Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Ends!!

Iowa Pride Network hailed the end to the discriminatory policy that discriminated against gay and lesbian military service members, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," today. The repeal of the policy helps our nation and military become a stronger, better force for the world.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

IPN is 2010 Characters Unite Award Winner!

Dear Friends,

I wanted to inform you of some great news!

I recently learned IPN will receive the prestigious 2010 Characters Unite Award from USA Network and Mediacom! 

As supporters and student advocates of Iowa Pride Network (IPN), you know how important our work is. You know that everyday, IPN advocates for the safety and well-being of Iowa's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and educates them on their rights and resources.   It is because of this, and your continued support in making it happen, that I want to personally invite you to help us celebrate by joining us at a Celebration Luncheon, hosted by USA Network and Medicom on Thursday, December 16th at noon at the Marriott in downtown Des Moines. (Please see the invitation for details below)

The Celebration Luncheon is complementary to IPN supporters and student advocates and will be a great time to mark how far we have come in creating a more affirming state for LGBT people.

Hope to see you there!
Ryan Roemerman


 P.S. Please direct RSVPs or questions to Molly Scoles at Mediacom – mscoles@mediacomcc.com

(Click Invitation for Larger View)

Please RSVP by Monday, December 13

Ryan Roemerman co-founded Iowa Pride Network when he was a student at the University of Iowa and led the effort to establish and LGBT center on campus.  Ryan has since developed IPN into a nationally recognized state organization.  IPN works directly with students, helping empower them to start and enhance gay-straight alliances in their high schools and colleges, while building a statewide network that offers support, mentoring, educational, advocacy and networking opportunities.  Additionally, Ryan has authored the Iowa School and College Climate Surveys and newly developed "Safe School Certification Program" - a program that seeks to strengthen implementation of Iowa's Safe Schools Law, legislation for which IPN was a major proponent. 

Characters Unite, USA Network's community affairs program, was created in January 2009 to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network's iconic "Characters Welcome" brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat prejudice and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance -- on-air, online, and in communities across the country. www.charactersunite.com
 
For more information on Characters Unite and Ryan Roemerman, visit http://www.charactersunite.com/awards/roemerman
 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Transgender Day Of Remembrance 11-20-10

Today is National Transgender Day of Remembrance. We remember lives lost due to hatred and violence and honor them by stopping hate where it starts and by creating a more welcoming state for transgender people.  Check out GLAAD's blog, honoring the transgender people who have lost their lives due to violence. See their faces and hear their stories here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

IPN Attends National Safe Schools Roundtable

Recently, Iowa Pride Network traveled to Minneapolis, MN to attend the 2010 National Safe Schools Roundtable (NSSR).  



The packed 2.5 days delved into the current state of the LGBTQ safe schools movement.  

Amidst the work we did at NSSR, we had the opportunity to meet with Sen. Al Franken, sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act.  We also met with with Joe Wardenski from the U.S. Department of Justice about ensuring legal protections for transgender youth, and Stacey Horn, Program Director, M.Ed. in Youth Development in the UIC Department of Education, about cutting edge safe schools research. 

We also benefited from the wealth of expertise of the other participants such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, aMaze, Anti-Defamation League, National Black Justice Coalition, Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, Idaho Safe Schools Coalition, GLSEN, Family Equality Council, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, ACLU LGBT Rights Project, Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and many others!

Bishop Gene Robinson Steps Down

On Tuesday, V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, announced his resignation from leading his diocese.    Robinson still plans to be a bishop, but feeling the stress of both leading a parish and serving as a gay rights icon, this decision was made for his health as much as anything.

Robinson has been a trailblazer for the LGBT community for years now, adding an open voice to the religious community and creating a much-needed conversation within the Anglican Communion (not to mention other Christian denominations).  Ever since starting as a bishop, Robinson has received countless death threats and hateful messages.

Robinson assures the community that he’s not “being run off” by those who have always opposed him.  Instead, he’s retiring to focus on his ministry in New Hampshire, though he still plans to be engaged in “trying to achieve full and equal rights for gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual people.”

