September 29, 2016
Contact: Carmen Russell
Phone: (202) 308-4005
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
All Under One Roof LGBT Advocates of Southeastern Idaho
LGBT Center of Raleigh
LGBT Center of Central PA
LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin
Guilford Green Foundation
Pride Center of WNY
Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Inc.
the Montrose Center
Women In Network
Rockland County Pride Center
Los Angeles LGBT Center
ALSO Youth, Inc
The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection
The Pride Center at Equality Park
Lost N Found
Spencer Pride, Inc.
The Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
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
PRISM-Q LGBT & Allies Resource Center
Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, Inc
Straight But Narrow