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  1. In Australia, the Safe Schools Coalition's approach actively supports the establishment of Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) and other youth-led initiatives for peer support and information. It also provides professional development for teachers and other school staff that can be tailored to schools’ specific needs. It has developed guidelines on non-discrimination, bullying and diversity policies and a broad set of resources, including books and videos. wikipedia.org
  2. The Recommendation to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity was adopted unanimously by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2010. It advises the education sectors of the 47 member states to take measures ‘at all levels to promote mutual tolerance and respect in schools, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity’. It specifies that this should include ‘providing objective information with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance in school curricula and educational materials, and providing pupils and students with the necessary information, protection and support to enable them to live in accordance with their sexual orientation and gender identity’. The recommendation further advises countries to ‘design and implement school equality and safety policies and action plans and may ensure access to adequate anti-discrimination training or support and teaching aids’. The European Social Charter guarantees the right to the protection of health, including through the provision of advisory and educational facilities. This positive obligation ‘extends to ensuring that educational materials do not reinforce demeaning stereotypes and perpetuate forms of prejudice which contribute to the social exclusion, embedded discrimination and denial of human dignity often experienced by historically marginalized groups such as persons of non-heterosexual orientation. wikipedia.org
  3. In 2016 a report titled "The National Inventory of School District Interventions in Support of LGBTQ Student Wellbeing" was issued by Lead Investigator Dr. Catherine Taylor, University of Winnipeg and her research team. The report, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, outlines the interventions taken by Canadian public schools in support of LGBTQ students. Findings presented in the report include acknowledgements that urban schools districts are more likely to have LGBTQ-specific interventions than rural districts and that, in general, Alberta and Quebec are less likely than other Canadian provinces to have specific interventions. Interestingly, the report also found that interventions were more likely to occur at the elementary and middle school level than the secondary level. Throughout Canada, school districts were far less likely to have trans-specific policies. wikipedia.org
  4. Parkfield Community School in Birmingham received extended national attention starting in 2016 over its "No Outsiders" curriculum which teaches tolerance of differences. The program had been created in 2014 by gay teacher Andrew Moffat who is assistant headteacher at the school. There were extended protests and activism against the program by the predominantly Muslim parents for several years, which grew to include people from other faiths from outside the local area. The parents accused the school of fostering acceptance and the permissibility of homosexuality in young children. Some of the allegations circulated in the controversy included that the "sexual mechanics" of homosexuality were depicted to children with clay figures, which the school broadly denies. The government agency Ofsted said that the program was appropriate. In 2019 Anderton Park School, also in Birmingham, faced similar objections. wikipedia.org
  5. Historic legal denigration of non-heterosexuality and non-vaginal sexual intercourse (even among heterosexual partners) continues to have a long-running residual effect on the public discourse. The first gay–straight alliances to be established in public schools in the early 1990s faced stiff opposition from faculty, administration and parents of students, with protests and fierce debates over the matter, but GSAs have since been established for middle school students in a number of jurisdictions. In California, GSAs now number over 762, representing over 50% of California's public high schools. In 2011, the State Legislature passed the FAIR Education Act, which, if signed into law, would make California the first state in the United States to mandate the teaching of LGBT-affirmative social sciences (i.e., LGBT history) in the public school system and forbid discriminatory language in the school curriculum. One of the pre-eminent organizations advocating for LGBT education and academic rights in the United States is GLSEN. As of 13 August 2019, four US states are required by law to acquire LGBT related-topics into social science classes, which include the following states: California, Colorado, Illinois, and New Jersey. wikipedia.org
  6. Teaching LGBT history and social sciences The inclusion of LGBT topics in teaching of history and social sciences are also advocated by topics in order to increase pride and self-respect among LGBT students and reduce shame or self-pity for the lack of emphasis upon famous LGBT persons. Sex education. With regards to the topic, it is somewhat important to acknowledge what it is like to be labeled as LGBT. Often people use words that may relate to the LGBT community with a negative annotation. For example, phrases like "that's so gay" or "you are being a faggot", suggest that being gay is a "bad" thing. The more we allow this kind of communication, it will only continue to be a criticized expression. To some it comes as a relief and sense of empowerment, but others have to deal with the stigma which is attached to LGBT. The common stereotypes of queer include, but are not limited to: sexually confused, pedophiles, and violation of gender roles. Stereotypes help to create the stigma which is cast upon the LGBT community, which in turn results in the marginalization of the group. Labeling can effect others attitudes towards the