We only wish the best for Robinson in his decisions, and thank him for all of the hard work he’s done for the nation!

The full article can be found HERE.

Friday, October 8, 2010

IPN to Hold 10/20/10 Vigil to Make it Better

In memory of those who have died because of anti-gay bullying and harassment, Iowa Pride Network will be holding a vigil on October 20th at 7:30 pm at the West Capitol Terrace (the park/steps just west of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines). The vigil also serves as a call to action to make our schools and communities safe for all students.

MAKE A SIGN: If you plan to attend we encourage you to make a sign briefly describing what you will do to help stop bullying (example: I will stand up for friends that are harassed, I am an ally of LGBT people, I will start a Gay-Straight Alliance, etc.). And, if you are comfortable, please also include your name, and a noun that describes you (example: student, teacher, parent, etc.). At the end, you may donate your sign for a future display designed to show there are many things that friends, family and allies can do to stop bullying.

PLEASE WEAR PURPLE.
On this date, thousands of people across America will be wearing purple in memory of those who have been bullied and those who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse.

Please come to show your support for ending bullying and anti-gay violence and remembering the lives that were lost in the past few weeks: Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Raymond Chase, and others.

As Ellen Degeneres stated, "One life lost is a tragedy. [Five] is a crisis". Join us to show that the state of Iowa cannot and will not stand for ANY disrespect and bigotry in our schools or in our communities.

Please spread the word.

Click HERE for map. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

IPN to Disucss Bullying/Suicide on IPR Tomorrow

Iowa Pride Network Executive Director Ryan Roemerman will be on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program tomorrow morning (October 5th) to discuss bullying and suicide prevention.

A string of recent news stories surrounding anti-gay bullying and teen suicide has increased awareness of this growing problem.  Roemerman will spotlight data from the 2009 Iowa School Climate Survey and what Iowa's students, teachers, families and communities can do to help.

The program will also discuss the "It Gets Better" Project, created in response to the suicide of 15-year-old Indiana teenager Billy Lucas, who hanged himself in his family's barn after enduring bullying from his classmates. Writer Dan Savage is reaching out to LGBT teenagers to let them know life may be difficult now, but "it gets better."

IPR's Charity Nebbe will speak with Savage; Roemerman; and Jeremy Youde of the University of Minnesota at Duluth from 10 to 11am on WOI 640 AM Radio in Ames/Des Moines and WSUI 910 AM Radio in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids.

Please visit IPR's website to find out what station to tune to in your area.

Asher Brown (pictured above) an eighth-grader, killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. Brown, his family said, was "bullied to death" — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maquoketa Student Creates "Gay is Okay Day"

MAQUOKETA, Iowa - A T-shirt is causing confusion at Maquoketa High School. It has the word “gay” on it- and administrators say they couldn’t tell if the shirt was making fun of or supporting gay rights.

Early last week Ali Lai wore a shirt to school that read “I Heart Lady Gay Gay.” Lai said, “I mean “gay” that’s not inappropriate. At least I don’t think it’s inappropriate. But it could catch the eye of some people and make them mumble a few words.”

He says the shirt is in reference to Pop Star Lady Gaga, who’s also an activist for gay rights.

The school’s Assistant Principal told Lai to change his shirt or turn it inside out. The Superintendent stands by that decision. But admits, administrators didn’t know what the expression meant. Superintendent Kim Huckstadt said, “Not knowing if it was an item that was either in support of or if it was actually derogatory.”

Another student thinks this is an example of Maquoketa High School violating a student’s rights. So, she organized what she’s calling “gay is okay day”.

Read the full article from KCRG Here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Michigan Asst. AG Targets Gay College Student

By: Ross Jones

ANN ARBOR (WXYZ) - Andrew Shirvell has fought battles in courtrooms throughout the state, but it’s a fight he’s picked with an openly gay college student that has some wondering if this attorney is out of order.

In classroom’s across the state, Attorney General Mike Cox uses videos to teach students the dangers of internet predators and cyber bullies.

“We want you to be safe on the Internet, and in particular, we want to protect you from Internet predators,” said Cox in the video.

