‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bills Groom Children for Sexual Abuse, and May Even Violate Title IX

“Don’t Say Gay” bills don’t protect children—they play into the hands of child abusers, while also putting school districts in violation of Title IX. Denying a school district’s right to define a curriculum based on evidence-based research plays directly into the hands of predators who want, very much, naïve and disempowered children to prey upon.

Anti-Trans Extremists ‘Come For’ Doctors

Coordinated harassment campaigns. Crowds of angry picketers. Tracking doctors to their homes. If the current anti-trans tactics sound familiar, that’s because they’re borrowed from anti-abortion campaigns.

“An individual provider who has a wolf at the door? It has led some people to say ‘I’m just not doing this work anymore,’” said transgender rights advocate Erin Reed. “We are losing providers, good providers.”

The Power of Women in Iran, Standing Up to the Morality Police

I was 16, on a trip to visit my family in Iran, when I was stopped and arrested by two morality guards. They plucked me off the street, loaded me into their car, and took me to the local station. My crime? I had my hair uncovered, showing it to their male gaze.

I still remember the searing mix of emotions that is familiar to millions of Iranian women who are arrested every year for this “offense.” But now, through social media, mobile apps, weblogs and websites, a growing movement of Iranian women are actively participating in public discourse and exercising their civil rights on the internet, which the patriarchal and misogynistic government has not yet figured out how to completely censor and control.

The School-To-Prison Pipeline Is Stealing Florida’s Black Girls

Despite Florida Black girls making up only 21 percent of the state’s female population ages 10–17, they account for 45 percent of all girls arrested.

The Pace Center for Girls, based in Jacksonville, Fla., envisions a better, more equitable future for the Sunshine State’s young women, especially its Black girls. Ms. sat down with CEO Mary Marx to discuss Pace’s work, impact and goals. 

Texas Set to Execute Melissa Lucio Despite Credible Claims of Innocence

Texas plans to put Melissa Lucio to death on April 27, which would make her the sixth woman executed in the U.S. in the last decade and the first Hispanic woman in Texas history. Lucio was convicted of murder in 2008 for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah, which she and her family claim was instead a tragic accident. Her attorneys are fighting to overturn her conviction and set aside her execution date based on her continued innocence claims and other procedural issues.

“Research shows prosecutors frequently trivialize women’s experiences as victims of gender-based violence when they are charged with crimes,” said Sandra Babcock, director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and one of Lucio’s attorneys. “Yet Melissa was a victim long before she was a defendant.”

Texas Governor’s Investigations Into Parents of Trans Child Temporarily Halted

On Tuesday, Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a suit to block Texas from performing a child abuse investigation on a family seeking healthcare for a transgender child.

On Wednesday, Judge Amy Clark Meachum, a Travis County district court judge, granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from this family’s specific child abuse investigation. It will, however, allow other investigations to continue under a controversial directive from Abbott last week instructing the Texas DFPS to investigate gender-affirming care for Texas youth.

Empty Home for the Holidays: Mothers Who Can’t See Their Children Blame Broken Family Court System

More than 58,000 children are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents after divorce every year.

The double whammy? Domestic abuse survivors, unlike accused criminals, don’t get a free attorney and there’s no organization to fund women to level the legal playing field in high conflict divorce cases. So, some men clearly use the courts as a weapon to drain women of resources, causing them to lose savings, jobs and in some cases their children. 

“I didn’t want to leave but I couldn’t afford to stay after spending my last cent on my court battle. I hope to reduce my expenses, pay off legal debts and continue to fight for my children.”

The U.S. Should Stop Being Hypocritical When It Comes to Ending Child Marriage

In partnership with others, including survivor advocates from across the country, I have been campaigning state by state for years to change our own out of date minimum age of marriage laws. The most recent victory in New York was a hard-won battle but I am happy that my home state has finally enacted Naila’s Law and set the minimum age of marriage at 18 without exceptions—only the sixth state in the U.S. to do so. This has made me feel like I can heal.