Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2020
The Act was introduced on June 30, 2020
In 2014, LGBT Tech led the charge with Rep. Mike Honda, LGBTQ Centers, National LGBTQ Organizations and 17 members of Congress to send a letter to the Federal Communications Commission ensuring that our public schools and libraries provide EQUAL online access to resources for ALL students, especially LGBTQ individuals.
In 2016, Rep. Mike Honda introduced the first Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2016 and LGBT Tech was proud to be joined by over 50 incredible organizations to sign on in support of the bill.
In 2017, Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced the Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2017 and LGBT Tech was proud to have over 25 amazing organizations sign on in support of the second introduction of the bill.
On June 30, 2020, Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), several members of Congress, LGBT Tech and 61 LGBTQ organizations introduced the Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2020. Read the press release here.
Why is the Don't Block LGBTQ Act important?
The Don't Block LGBT Act of 2020 specifically ensures that when public schools and libraries in the United States take public funding (Universal Service Funds - USF), they are required to have safety filters in place to protect those accessing the Internet in the public facilities. As it stands, the laws outlining how filters are set in public schools and libraries give the local district Chief Technology Officer (CTO) the power to interpret the laws of what content to filter. This gives the local district CTO the ability to block useful (and potentially life-saving) LGBTQIA+ resources that are not sexually explicit in any way based on personal opinion and/or biases-- sites like The Trevor Project and PFLAG.
The Don't Block LGBTQ Act amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit elementary schools, secondary schools, or libraries that receive discount rates for telecommunications services under the universal service support program from blocking Internet access to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer resources. The bill does not prohibit schools or libraries from blocking content that is obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.