Hannah Bradley and her classmates simply wanted to raise awareness about anti-gay bullying at their high school. So on Oct. 11 – National Coming Out Day – the students wore name tags stating their orientation.
In 1999, Republican National Committee Chair Jim Nicholson called for party members to shun the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that described African-Americans as “a retrograde species of humanity.”
“A member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization,” Nicholson said at the time.
This past spring, one of my friends at Hardin County High School in Savannah, Tenn. wore a T-shirt on the Day of Silence – a national observance to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying and harassment. Her shirt displayed the slogan, "Lesbian and Proud."
Last month, I stood before 300 Sikhs at a Gurdūārā in Roswell, Ga. I stood there representing the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of an ongoing effort to curb the bullying of Sikh school children across the South.
We know little about the motives of the gunman who opened fire yesterday in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Many of us will monitor the news during the day, hoping to learn more about what the shooter thought he was doing, sure to hear more about the heroism and horror inside the building.
Twelve years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center stopped participating in the Montgomery, Ala., United Way campaign because the organization chose to fund the Boy Scouts of America despite its policy of excluding LGBT people from its ranks.
The face of America is changing. In 40 years, the United States will become a minority-majority nation – a remarkable milestone for a country that already boasts one of the most religiously, ethnically and racially diverse societies in the world.
It took an opinion from the United States Supreme Court, but this week our nation officially recognized the obvious – children are fundamentally different from adults and our criminal justice system should not lock them up and throw away the key.