By Kenny Tucker, Acting Vice-Chair and Deputy Political Director, Forum For Equality Louisiana
With the 2011 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature set to begin April 25, Forum For Equality Louisiana is planning an aggressive equality campaign focusing on the following specific issues:
1) ANTI-BULLYING. With the issue of youth bullying capturing the mass media’s attention over the past year, Forum For Equality looks forward to lobbying legislators for the specific protection of K-12 students who find themselves bullied for actual or perceived characteristics including race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, and physical disabilities.
2) EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION. Forum For Equality will renew our efforts to prohibit discrimination or harassment by or within state agencies and departments on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, and political affiliation. This measure is long-overdue in state government and the Forum will work hard to advance this bill.
3) SECOND-PARENT ADOPTION. This bill was introduced last year, and Forum For Equality is proud to re-introduce it this year in an effort to help create more two-parent families for our state’s children. Specifically, this bill would allow single parents to petition to have a qualified individual (NOT related by blood or by marriage) become a second parent to the child or children. Such a bill will add more stability to the family unit and offer additional legal protections to the children of single parents in Louisiana.
This legislative agenda of Forum For Equality Louisiana will require the assistance of YOU for both membership and lobbying efforts. Renewing your Forum For Equality Louisiana membership (as well as getting your friends and family members to join) will help build and strengthen our organization as we lobby the legislature for our equality initiatives.
Additionally, our active members can assist in our legislative efforts by physically joining us at the Committee hearings this Spring. There is certainly added strength in numbers and with your help, Forum For Equality Louisiana can help make a difference for ALL of our state’s LGBT citizens. Join/renew your memberships today and stay tuned for future legislative session news.