Rep. Honda Introduces Bill to Stop Blocking LGBTQ Information in Schools and Libraries


PRESS RELEASE

September 29, 2016

Contact: Carmen Russell Phone: (202) 308-4005 Email: carmen.russell@mail.house.gov

Washington, DC – Congressman Honda has introduced the Don’t Block LGBTQ Act, a bill that will ensure LGBTQ resources are not blocked at public schools and libraries. Under current law, public schools and public libraries that receive subsidies for internet service through the e-Rate program are required to filter online content so that it blocks obscene content, child pornography, and content harmful to minors. However, content filters are set by individual school districts, library districts or individual schools and libraries, which can block useful LGBT resources that are not sexually explicit in any way. Rep. Honda’s bill will ensure the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) protects useful LGBTQ resources from being blocked in public schools and libraries, without modifying other content filters. “As we approach LGBTQ History Month, the contributions of LGBTQ people should be accessible to everyone at public schools and public libraries,” said Rep. Honda. “We have seen how filters can block students and adults from useful resources. Whether a gay man is learning how to come out or a transgender woman is finding trans-specific health care, the publicly funded Internet access should remain open to everyone in the LGBTQ community.” Rep. Honda added the Internet is often a resource for the LGBT community to find information on coping with discrimination, isolation and stigma, and to seek anti-bullying and health advice. Litigation advocacy groups have previously litigated cases to remove anti-LGBT web filtering. This law would ban unnecessary LGBTQ censorship in public schools and libraries. Read the Bill Text Here The legislation has support from over 50 organizations from across the country, including the Human Rights Campaign and The LGBT Technology Partnership and Institute. “We are proud and excited at the opportunity to work with Rep. Mike Honda's office on the Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2016, a continuation of an effort underway for years now to better understand those vital, lifesaving resources being blocked by filters in public schools and libraries,” said Christopher Wood, Executive Director of the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute. “Congressman Honda has a lot of leadership on issues that impact the LGBTQ community as demonstrated by his launch of the Transgender Equality Task Force. The LGBTQ community deserves equal access to resources specific to our community’s needs, especially in public schools and libraries. The last thing troubled LGBT youth need to feel is alone, bullied and/or without support or the ability to gain access to those lifesaving resources.” Current List of Supporters

GSA Network of California CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers Center on Halsted Central Illinois Pride Health Center Pridelines All Under One Roof LGBT Advocates of Southeastern Idaho Phoenix Pride LGBT Center of Raleigh LGBT Center of Central PA LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin Guilford Green Foundation Pride Center of WNY 1n10, Inc Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Inc. the Montrose Center RAD Remedy Women In Network Rockland County Pride Center Los Angeles LGBT Center Hudson Pride ALSO Youth, Inc Resource Center The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection The Pride Center at Equality Park Lost N Found Spencer Pride, Inc. OUTMemphis The Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada OutCenter SunServe The DC Center for the LGBT Community North County LGBTQ Resource Center Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Mary's House for Older Adults, Inc. San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center G III Associates Great Falls LGBTQ+ Center Sacramento LGBT Community Center Community Alliance & Action Network Focus on Awareness and Information Resources of New York (FAIRNY) The Pride Center of New Jersey Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center SMYAL (Supporting & Mentoring Youth Advocates & Leaders) The Phillip Rush Center Open Door Health Center of IL Prism Youth Initiative human-I-T PRISM-Q LGBT & Allies Resource Center Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, Inc Straight But Narrow

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