In what national gay rights activists called “a dramatic breakthrough,” the White House issued a statement Monday that supports Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this year.
Gay Cobb County high school student Austin Laufersweiler, named the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s Student Advocate of the Year in 2009, is working with activists to enact an anti-bullying bill in the school district and is making headlines with his work.
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Legislation can be like a train: It runs on a track, makes certain stops along the way, and is often attached to other trains. But in Congress, the train doesn’t run on time.
Last September, gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would likely get a House committee vote in September and a floor vote that fall. Didn’t happen.
An activist with Lambda Legal, the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and numerous other organizations, Simone Bell was familiar with rallying outside of the State Capitol, chanting and urging legislators inside the building to listen to their concerns.
“It’s really interesting being on the other side of the table,” said Bell (D-Atlanta), who took her seat as the state representative for District 58 in January after winning a special election and runoff last November and December.