individual being labeled. The labeling perspective also focuses on the roles of moral entrepreneurs, rule creators and enforcers. These are individuals who create rules and enforce them. Sex education As general sex education often faces fierce opposition from religious congregations which are doctrinally averse to contraception, sex education which includes homosexuality is considered especially egregious among opponents. The matter of sex education often leads more devout Abrahamists to withdraw their children from the school's tutelage, leading to further educational terms which emphasize Abrahamic religious mores, such as abstinence, heterosexuality and monogamy. This aversion is criticized by advocates of sex education who assert that many of the pupils of such education eventually find their own means to those practices or realizations which are expressly forbidden by religious institutions. As well, sexual education curriculums continuously fails to inform LGBTQ students on crucial health issues that may arise during sexual intercourse. Some of the neglected information reflects on sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and AIDS, which are commonly enforced upon the gay community through socially accepted stereotypes. Sex ed curriculum also disregards any information pivotal to LGBTQ students in order for schools to avoid tensions with religious groups. Likewise, most of the material presented in schools focus on a heterosexual perspective that encourages "abstinence until marriage", a typical practice accredited to various religious groups that promote the need of heterosexuality for a healthy sexual life. Formal event dress and gender identity Where schools may hold formal engagements such as proms, homecomings and Winter Formals which typically involve set gender roles, issues have arisen with the following: attendance of same-sex student couples the wearing of non-gender-conforming dress (i.e., female students wearing tuxedos and male students wearing skirts or blouses) the crowning of female event kings and male event queens. Various jurisdictions have taken different reactions to such issues, which have resulted in controversy and legal disputes over discrimination by state schools (i.e., the 2010 Itawamba County School District prom controversy). Queer-inclusive student events Campus events have been created for LGBTQ students in order to be inclusive of such students and their allies. These include the queer prom and the Lavender Graduation; the latter was first organized by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, then the director of the LGBT Center at the University of Michigan, in 1995. wikipedia.org
  7. Homophobia vs. heterosexism Homophobia and heterosexism or heteronormativity are closely related words, used to represent a fear of equality of the heterosexual population and the LGBT community. Homophobia, for example, is defined by "overt expression of dislike, harassment and even assault" towards the LGBT community. Heterosexism, on the other hand, describes a sense of entitlement to denounce the superiority of heterosexuality and the need for heterosexuality to be the only sexual orientation. However, homophobia and heterosexism are intermingling, pertaining to the ability to proclaim heterosexuality as "normal" and therefore, homosexuality as "abnormal" and "different". Homophobia can also be used to reinforce heterosexism in an institution such as in education as curriculum in schools are based on a heterosexual perspective which increases the need for others to conform to heterosexuality and therefore ignore homophobic acts and comments. Prevention of bullying The issue of homophobic bullying and violence by students and teachers is increasingly broached by advocates as a reason for the intervention of administration on behalf of LGBT students. A restorative approach in schools is a way of preventing bullying of LGBT students. Planning committees can be formed by students who want to help educate their peers on LGBT. A restorative response that helped educate students and school staff included a Lesbian and Gay Pride week at an elementary school in Canada in the late 1990s. A student-planned unit on Lesbian and Gay Pride week was composed of a series of events dedicated to educate on LGBT history, diverse family structures, and included guest speakers. Restorative responses help provide welcoming, safe, and equitable environments. wikipedia.org
  8. According to Sokolowski and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, "LGBT resource centers must also be staffed by at least one halftime (50% or 20 hours per week) professional staff person or graduate assistant whose job description is solely dedicated to serving the LGBT resource center and its services." Depending on the campus, an LGBT Campus Center's mission may include faculty support, student advocacy, alumni relations, and/or public relations with the greater community (especially in response to crisis). Contrary to some beliefs and researcher opinions, LGBT student centers remain open to allies of the LGBTQ+ community and those questioning their identity. An LGBT Campus Center may provide academic resources related to LGBT Studies, support social opportunities for LGBT people to interact, and sponsor educational events for the campus as a whole. Most Campus Centers provide referrals to other campus departments or off-campus organizations to help meet student needs. Due to this increased support, many students view these centers as more positively than the rest of their institution's campus and climate, creating a "microclimate" in the larger scheme of an institution's campus climate. Regardless of the concentration of on-campus support in these centers, the presence of these centers typically increases the available resources for students and increases perception from outside of the institution. Students who engage with centers are more likely to be out which allows them to further connect with these current students, but also puts additional pressure to help other LGBTQ+ students come out and grow relationships with them. Some LGBT Campus Centers provide psychological counseling for students struggling with their sexual or gender identity and for students coping with internal or external prejudice. Some example scenarios of when a student might seek out counseling from an LGBT Campus Center: A questioning student seeks help understanding their sexual identity A self-affirmed transgender student has just experienced a bias-motivated attack A straight student is having difficulty coping with a gay roommate wikipedia.org