But is one of his top lieutenants engaging in cyber bullying, the very behavior Cox says is so dangerous. Andrew Shirvell is an assistant attorney general who helped run Cox’s last re-election campaign. But on his own time, he’s the author of a blog he started last spring targeting Chris Armstrong, the openly gay president of the University of Michigan’s student assembly.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Queer Leadership Summit @ ISU on 11-6-10



SAVE THE DATE!!!
Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Iowa State University 
Memorial Union

On Saturday, November 6, 2010, Iowa Pride Network, in partnership with Iowa State University, will host the 4th Annual Queer Leadership Summit!

This is a FREE event and lunch is provided.

This year’s theme, The Politics of Progress, will explore Iowa’s ever-changing political landscape and what it means to LGBT and allied people and their rights and how institutional politics within schools and colleges can affect campus climates. The summit will also explore best practices for sustaining GSA and college LGBT groups and networking them together, emerging issues within our movement and provide time for attendees to network and collaborate.

Check-in will begin at 9:00 AM and the summit will start promptly at 10:00 AM and last until 4:00 PM.

This event is FREE and is sure to be a tremendous networking and community-building opportunity. Don’t miss it!

Further details regarding the summit and registration materials will be updated to the Iowa Pride Network website: http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/. Check back often. More questions or need more info? Call the Iowa Pride Network office at 515-471-8062 or email iowapridenetwork@gmail.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

IPN Presents at Anti-Bullying Summit in D.C.


IOWA PRIDE NETWORK PRESENTS AT FIRST-EVER FEDERAL BULLYING PREVENTION SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Iowa Pride Network & Iowa Department of Education Invited to Help Develop National Strategy for Reducing & Ending Bullying


Washington, D.C. – August 13 – Iowa Pride Network, along with the Iowa Department of Education, was invited to the nation’s capital to present at the first-ever Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit. 

Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director of Iowa Pride Network and Amy J. Williamson, Education Program Consultant with the Iowa Department of Education, co-presented on strategies to help schools implement safe school laws with fidelity.

“We’re proud to be invited to participate in the summit and for the opportunity to highlight Iowa’s pioneering work regarding safe school policy,” stated Roemerman.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked off the two day summit along with the department’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Kevin Jennings and Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali.

Administrator Mary Wakefield of the Health Resources and Services Administration; Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin; Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli; other representatives from the U.S. departments of Justice (DOJ), Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD) and Interior (DOI); superintendents; researchers; corporate leaders; community partners; and students also attended the summit.

You may review Willamson and Roemerman’s presentation by following this link:
(Williamson begins at the 2 hour, 28 minute mark followed by Roemerman)

Monday, June 28, 2010

IPN Hails U.S. Supreme Court Decision


IOWA PRIDE NETWORK 
HAILS U.S. SUPREME 
COURT DECISION
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez Ruling Can Help Colleges and Universities Stop Intolerance

Des Moines, IA – June 28 – Iowa Pride Network is hailing the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  The ruling articulates that public colleges and universities do not have to support student groups that violate their non-discrimination policies.

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) had sued the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law for funding and recognition after they were denied.  The university has a non-discrimination policy stating that no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation—which the CLS was effectively doing.  The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and specifically targets gays, lesbians and their allies from joining as they are “participating in or advocating for an unrepentant sexually immoral lifestyle.”

The debate had centered on whether or not denying CLS violated the group’s First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise.  The Supreme Court found that the group’s rights were not violated.

"In requiring CLS – in common with all other student organizations – to choose between welcoming all students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, we hold, Hastings did not transgress constitutional limitations," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the majority opinion.

“The CLS has numerous chapters nationwide and has bullied many public colleges and universities into going against their own non-discrimination policies in order to avoid lawsuits,” stated Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director of Iowa Pride Network, a non-profit organization that networks and provides resources to high school and college Gay-Straight Alliances.

In November, 2008 Iowa Pride Network expressed its concern that the University of Iowa violated its own policy on Human Rights with the approval of funding to CLS.

