Queer notes, March-April 2020

March 17, 2020

From the March-April 2020 issue of News & Letters

by Elise

Human Rights Watch says that Queer youth in Vietnam continue to be bullied, harassed, assaulted and threatened with medical treatment. Vietnamese advocacy rights group ICS Centre calls for its government to fight discrimination and to “create a safe and inclusive educational environment.” A bill that would allow Transgender people who have undergone gender-affirming surgery to register under their new gender has been introduced but not enacted, and Vietnam’s Education Minister has proposed guidelines for an LGBTQ-inclusive sex education curriculum which have not been implemented.

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The University of Louisville has reversed itself, now banning a homophobic student from any contact with the students and professor of the Introduction to LGBTQ Studies course. Students had been encouraged by the seeming receptiveness of University President Neeli Bendapudi to their ideas for an introductory course on the LGBTQ community for incoming freshmen, and that times and locations of LGBTQ studies classes not be made public. But when a student distributed an anti-LGBTQ pamphlet, God & Sexuality, published by evangelical Christian group Living Waters, the university initially had determined that the pamphlet did not constitute hate speech and that the student did not pose a threat to the students.

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Many colorfully clad students at John F. Kennedy High School, a Catholic school in Burien, Wash., left their classes to participate in a sit-in protest, honoring teachers Michelle Beattie and Paul Danforth, who were forced to resign. After announcing to school officials their engagements to their same-sex partners, Beattie and Danforth either had to keep their engagements private or leave the school, per the morality clauses they signed. As a condition for employment, employees of many religious schools must sign morality clauses that say they will adhere to church teachings. Students, alumni and parents also protested in front of the Archdiocese of Seattle. “Reinstate, not hate,” and “Separate, church and hate” were among the protest signs. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the teachers cover expenses until they find new jobs.


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