South Carolina: Donor program, trans student protection

Carolinas News Notes

SCE urges momentum sustenance

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Equality (SCE) has instituted a new donor program, SCEnvoy, and is encouraging the community to help sustain it and the work necessary to achieve full equality.

The program allows contributors to invest monthly at a level that matches one’s ability to give. Membership will be granted and exclusive access will be made available depending upon an individual’s level of support. Contribution levels begin at $10/month and escalate upward to $50/month to become a Messenger for Equality. Envoy Council begin at $100/month up to $800/month, in addition to other levels ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 and above.

Donors are passionate and help to keep the mission of the organization moving forward where South Carolinians are “Equal Means Everyone.”

SCE co-founder Linda Ketner shared, “SC Equality is more important and effective than it has ever been. Invest in yourself by investing in its work. We can have the best organization in the world, but without donations, it can no more take us where we need to go than a perfect car with no gas can take us where we need to go. Give a stretch gift so that SC Equality will make our lives better, faster.”

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Membership parties are being held across the state and those who wish to host or sponsor one should email Will Bigger at will@scequality.org.

Contribution is available online.

info: scequality.org.

Schools urged to protect trans students

CHARLESTON, S.C. — On Aug. 4, Melissa Moore, the executive director of We Are Family, made a statement on the Supreme Court issuing a stay on the Fourth Circuit decision in G.G. vs. Gloucester County School Board.

“…the Supreme Court voted 5-3…to stay the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision siding with transgender student Gavin Grimm who challenged his school district bathroom policy. Gavin Grimm was banned from using the boys’ bathrooms and locker rooms at his Virginia school. The federal appeals court opinion upheld the Department of Education’s interpretation of existing federal civil rights laws that protects transgender people against discrimination in education.

“We Are Family was part of an amicus brief sharing stories with the court in support of Gavin and other transgender young people. The brief emphasized the practical impact of trans-exclusionary restroom policies on young people. We are proud of our role in helping the court to better understand the real people behind this debate,” Moore said.

“The Fourth Circuit decision is now stayed pending the filing of a petition asking the Supreme Court to fully consider the case. Contrary to what people who push back against the rights of transgender students will say this stay does not mean that schools must or even should roll back any of the progress that has been made in ensuring the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming students.

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“Earlier this year, the departments released a set of recommendations to ensure the civil rights of transgender students. They made it clear that not doing so is in breach of Title IX and could result in lost federal funding and litigation,” she added.

“The content of Justice Stephen Breyer’s concurring opinion in issuing the stay suggests that he will ultimately join Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in upholding transgender students’ rights. But in the mean time, we should not allow the incredible progress that has been made in affirming the health, safety and equal educational opportunity of transgender students to be pushed back.

“Transgender students are being bullied and even assaulted in bathrooms and school hallways across the country. Transgender and gender non-conforming young people need parents, community members and school board members to ensure a safe environment where they can go to classes, walk the halls, participate in activities and learn and succeed like anyone else. This should be done not just because of Title IX or the strong public support for ensuring the dignity of transgender students. We should continue to make progress because it is the right thing to do,” concluded Moore.

info: waf.org.

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Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@goqnotes.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.