Online Extra: Gays Across America: Gold promotes 'Save yOur Kids' campaign
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Gay furniture designer and philanthropist Mitchell Gold is promoting his campaign to help LGBT youth.
The Save yOur Kids! campaign is designed to help LGBT advocates with effective ways to reach out to families who may be using religion to harm their children, educate media outlets, and engage with religious figures and schools.
One motivator for the campaign is suicides among LGBT youth.
"Save yOur Kids! will directly engage Christian institutions, pastors, congregations, and the media to address the underlying causes responsible for the crisis of the staggering suicide rate among LGBT kids and the tragedy that children have to choose between being authentic to themselves or having a roof over their head," the campaign's website â€" https://save-your-kids.org â€" says.
In response to emailed questions, Gold, 66, said he hopes people "contribute time by simply reading our website thoroughly, organizing people to attend events where they can learn more about how to persuade condemning religious people to open their hearts and minds to LGBT people."
People can also arrange house parties "to raise money and awareness," he said.
"The reality is to run public service educational campaigns, significant funds are needed. We need contributions via our website sooner than later," said Gold, who's hoping to raise $2 million this year. He said he's contributed "over $1 million in the last few years and over $100,000 this year" himself.
"People are angry and frustrated after the election," he said, referring to the November election of President Donald Trump, who's filled his administration with anti-LGBT officials and whose associates are suspected of working with the Russian government to meddle in the election in favor of Trump. "They are angry at how Trump and his administration are conducting themselves."
Gold said his campaign's strategy "is an opportunity to do something concrete that could be game changing if funded and implemented properly. We need everyone's help."
New York AG leads coalition of states in support of trans student
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has led a coalition of attorneys general for 17 other states in filing an amicus brief with 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to support transgender student Gavin Grimm. The Virginia youth is suing his school district for discriminating against him.
The appeals court is expected to decide whether the Gloucester County School Board's prohibition of trans students from using restrooms that match their gender identity violates the federal Title IX law. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is among those who signed the brief along with Schneiderman.
In a news release, Schneiderman said, "No student â€" no matter how they identify â€" should have to worry about discrimination or bullying when at school. School districts have a basic responsibility to protect their students â€" and that includes providing transgender students access to the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity."
In the amicus brief, filed Monday, May 15, the attorneys general write, "If entities receiving Title IX funds are allowed to discriminate in this way, transgender people will be denied equality in defendant's schools and in many other places. The amici states have important interests in ensuring that their transgender populations do not experience indignity and discrimination when they travel to other states."
The officials also argue that allowing trans people to use the correct restrooms doesn't threaten anyone's personal privacy.
The brief is available at https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2017.05.15_15-2056_ny_et_al_amicus_brief_stamped.pdf.
The Gays Across America column will return Tuesday, June 6.
Gays Across America is a column addressing LGBTQ issues nationwide. It runs most Tuesdays. Please submit comments or column ideas to Seth Hemmelgarn at (415) 875-9986 or class=apple-converted-space>
Furniture designer helps LGBT youth; NY AG leads coalition in support of trans student.