Advocates' Blog
Advocates' Blog
Celebrating today, continuing the work tomorrow
Friday, 26 June 2015 09:04

Advocates for Youth is thrilled about today’s decision finding same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. It’s beyond time to stamp out all legislated bigotry. Recognizing marriage equality in every corner of this nation is a historic step for this country.

The swiftly growing cultural acceptance of LGBTQ rights has been propelled by Millennials, who are more likely than any other generation to support same-sex marriage. Young people refuse to sit idle as they, their friends, colleagues or family members are denied their inalienable rights. And even as we celebrate this victory, we know the fight is not over. LGBTQ young people around the nation need to feel safe in their schools, communities, and homes. They need protection from discrimination in housing and employment. They need sex education programs which truly include them and teach the skills they need to protect their health and lives.

The last few years have seen great leaps forward in understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Let’s keep the momentum going until all young people are treasured for who they are and empowered to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

 
Anti-abortion extremism in Paraguay
Thursday, 25 June 2015 13:13

 

Right now in Paraguay, we are seeing the dangers of extremist abortion laws play out in real time. An 11-year-old girl, allegedly sexually assaulted by her stepfather, is entering her third trimester of pregnancy. Paraguay’s government has denied her an abortion, even though she has requested one. Because of her small frame, carrying the pregnancy to term and delivering could put the girl at risk of terrible injury or even death. Her lawyer has reported that labor will be induced soon, and the pregnancy delivered prematurely, but the authorities in Paraguay are being very secretive about her status and whereabouts. The case has caused international outcry among women’s health and human rights advocates.

Read more...
 
Adding Insult to Injury: So-called “Success Sequencing” in abstinence-only programs
Thursday, 25 June 2015 12:57

By Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, Advocates for Youth

They’re at it again! This week the House and Senate LHHS Subcommittees each released a Draft Spending Bill.  And do you know what they did?  They cut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative funds by 90 percent in the House version, and a proposed 80 percent in the Senate! As if that weren’t bad enough, each bill sets aside millions in new funding for so-called sexual risk avoidance programs  - $10 million in the House bill and a proposed $20 million in the Senate.  Risk avoidance, that sounds positive, right?  Not so fast.  Sexual risk avoidance is just abstinence-only by another name.

Read more...
 
DC Fringe...here we come! Print
Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00

Did you miss out on the premiere of Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign last January at Studio Theater?

Now, you have five chances to catch the show THIS JULY!

Friday, July 10 8:15 pm

Tuesday, July 14 8:00 pm

Saturday, July 18 2:30 pm

Thursday, July 23 10:00 pm

Sunday, July 26 6:00 pm

Read more...
 
Mourning the losses in Charleston
Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:26

Some crimes are too hard to face, too much to bear. The murders of nine churchgoers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina disheartens, outrages, appalls, agonizes us. We mourn their loss. We condemn the violent actions of the killer, and the poisonous culture that makes violence against Black people a common occurrence. We honor the long history of African American/Black churches in the social justice movement and the great courage members have shown in the face of violent opposition.


Advocates for Youth believes Black lives matter today and every day. Young people are working for a time when everyone can live free from violence and fear.

 
How long before we #SayHerName?
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 01:08

It seems that with every passing week, another video of state violence explodes into the blogosphere. Another attack on a young person of color goes “viral”, while we sit on the other side of the screens, becoming increasingly desensitized to acts of violence enacted by the very force charged with protecting us.

The events in McKinney, Texas are no exception. In the wake of Ferguson, New York and most recently Baltimore, we’re becoming accustomed to hearing and seeing stories about systemic violence against young people of color, more specifically, young men.

Read more...
 
A Miscarriage of Justice in Missouri
Thursday, 21 May 2015 14:08

by Wesley Thomas, Program Coordinator for LGBTQ Health and Rights

The trial and conviction of Michael Johnson is a perfect storm of ways NOT to help reduce HIV rates among young men of color who have sex with men.

Johnson, 23, was accused not having disclosed his HIV status to sexual partners – a crime in Missouri and 23 other states. Six former partners testified that Johnson had not disclosed his status, while Johnson testified that he did. Johnson was found guilty in May, and sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison.

His trial and sentencing are a perfect storm of harmful approaches to and biases surrounding HIV. Articles on Gawker and Buzzfeed have described in detail the biases of the jury (many believed homosexuality itself is a sin); the myths about HIV which were shared in the courtroom (including that HIV could be transmitted by masturbation); and the problematic nature of HIV criminalization laws in general (they stigmatize individuals with HIV, and do not lower HIV rates).

For a decade we have been watching HIV rates rise among young men of color who have sex with men. And we are still stuck in a dangerous fog of stigma and ignorance.

Read more...
 
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 14:31

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