“Originally, members of the UI Student Government committee that allocates fees for student groups denied CLS funding based on its mission that violated the University of Iowa’s Human Rights Policy. Unfortunately, when threatened with a lawsuit, the Administration was bullied into reversing the decision” said Roemerman.

The CLS and its legal counsel have threatened lawsuits in Iowa before. In the fall of 2007, this same type of controversy erupted on Iowa State University’s campus after conservative Christian groups tried to persuade Iowa State’s administration into allowing varying degrees of discrimination into ISU’s student organization policies. At that time, the ISU Student Government passed a resolution, “opposing the accommodation of any violation to the University’s non-discrimination policy.”

“We hope that today’s ruling gives colleges and universities the courage to stand up to groups like CLS and makes clear that equitable and inclusive non-discrimination policies are crucial in creating safe and healthy campuses for our students” stated Roemerman.
###

Monday, June 14, 2010

Iowa Pride Network is hiring!

If you are interested in building a statewide movement for LGBTA rights and helping Iowa's LGBTA students become the most culturally competent, politically astute youth activists in the nation--apply today!

http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/2010outreach.pdf


Monday, June 7, 2010

IPN Weekly Update June 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kevin Jennings to Keynote Education Conference

Safe, Caring, Healthy 
Learning Environments Workshops
JUNE 18 AND 19, 2010, 
Scheman Center, Ames, Iowa
The public is invited to Kevin Jennings keynote address at 8:30am
(Please register below)

Free Registration & Lunch Both Days!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
(Scroll down to June 18, and click on Learning Supports, 
then click the "Sign-Up" button)

Keynote Speakers:
Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary, 
US Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools 
to be introduced by
Former Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson

Dr. Jonathan Cohen
Founder and President of the Center 
for Social and Emotional Education

National Presenters:
Michelle Collins, Illinois PBIS Network, North Region Coordinator
Glen Dunlap, Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida

Who should attend?
* School Administrators *
* Teachers *
* Counselors *
* School Investigators *
* Social Workers *
* School Crisis Response Teams *
* Safe and Drug Free School Coordinators *
* Mental Health and Support Staff *
* Parent/Teacher Association Members *



Monday, April 26, 2010

IPN Announces 2010 Honorees


IOWA PRIDE NETWORK ANNOUNCES
HONOREES FOR ANNUAL BENEFIT


Des Moines, IA – April 26 – Principal Financial ®, Representative Roger Wendt and two Iowa Gay-Straight Alliances have been announced as honorees for the annual Spring Soiree & Honors Benefit, to be held on April 29, at the Historic Kirkwood in downtown Des Moines.  Proceeds will benefit Iowa Pride Network (IPN).

Principal Financial ® has been a longtime supporter of IPN, and will receive the “Leader in Progress Award” for helping fund IPN programs that better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allied (LGBTA) students throughout Iowa.

Representative Roger Wendt will receive the inaugural award named in his honor for his role in serving as lead sponsor of Iowa’s historic 2007 Safe Schools Law.  The Wendt Award will honor those who champion efforts that better the lives of students in Iowa.

Two Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), one high school and one college will be named as Iowa’s best, the night of the event.  The “Best GSA Awards” honor student groups that have shown a committed effort to raise awareness of LGBT issues on their campus and in their communities and have pioneered programs that increase the respect of LGBT people.

EVENT DETAILS:

Date:
Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Time:
VIP Reception – 6pm
Spring Soiree – 7-9pm
Honors Program – 8pm

Place:
The Historic Kirkwood
4th & Walnut
Downtown Des Moines

RSVP/Purchase Tickets: click HERE (click on the "Spring Soiree" logo)


About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice. For more information call Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or visit
Iowa Pride Network

Thursday, April 22, 2010

IPN Outreach Coordinator to Depart


IOWA PRIDE NETWORK OUTREACH COORDINATOR, RACHEL JOHNSON, TO DEPART

Des Moines, IA – April 22 – Iowa Pride Network (IPN) expressed its appreciation for the work of its Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Johnson, who will be departing the organization at the end of June.  Johnson has served as Outreach Coordinator since August 1, 2007.  Johnson assisted in the development of IPN’s portfolio of programs which have become nationally recognized.

