Nation, an online collective of conservatives and Tea Party members, where he claimed that harassing youth because of their sexuality, or perceived sexuality, was not actually bullying, it was “peer pressure” and “healthy.”

According to Right Wing Watch, Swier equates sexuality with smoking and drug use in an argument to justify bullying LGBT youth.

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Ben Cohen kicks off his StandUp Foundation

Rugby star Ben Cohen auctions off personal items to raise money for his StandUp Foundation

Ben Cohen's "Acceptance Tour 2011" and the Atlanta Bucks held a cocktail reception on Friday, May 20, 2011, at the Livingston Restaurant & Bar at Georgian Terrace.

Cohen, a straight rugby star from the UK, also announced his StandUp Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending bullying and combating homophobia in sports, would be based in Atlanta.

Cohen, now retired, auctioned off a few jerseys as well as the last pair of "boots" he was wearing when he stepped down from the sport. The boots sold for $2,500 and thousands of more dollars were raised for the foundation. Brian Sims, president of Equality Pennsylvania, was with Cohen as part of the tour. Sims came out as gay in 2000 while captain of his college football team, Bloomsburg University in Division II and is the only known openly gay college football captain.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

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Federal agencies work to address LGBT suicides

A national task force dedicated to suicide prevention among LGBT youth will be part of the new National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The Alliance, launched by Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in September, is a public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of SAMHSA, revealed the plan for an LGBT youth task force in a five-page letter sent last month in response to an inquiry from leaders of the U.S. House’s LGBT Equality Caucus.

The task force will be led by Charles Robbins, head of The Trevor Project, which operates an LGBT youth suicide prevention program nationwide, and Kevin Jennings, the Department of Education’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Jennings, an openly gay appointee, founded the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network.

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Ga. teen threatens to bring gun to school after anti-gay bullying

A student at Whitewater High School in Fayette County, Ga., has been arrested on two charges of making terroristic threats after he said he would bring a gun to school to confront bullies who targeted him for allegedly being gay.

"We believe these threats were apparently made in response to a series of taunts by several other students," Fayette County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Brent Rowan told WSB Radio.

According to WSB, the student, who is 16, was apparently being teased for his sexual orientation. He has been suspended for 10 days. It is unclear what punishment, if any, the alleged bullies face at school, but they are not facing any criminal charges.

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Clay Aiken to Congress: Stop anti-gay bullying

American Idol alum Clay Aiken calls on Congress to address anti-gay bullying

“American Idol” singer Clay Aiken and two mothers whose sons committed suicide because of anti-gay bullying at their schools appeared at a Capitol Hill briefing Nov. 18 to urge Congress to pass two bills that would require schools to address bullying and harassment targeting LGBT students.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network organized the briefing as a means of drawing public attention to the two pending bills, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

“Like many kids now in middle schools and high schools, I was bullied,” said Aiken, who came out as gay in 2008 after winning the runner up title of best singer on the widely viewed television show “American Idol.”

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Openly gay professional wrestler says ‘It Gets Better’

Tommy “The SpiderBaby” Saturday shares his coming out story in a new video for the It Gets Better campaign.

Saturday, often called “The World’s Meanest Buddhist” in the ring, is one of the sport’s few openly gay participants.

In the video, Saturday describes his coming out experience, dealing with being gay in the upper-Midwest and shares his heartwarming story of overcoming thoughts of suicide.

In the end, however, Saturday says he was able to come to terms with who he is and says, “Be better and it will get better. I guarantee.”

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Ga. school district fires teacher over anti-bully efforts, gay-themed film

The Haralson County school board terminated teacher Dave Dixon last night after Dixon showed a short clip from the film “The Reckoning” during a lesson on bullying. Dixon, who taught drama at Haralson County High School, said recent LGBT-youth suicides provided an opportunity for a “teachable moment.”

Haralson County High School is located on Ga. Highway 120 in Tallapoosa, Ga.

“The Reckoning,” a short film starring Bruce Hart, centers on Tom Shepard, a character who is gay-bashed after his public display of pride. Hart is a personal friend of Dixon who Dixon described as “the sweetest man you’ll ever meet.”

“The Reckoning” is loosely based on the story of Matthew Shepard, according to the website IMDB.