  9. The origin of the LGBT student movement can be linked to other activist movements from the mid-20th century in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement and Second-wave feminist movement were working towards equal rights for other minority groups in the United States. Though the student movement began a few years before the Stonewall riots, the riots helped to spur the student movement to take more action in the US. Despite this, the overall view of these gay liberation student organizations received minimal attention from contemporary LGBT historians. This oversight stems from the idea that the organizations were founded with haste as a result of the riots. Others historians argue that this group gives too much credit to groups that disagree with some of the basic principles of activist LGBT organizations. Though the times and places of the student movement vary, the goals are often similar including: abolishing sodomy laws, equality on campuses for LGBT students, increasing money for HIV/AIDS research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, to prevent the bullying and suicide of LGBT youth, and gain visibility for LGBT peoples. LGBT student organizations today have started to involve research to improve the understanding of basic activism ideas. Using historical research as a source to identify and differentiate successful approaches. The identities of student activists and their involvement tends to shape the different organizations across campuses. The student movements have not always been successful in their goals, but they have been able to bring visibility to the LGBT community in their area as well as working to promote equality for a better future for their community. wikipedia.org
  10. In the recent history of the expansion of LGBT rights, the issue of teaching various aspects of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life and existence to younger children has become a heated point of debate, with proponents stating that the teaching of LGBT-affirming topics to children will increase a sense of visibility for LGBT students and reduce incidences of homophobia or closeted behavior for children, while opponents to the pedagogical discussion of LGBT people to students are afraid that such discussions would encourage children to violate or question religiously or ideologically motivated rejections of non-heterosexuality in private settings (or promote a "homosexual agenda"). Much of the religious and/or social conservative aversion to non-heterosexuality and the broaching of the topic to juveniles tends to occur in regions with a historic demographic dominance or majority of adherents to an Abrahamic religion, particularly the majority of denominations of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, while those who were raised in those religions but advocate or take more favorable/nuanced positions on LGBT issues or are LGBT themselves may often be ostracized from more socially conservative congregations over the issue. wikipedia.org
  11. All major Islamic schools disapprove of homosexuality, Islam views same-sex desires as an unnatural temptation; and sexual relations are seen as a transgression of the natural role and aim of sexual activity. Islamic teachings (in the hadith tradition) presume same-sex attraction, extol abstention and (in the Qur'an) condemn consummation. The discourse on homosexuality in Islam is primarily concerned with activities between men. There are, however, a few hadith which mention homosexual behavior among women; The fuqaha’ are agreed that "there is no hadd punishment for lesbianism, because it is not zina. Rather a ta’zeer punishment must be imposed, because it is a sin…'" Although punishment for lesbianism is rarely mentioned in the histories, al-Tabari records an example of the casual execution of a pair of lesbian slavegirls in the harem of al-Hadi, in a collection of highly critical anecdotes pertaining to that Caliph's actions as ruler. wikipedia.org
  12. Restorationist churches, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints generally teach that homosexuals are 'broken' and can be 'fixed'. The Community of Christ, a branch of Mormonism, fully accepts LGBT persons, performs weddings for gay and lesbian couples, and ordains LGBT members. Within the Stone-Campbell aligned restorationist churches the views are divergent. The churches of Christ (A Capella) and the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ mostly adhere to a very conservative ideology; socially, politically, and religiously and are generally not accepting of openly LGBT members and will not perform weddings for gay and lesbian couples. The Disciples of Christ, is fully accepting of LGBT persons, often performs weddings for gay and lesbian couples, and ordains LGBT members. The United Church of Christ is an officially "open and affirming" church. Other Restorationist churches such as The Brethren (see Mennonite) and Millerite churches, have taken mixed positions but are increasingly accepting with some of their congregations fully accepting LGBT persons in all aspects of religious and political life. wikipedia.org
