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Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive – Michigan attorney general defends employee’s right to blog – CNN.com blogs

Posted: October 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A painfully hypocritical double-standard is on display in Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's office as he refuses to discipline assistant AG Andrew Shirvell for waging a bigoted campaign against the first openly gay president of the University of Michigan's student council. Mr. Shirvell has called the student "Satan's representative" and runs a blog where he posts pictures of the student with nazi insignia scrawled across his face.

A State Attorney General has legal grounds disciplining employees for engaging in "conduct unbecoming" of public officials. But while Cox rightfully defended Shirvell's actions under the First Amendment, he also called "conduct unbecoming" an "empty vessel," with no meaning. This would certainly shock Melissa Petro, a tenured teacher who may face the loss of her job for "conduct unbecoming" of her role after blogging about being a former sex worker.

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Gay teen dies after 10 days on life support, following suicide attempt over anti-gay bullying – LGBTQ Nation

Posted: September 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

This September, not one, not two, but three (3!) gay teenagers have committed suicide after being viciously bullied over their sexual orientation in their schools and communities. Seth Walsh, 13 years old, spent 10 days on life support in California after he apparently tried to hang himself from a tree branch. He had faced years of bullying at Jacobsen Middle School, despite claims by school officials at Tehachapi Union School District that there was no such bullying. Officials also say they can't prosecute Seth's classmates because the teasing was not criminal.

On September 9th, Billy Lucas, 15, hanged himself at his grandmother's house in Greensburg, Indiana, after facing years of torment from classmates who threatened to beat him up every day. And on September 23, 13-year-old Asher Brown came home from school early and shot himself in the head while his parents were at work. Asher had also faced constant harassment and bullying at school.

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Update: The bad news: there were actually 5 gay teen suicides this month, not 3. Cody Barker, aged 17, also committed suicide in Washington State. And just today, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi is presumed dead after jumping off the George Washington Bridge one day after he was outed by his college roommate. Thanks to Sinclair Sexsmith for the heads up. The good news: Sinclair has also blogged about some resources to help combat anti-gay bullying, including Dan Savage’s latest project, It Gets Better.

Dr. Logan Levkoff: Sex Educators Unite to Support University Sex Weeks

Posted: September 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Sex-negative propagandists spread the lie that those who support sex education are a well-funded industrial complex while its opponents are just people leading local, grassroots campaigns. But it is in fact the opposite that's true.

This was evidenced once again today as sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff self-published a Letter to the Editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education supporting college sex education initiatives called Sex Weeks in response to a "think of the children!" style outcry by economics professor at Bridgewater State College, Margaret Brooks. While Brooks' piece was published, Levkoff's letter was ignored. Levkoff's colleagues were unanimously "frustrated by Brooks' mischaracterization of their events and their work," strongly calling out The Chronicle for its bias in ignoring their letter, and Brooks for her sex-negativity.

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New Study Finds Abortion Does Not Cause Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

New findings released online by the Guttmacher Institute are able to show for the first time that adolescents who have abortions do not have an increased risk of depression or other psychological distress such as low self-esteem. The study may put to rest many people's fears of possible psychological consequences for teens who have abortions. For us, it seems like a no-brainer that healthy, happy people want to be the ones making their own choices with regards to their own reproductive options.

Interestingly, the study's authors suggest that the pre-abortion counseling mandated by 34 States like Texas, which specifically requires "that women be warned of possible negative psychological consequences resulting from the procedure" may "paradoxically…jeopardize women’s health by adding unnecessary anxiety and undermining women’s right to informed consent." In other words, abortion's not the problem, the fear of one is.

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