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03.22.13

Two Alabama Teens Try to Make a Little Less Rough for LGBTQ Students

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Alabama schools require all sex education teachers to tell their students: (1) homosexuality is a crime; and (2) that it goes against what society considers an acceptable lifestyle. Two high school students have started a petition to change this law.

Here are portions of the petition:

Think of the effect that this law has on lesbian, gay and bisexual youth in schools. It incorrectly tells them that being gay is a criminal act and that society will never accept them. Imagine the self-hatred you would feel inside you after hearing this in class, despite having done nothing wrong? Imagine the message its giving to bullies, too….

Every single gay teen in Alabama wakes up each day knowing that so much of the world is against them. More than forty percent of the state’s homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Teen suicide rates, especially among LGBT teens, are alarming and horrific…

But beyond being hurtful, this law is legally and factually inaccurate. In 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex sodomy laws are illegal and cannot be enforced, affecting not only Alabama’s pre-existing sodomy law but also this segment of sexual education curriculum. Telling students that being gay is a crime is not only wrong, it’s unconstitutional according to our nation’s highest court.

Read the entire petition here.