 A search for IPN’s next Outreach Coordinator will begin shortly. Johnson will assist in training the newly hired coordinator to ensure a smooth transition.

“Rachel has been involved with IPN since 2004 when she attended our first college coalition meeting.  Her work for us the past three years as Outreach Coordinator has produced amazing results in helping to better the lives of all students in Iowa,” stated Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director. While in college, Johnson was the spokesperson for IPN’s first “Student Day at the Capitol” where she implored legislators to pass a Safe Schools Law to protect all students, including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).  The law passed in 2007. 

Under Johnson’s leadership as IPN Outreach Coordinator, the number of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) increased by 40% and the sustainability of those groups nearly doubled.  Johnson also doubled the number of GSA Coalitions in the state, establishing new coalitions in rural Iowa.  An accompanying GSA Coalition curriculum was created to fill the information gap by empowering youth with knowledge about their history, community, identity and culture.  In 2007, only 16% of Iowa’s LGBT youth had ever heard about LGBT people, history or events in their schools.  The curriculum increased student’s knowledge and understanding of these issues an average of 35%.

“I’m going to miss all the amazing students I’ve had the honor to work with over the years.  Their experiences have shown me how vital is it to have an organization like IPN available to youth,” stated Johnson.  “I’m eager to see where the organization will go in the years to come and have no doubt IPN will continue to triumph in its efforts to secure and uphold the rights of LGBTA youth and work to make sure they feel represented and safe in their schools. I will always remain an advocate for the rights and equality of Iowa’s LGBTA youth and will never forget what they have taught me.”

 “I know our board of directors, supporters and students will miss Rachel, but are also excited to see what she takes on next,” described Roemerman.  “Rachel has played, and will continue to play, a key role in the LGBT movement in Iowa and beyond."


###

About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice. For more information call Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or by visiting Iowa Pride Network.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NATIONAL DAY OF SILENCE: 4-16-10



Hundreds of thousands of students at thousands of middle schools, high schools and colleges will participate in GLSEN's 15th annual Day of Silence on Friday by taking some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment.

Click HERE for more info!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NEW IPN T-SHIRT-- Debuting at the GSA Conf.

Check out the sweet new IPN t-shirts designed by Eight Seven Central. They're debuting at the GSA Conference THIS Saturday.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

International Expert to Discuss LGBT Refugee Protection April 13


Neil Grungras, founder and executive 
director of the Organization for Refuge, 
Asylum & Migration (ORAM), will give 
a talk on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and 
Transgender (LGBT) refugees from  
12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13, 
in Room 1117 of the University Capitol 
Centre (International Commons). Light 
refreshments will be served. The event 
is free and open to the public.
  
Grungras' talk is titled "Is the 
International Protection Regime Failing the World's Most Vulnerable 
Individuals?" Grungras is an internationally known expert in matters 
of LGBT refugee law and procedure, and ORAM is the first NGO 
devoted to protecting LGBT refugees worldwide.

The lecture will present international law and procedure against an 
analysis of ethno-cultural realities in the Global South. Grungras will 
discuss the unprecedented violence against sexual minorities that 
has occurred over the last year in several locations worldwide. These 
acts, described by some as moral cleansing, drove thousands to escape 
their home countries in search of safety.

This event is co-hosted by the University of Iowa Center for Human 
Rights, a part of International Programs, the UI LGBT Resource 
Center, the UI Department of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, 
and the Iowa City Human Rights Campaign.

(Above: Gay Iranian Teenagers who were executed for being gay in 2005)

NEW VIDEO: IPN Weekly Update for 4-5-10

Ryan and Rachel update viewers on the upcoming GSA Conference and the Spring Soiree. Ryan also discusses the protest Westboro Baptist Church is holding at Drake University on April 10th, and advises LGBTA students why they should act peacefully during this counter-protest.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

UNI Officials Investigating Pride Week Chalk Controversy




CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Members of UNI Proud wanted to inform students about upcoming Pride Week events the same way many other groups on campus do: by writing messages on the sidewalk in chalk.  They were shocked when they stepped on the University of Northern Iowa campus Monday morning, and saw their informational, and colorful, notes had been erased. So they replaced them with a new message.