  13. Evangelical churches The positions of the evangelical churches are varied. They range from liberal to conservative, through moderate. Conservative position Many American Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians regard homosexual acts as sinful and think they should not be accepted by society. They tend to interpret biblical verses on homosexual acts to mean that the heterosexual family was created by God to be the bedrock of civilization and that same-sex relationships contradict God’s design for marriage and violate his will. Christians who oppose homosexual relationships sometimes argue that same-gender sexual activity is unnatural. Some evangelical churches in the United States have anti-gay activists who consider that homosexuality is at the root of many social problems. Some evangelical churches in Uganda strongly oppose homosexuality and homosexuals. They have campaigned for laws criminalizing homosexuality. In opposing interpretations of the Bible that are supportive of homosexual relationships, conservative Christians have argued for the reliability of the Bible, and the meaning of texts related to homosexual acts, while often seeing what they call the diminishing of the authority of the Bible by many homosexual authors as being ideologically driven. As an alternative to a school-sponsored Day of Silence opposing bullying of LGBT students, conservative Christians organized a Golden Rule Initiative, where they passed out cards saying "As a follower of Christ, I believe that all people are created in the image of God and therefore deserve love and respect." Others created a Day of Dialogue to oppose what they believe is the silencing of Christian students who make public their opposition to homosexuality. On 29 August 2017, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a manifesto on human sexuality known as the "Nashville Statement". The statement was signed by 150 evangelical leaders, and includes 14 points of belief. Sex scandals Some evangelical pastors with antigay speeches have been outed. There was Pastor Ted Haggard, founder of nondenominational charismatic megachurch New Life Church in Colorado Springs, USA. Married with five children, Ted was an anti-gay activist and said he wanted to ban homosexuality from the church. In 2006, he was dismissed from his position as senior pastor after a prostitute claimed to have had sex with him for three years. After denying the relationship, the pastor admitted that the allegations were accurate. There was also Baptist Pastor George Alan Rekers of the Southern Baptist Convention in the United States and psychologist member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Married and father of children, the antigay activist was recognized with a gay escort, hired for a trip to Europe, in 2010. According to him, he had hired the gay escort to carry his luggage. Liberal position International There are some international evangelical denominations that are gay-friendly, such as the Alliance of Baptists and Affirming Pentecostal Church International. U.S. A 2014 survey reported that 43% of white evangelical American Christians between the ages of 18 and 33 supported same-sex marriage. Some evangelical churches accept homosexuality and celebrate gay weddings. Pastors have also been involved in changing the traditional position of their church. In 2014, the New Heart Community Church of La Mirada, a Baptist church in the suburbs of Los Angeles was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention for this purpose. In 2015, GracePointe Church in Franklin in the suburbs of Nashville made this decision. It lost over half of her weekly attendance (from 1,000 to 482). Moderate position Some churches have a moderate position. Although they do not approve homosexual practices, they show sympathy and respect for homosexuals. U.S. Reflecting this position, some pastors, for example, showed moderation during public statements. For example, Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston said in 2013 he found it unfortunate that several Christian ministers focus on the homosexuality by forgetting the other sins described in the Bible. He said that Jesus did not come to condemn people, but to save them. Other pastors also share this view. Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church New York City said in 2014 that gays were numerous in their church and he prayed that Hillsong was always welcoming. Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, mentioned in 2015 that the church should be the safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction. There is also a movement of people who consider themselves "gay Evangelicals". Composed mainly of young people, the movement is positioned against liberals and conservatives. Recognizing themselves as gay or bisexual, these young people believe that their attraction to same-sex people, while present, does not allow them to have homosexual relationships. They say that their Christian conversion did not instantly change their sexual desires. They insist that the church should always reject homosexual practices, but that it should welcome gay people. There are also believers gathered in Christian organizations of evangelical orientation, such as Your Other Brothers or Voice of the Voiceless, who claim they have not been attracted to homosexuality since their new birth, without having recourse to a conversion therapy. They insist on the importance of welcoming and loving homosexuals, but believe that sexuality should be reserved for heterosexual marriage. wikipedia.org
  14. Protestant churches Liberal position Certain other Christian denominations do not view monogamous same-sex relationships as sinful or immoral, and may bless such unions and consider them marriages. These include the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, all German Lutheran, reformed and united churches in EKD, all Swiss reformed churches, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the United Protestant Church of France, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Iceland, the Church of Norway, and the Uniting Church in Australia. