Yesterday was a very proud day for Forum For Equality and the entire Louisiana LGBT community. Representative Pat Smith of Baton Rouge introduced the Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 in the House, and Senator Yvonne Dorsey of Baton Rouge will be introducing the same bill soon in the Senate. The bills are being introduced at the request of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE), and the Forum for Equality is one of the Stop Bullying Louisiana coalition partners supporting this important bill. This coalition includes teachers, disability organizations, social workers, and women’s organizations, along with Forum for Equality and other LGBT groups.
We take special pride at this moment because stopping bullying is a cause that Forum For Equality has championed for many years. At first our only partner in this effort was PFLAG-New Orleans, an organization that has long been dedicated to this issue. And over the years our organizations have enlisted incredible groups to this effort, building a remarkable coalition. We are especially grateful to Kenny Tucker, Mary Griggs and SarahJane Brady who lead the Forum’s efforts to patiently and methodically bring together the diversity represented in the evolving coalition. Kenny serves as the Forum’s Deputy Political Director for State Governmental Affairs; Mary is our Deputy Political Director for Orleans Parish; and SarahJane is our Managing Director. Their determination and dedication is inspiring.
That LAE is courageously leading the coalition effort this year is recognition of the strength of the support that Forum For Equality has assembled over the years. It is only fitting and appropriate that LAE, the premier teachers’ organization in Louisiana, should lead the effort now, and we applaud their officers, board and members for making this fight their own. We further express our thanks and resolve to each of our coalition partners in this effort.
Forum For Equality also takes great pride that the two bill authors are from outside New Orleans. This has been one of our goals for many years, as we have helped build the LGBT political movement across Louisiana. Forum For Equality PAC interviewed Senator Dorsey and Representative Smith years ago when they were starting their political careers, endorsed them, and has supported them ever since. Yvonne and Pat are longtime friends of Forum and have been wonderful advocates for equality for all people. We are thrilled that they are the sponsors of this historic legislation.
Now the rest of the Legislature needs to hear from you about how very important this bill is, and you can start today by sending a message to the committee members who will hear the bill first. With a few clicks you can let the House Education Committee know that you support the Bullying Prevention Act of 2012. Thank you.
John Hill, Chair, Forum For Equality Louisiana
Randy Evans, Chair, Forum For Equality PAC