To read the full story click HERE

ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS!
Iowa Pride Network offers resources and support to any LGBTQA student or student organization that needs it. For more information about how you can start an LGBT group on your campus or how you may obtain resources to support your group, please visit us HERE or contact IPN's Outreach Coordinator at  515-471-8063 -- Rachel@iowapridenetwork.org


If you are looking to network with other college LGBTQA students and their organizations, you should attend our 7th Annual GSA Conference for high school and college youth.  For more information and to register for the event please visit us HERE

Monday, March 29, 2010

Iowa Pride Network Internships Available!

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to help create change in Iowa!  

Iowa Pride Network (IPN) welcomes undergraduate and graduate college and university level interns who have an interest in the mission of our organization.  Interns will assist with the daily work and implementation of IPN programs.  We'll work with students who wish to secure credit for their internship experience as well. 

Get more info and apply HERE

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Video: IPN Weekly Update 3-22-10

Catch Ryan and Rachel chatting at work about the most exciting LGBTQA events & opportunities that are coming up this April!! 

LGBT Students More Likely to Be Cyber-Bullied

Recently, Iowa State University professor Warren Blumenfeld, lead the first-ever national study on cyber-bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth.

The study found that the majority of harassment goes unreported, causes widespread depression and anxiety about attending school.

 The 2009 Iowa School Climate Survey found similar findings:

LGBT students continue to be targeted for cyber-bulling at higher rates than their straight peers. LGBT students were:

2.03 times as likely to have been cyber-bullied sometime in the last year

Cyber-bullying increases thoughts of suicide. LGBT students were:

59% more likely to report having considered suicide if cyber-bullied because of their sexual orientation

Cyber-bullying affects gay and straight students alike, lowers attendance and increases absenteeism. Specifically, LGBT and straight respondents who had been cyber-bullied were:

3.88 times as likely to have skipped class, and;
3.03 times as likely to stay home from school

To read the full 2009 Iowa School Climate Survey go HERE.

If you are being harassed or cyber-bullied, please check out our Make it Real manual HERE.  It helps you understand your rights and how to report harassment.  You don't have to put up with cyber-bullying--you have rights--use them!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gay Rights Advocates Protest At University


HUNTSVILLE, AL - Gay rights protesters on a bus tour made a stop at Oakwood University Monday. They're called Soulforce, and they're visiting Christian and conservative universities to protest their policies.

Soulforce members say Oakwood University's policies discriminate against gay and transgendered people.

To read the full story click HERE

IOWA COLLEGE STUDENTS
Iowa Pride Network supports Soulforce and their efforts to make college campuses more inclusive and a safer place for LGBT students to learn. If you need more information about how to make your campus more LGBT accepting please visit: http://www.iowapridenetwork.org
 
Or Contact Iowa Pride Network Directly: 515-471-8062


Lt. Choi Arrested at White House Gates for Protesting DADT

You might remember that Lt. Dan Choi keynoted the Annual Governor's Conference on LGBT Youth here in Iowa in February.  Well, this just in:

 "In an act of civil disobedience, Lt. Dan Choi and Jim Pietrangelo have been arrested at the White House gates on Thursday while protesting the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.


Following a Human Rights Campaign rally for DADT repeal in Washington earlier today, Choi and Pietrangelo led about 100 protesters to the White House, where the two then proceeded to handcuff themselves to the gates."

Sometimes, civil disobedience, is a way to get your point across.   We support Lt. Choi and his courage to keep fighting for equality!  Read the full article HERE.


Photo By Kerry Eleveld

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nat'l Study: College Freshmen Support Gay Marriage More Than General Public

College students who describe themselves as politically "far right" arrive on campuses across the country supporting legal same-sex marriage significantly more than do conservative Republicans nationwide, according to new data released by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Twenty-four percent of the most conservative college students say that same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, according to the institute's most recent survey of freshmen, conducted last summer and fall. In the nation at large, 14 percent of conservative Republicans support gay marriage, according to a survey conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.