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California Proposes Pro-LGBT State License Plate

California Proposes Pro-LGBT State License Plate

As bullying continues to claim the lives of gay and lesbian youth, one California lawmaker has introduced a bill to create a pro-LGBT state license plate. Proceeds from the specialty plates would fund anti-bullying programs in public schools.

“This will be an important opportunity for Californians to show their support for the LGBT community and address a major problem that is affecting all youth,” Assembly Member Mary Hayashi, the bill’s sponsor, said in a January 25 press release.

“By purchasing this plate, the public can put a stop to bullying and help make a difference for our kids,” she added.

Hayashi’s press release cited disappointing statistics about homophobia in schools. A 2009 National School Climate Survey found that eight in 10 LGBT students surveyed said they’d been verbally harassed by their peers, while four in 10 reported physical harassment.

Gay teen suicide has gained widespread media attention and boosted awareness of the harsh, sometimes violent environment many of these young people face every day. But awareness isn’t enough. Schools in California — and across the nation — need to become safe spaces for all students. Measures to prevent bullying are vitally important.

Critics should remember that anti-bullying programs, including an LGBT-inclusive curriculum, won’t cause straight children to become gay. That’s like saying white children will “turn” black if they’re taught to respect all races and learn about the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Besides, the proposed plates would be optional.

Currently, Californians can choose from 13 themed license plates to support organizations such as the Yosemite Foundation and California Firefighters’ Memorial Fund. California would join South Carolina, Indiana and Maryland as one of the few states to offer an LGBT plate.

 

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Image credit: Jamison Wieser (Creative Commons Attribution License)

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45 comments

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3:09PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Leonardo...this is NOT about "SEX" or what one does in the bedroom. This is about those INDIVIDUALS who CHOOSE to buy a licence plate to support a cause. It always amazes me that so-called straight/hetro's who are against gays and lesbians...and especially the bible-thumping christians who's minds IMMEDIATELY go to what gays or lesbians SUPPOSEDLY do in the bedroom or just sex period. Again I repeat...this IS NOT about sex!

3:05PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Sarah W said "I couldn't care less if people want to be gay just don't get lovey dovey in public. That's what I don't like. I couldn't care less what they do in their bedrooms. Just keep it in the bedroom!!!!!!"

So it's OK for the straight/hetro's to hold hands and kiss in public but not a gay or lesbian person to the person the love? Again this cause is not about "SEX", but about bullying and how it affects "sexuality". There is a big difference between "sex" and "sexuality". And again, it's a person's choice, gay or straight if they wish to display this licence plate.

How does that affect you Sarah? It's not on your car and you don't even have to acknowledge it or bring attention to it. If other's choose to...that's THEIR buisiness and has nothing to do with your life or existence.

Josephine T said "Sarah W. - gays don't "choose" to be gay. After all, when did you "choose" to be straight?"

RIGHT-ON Josephine!!! :-)

7:50AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

I guess Sarah W., Steve R., and Tavis H. think the only reason someone would own one of these specialty plates is because they are gay. You couldn't be more wrong! I'm straight but I would gladly get one of these plates in support of equal human rights for ALL if I lived in California. You don't have to be gay to purchase the plates, but I guess you do need to be able to see beyond your own ego and self-righteousness to buy them.

7:16AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Tavis H. - I would certainly get behind a confederate flag plate. It would be the first warning that the car owner/driver is likely to be a bigot and I shouldn't get too close.

7:10AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Sarah W. - gays don't "choose" to be gay. After all, when did you "choose" to be straight?

6:13PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Robert O. You're so very wrong. The gays DO want people to accept them. I don't think I'm better than anyone and I don't have a holier than thou attitude. You don't even know me so don't make assumptions anout me. I don't understand. One minute the gays want left alone and the next they want a plate to draw attention to their cause. I couldn't care less if people want to be gay just don't get lovey dovey in public. That's what I don't like. I couldn't care less what they do in their bedrooms. Just keep it in the bedroom!!!!!!

5:04PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Sarah W., they don't expect people to accept anything. They just want to live openly and freely without discrimination from intolerant bigots and also have the same constitutional rights everybody else does. If you don't want the plate then don't buy it, but you don't have to say such negative things about people you obviously think you're better than by virtue of your sexuality or religion or whatever it is you're using to justify your sickening holier than thou attitude.

4:42PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Pam W. I understand just fine. They want the plate to draw attention to themselves. It's unnatural and WRONG!!!!!! Having a plate for animals or children is just fine with me, but to draw attention to gays and lesbians is not fine with me!!!! You're right I don't want to understand because there's nothing to understand. They choose to be gay so they can live with it and don't expect everyone to accept it!!!!

4:13PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Sarah, you just don't understand, do you? Or perhaps you don't WANT to understand? This is an optional plate...and there are many of them. Everything from advocating for whales, birds, wildlife....to advocating equal rights for everyone. See? It's about caring for justice for everyone...even those whose sexual orientations differ from yours.

It's the idea behind our nation, isn't it? "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?"

Is that just a meaningless phrase for you?

3:51PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Pam W. There's NO need to feel sorry for me. Fell sorry for the gays that feel the need to have a "special" plate to draw attention to themselves.

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