Don't Block LGBT Content Act - H.R. 7432
EveryLibrary is proud to support H.R. 7432, the "Don’t Block LGBTQ Act of 2020" to allow access in libraries and schools to LGBTQ health, legal, news, and civil rights information while protecting minors from harmful content.
Current law requires public libraries and school districts that take E-rate funds to filter content. Current law also gives the power and discretion about what content to filter to a local IT department, administration, or board. This gives the school districts and libraries the ability to block useful and potentially life-saving LGBTQIA+ resources that are not sexually explicit based on opinion and/or biases. Sites like The Trevor Project and PFLAG should not be blocked because of personal biases or so-called community norms.
On June 30, 2020, Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) and 11 co-sponsors, the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, and 61 issue-aligned organizations including EveryLibrary introduced the "Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2020" to address this filtering problem and to ensure proper protections for minors from harmful content. When introducing the bill Rep. Schneider said "The internet can be a critical source of information and support for LGBTQ youth, especially in moments of need. No American should be prevented from accessing potentially life-saving resources because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
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EveryLibrary is the only national library organization endorsing the “Don’t Block LGBTQ Act of 2020”. "The E-rate program provides critical financial subsidies to public libraries' technology budgets while requiring filters against harmful content," says EveryLibrary Executive Director John Chrastka, EveryLibrary executive director. "But despite legal protections for LGBTQ individuals and recent societal advances, some filtering software companies continue to facilitate category-wide blocking based on LGBTQ identity rather than on the nature of the content. Librarians should be able to provide LGBTQ health information, legal information, anti-bullying and suicide-prevention information, and civil rights information- and library patrons should be able to access it - without censorship."
The Don't Block LGBTQ Act of 2020 amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit elementary schools, secondary schools, or libraries that receive discount rates for telecommunications services under the universal service support program from blocking Internet access to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer resources. The Act clarifies that schools and libraries that block LGBTQ resources are not eligible for discounted rates under the E-rate program. This bill does not prevent schools from blocking obscene and other explicit content that could be harmful to minors, as current law intends.
Just one dollar per month ensures that we can continue our work!
EveryLibrary is calling on Congress to consider this important legislation this session. Please join us by signing our petition today.
This legislation is supported by the following organizations:
- LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute
- 360 Youth Services
- Affirmations LGBTQ Community Center
- Artists Designing Evolution (adé PROJECT)
- Athlete Ally
- Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
- Brave Space Alliance
- Brooklyn Community Pride Center
- CAMP Rehoboth
- Center on Halsted
- CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
- Ct TransAdvocacy Coalition
- Equality California
- Equality North Carolina
- Family Equality
- FORGE, Inc.
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
- Hudson Pride Center
- Human Rights Campaign
- Inside Out Youth Services
- LGBT Center of Raleigh
- LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin
- LGBT Life Center
- The LGBTQ Center
- Los Angeles LGBT Center
- Louisville Youth Group Inc.
- Modern Military Association of America
- the Montrose Center
- Movement Advancement Project
- National Black Justice Coalition
- National Coalition for LGBT Health
- National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
- National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
- Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center
- OutCenter of Southwest Michigan
- OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center
- The Pennsylvania Youth Congress
- Persad Center
- PFLAG National
- Pgh Equality Center
- Pinta Pride Project
- PowerOn, a program of LGBT Technology Institute
- The Pride Center at Community Park
- Pride Community Services Organization
- Rainbow Center
- Ruth Ellis Center, Inc.
- Seacoast Outright (Portsmouth, NH)
- Silver State Equality-Nevada
- Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN)
- The Spahr Center
- The Trevor Project
- Triangle Community Center
- True Colors, Inc.
- Waves Ahead & SAGE PR
- Youth Outlook
- Youth OUTright