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland also allows prayer for same-sex couples. The Metropolitan Community Church was founded specifically to serve the Christian LGBT community. The Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals (GAAAP), traces its roots back to 1980, making it the oldest LGBT-affirming Apostolic Pentecostal denomination in existence. Another such organization is the Affirming Pentecostal Church International, currently the largest affirming Pentecostal organization, with churches in the US, UK, Central and South America, Europe and Africa. LGBT-affirming denominations regard homosexuality as a natural occurrence. The United Church of Christ celebrates gay marriage, and some parts of the Anglican and Lutheran churches allow for the blessing of gay unions. The United Church of Canada also allows same-sex marriage, and views sexual orientation as a gift from God. Within the Anglican Communion, there are openly gay clergy; for example, Gene Robinson is an openly gay Bishop in the US Episcopal Church. Within the Lutheran communion, there are openly gay clergy, too; for example, bishop Eva Brunne is an openly lesbian Bishop in the Church of Sweden. Such religious groups and denominations interpret scripture and doctrine in a way that leads them to accept that homosexuality is morally acceptable, and a natural occurrence. For example, in 1988 the United Church of Canada, that country's largest Protestant denomination, affirmed that "a) All persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, who profess Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, are welcome to be or become full members of the Church; and b) All members of the Church are eligible to be considered for the Ordered Ministry." In 2000, the Church's General Assembly further affirmed that "human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God and part of the marvelous diversity of creation." In addition, some Christian denominations such as the Moravian Church, believe that the Bible speaks negatively of homosexual acts but, as research on the matter continues, the Moravian Church seeks to establish a policy on homosexuality and the ordination of homosexuals. In 2014, Moravian Church in Europe allowed blessings of same-sex unions. Liberal Quakers, those in membership of Britain Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference in the US approve of same-sex marriage and union. Quakers were the first Christian group in the United Kingdom to advocate for equal marriage and Quakers in Britain formally recognised same-sex relationships in 1963. The United Methodist Church elected a lesbian bishop in 2016, and on May 7, 2018, the Council of Bishops proposed the One Church Plan, which would allow individual pastors and regional church bodies to decide whether to ordain LGBT clergy and perform same-sex weddings. On February 26, 2019, a special session of the General Conference rejected the One Church Plan and voted to strengthen its official opposition to same-sex marriages and ordaining openly LGBT clergy. Various positions Churches within Lutheranism hold stances on the issue ranging from labeling homosexual acts as sinful, to acceptance of homosexual relationships. For example, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, the Lutheran Church of Australia, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod recognize homosexual behavior as intrinsically sinful and seek to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations. However, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Norway or lutheran churches of Evangelical Church in Germany conducts same-sex marriages, while the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada opens the ministry of the church to gay pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships. The Ethiopian Mekane Yesus Lutheran Church, however, has taken a stand that marriage is inherently between a man and a woman, and has formally broken fellowship with the ELCA, a doctrinal stand that has cost the Ethiopian church ELCA financial support. Conservative position Some mainline Protestant denominations, such as the African Methodist churches, the Reformed Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church in America have a conservative position on the subject. The Seventh-day Adventist Church "recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and seeks to minister to all men and women [including homosexuals] in the spirit of Jesus," while maintaining that homosexual sex itself is forbidden in the Bible. "Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices." The Anglican Church reassures people with same sex attraction they are loved by God and are welcomed as full members of the Body of Christ. The Church leadership has a variety of views in regard to homosexual expression and ordination. Some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful including "promiscuity, prostitution, incest, pornography, paedophilia, predatory sexual behaviour, and sadomasochism (all of which may be heterosexual and homosexual). The Church is concerned with pressures on young people to engage sexually and encourages abstinence. Most of the Anglican Communion does not approve of homosexual activity, with the exception of the Episcopal Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, which is facing a possible exclusion from international Anglican bodies over the issue. Conservative Quakers, those within Friends United Meeting and the Evangelical Friends International believe that sexual relations are condoned only in marriage, which they define to be between a man and a woman. Confessional Lutheran churches teach that it is sinful to have homosexual desires, even if they do not lead to homosexual activity. The Doctrinal statement issued by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod states that making a distinction between homosexual orientation and the act of homosexuality is confusing: However, confessional Lutherans also warn against selective morality which harshly condemns homosexuality while treating other sins more lightly. wikipedia.org
  15. The Orthodox Church shares a long history of Church teachings and canon law with the Catholic Church and has a similar conservative stance on homosexuality. Some Orthodox Church jurisdictions, such as the Orthodox Church in America, have taken the approach of welcoming people with "homosexual feelings and emotions," while encouraging them to work towards "overcoming its harmful effects in their lives," while not allowing the sacraments to people who seek to justify homosexual activity. Other Orthodox Churches, such as those in Eastern Europe and Greece, view homosexuality less favourably. The issue of gay marriage seems to be strongly rejected, even in Greece, where half of Orthodox Christians don't believe that homosexuality should be discouraged. wikipedia.org
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