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In public schools across the state, transgender and gender nonconforming children as young as five face relentless harassment, threats and even violence for trying to access their right to an education. Instead of supporting students, schools are magnifying the problem by imposing discriminatory and even illegal policies.
Now that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in New York and their marriages will be recognized by the federal government, the NYCLU has compiled a guide to answer some frequently asked questions about the Marriage Equality Act in 2011 and the impact of the 2013 Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. Please note: This brief overview is not intended to provide individualized legal advice.
On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Windsor v. United States regarding the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- a federal statute that defines marriage for all federal purposes as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
For some New Yorkers, the most simple and fundamental parts of their identity – their clothing, their speech, even their names – expose them to hostility and exclusion. People who do not conform to gender-based stereotypes, or whose gender presentation or identity differs from the one usually associated with their anatomical sex, often experience persistent discrimination and harassment. They face challenges earning a living, finding housing, and enjoying the simple pleasures and necessities of life.
For some New Yorkers, the simplest and most fundamental parts of their identity – their clothing, their speech, even their names – expose them to hostility and exclusion.
People who do not conform to genderbased stereotypes, or whose gender presentation or identity differs from the one usually associated with their anatomical sex, often experience persistent discrimination and harassment. They face challenges earning a living, finding housing and enjoying the simple pleasures and
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth often face harassment and discrimination simply for being who they are. Just the thought of entering the school doors can be a nightmare for many students.
But the law requires school administrators and teachers to:
Protect LGBTQ students from bullying and harassment.
Treat LGBTQ students fairly and equally.
Respect LGBTQ students’ free speech and free expression rights.
Marriage is the ultimate expression of love and commitment. Married couples make a public vow of love and responsibility to each other.
Like everyone else, gay and lesbian New Yorkers want to express their love and protect their families through marriage. Two adults who make this private, personal choice should not be denied the opportunity to legally marry just because they are gay or lesbian.
We are deeply disturbed about the horrific increase in violent bigotry in our city, including in our schools. In October 2010 alone, two Bronx teens and one adult were beaten and tortured by a group of attackers because they were gay, and a Staten Island freshman stopped going to school because of the consistent abuse and bullying he faced by a group of classmates because he was Muslim.