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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

On National Day of Silence, MO Groups Push Back Against Anti-Trans Bills

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Friday, April 22, 2022   

Silence? Yes. Inaction? No. Today marks the annual Day of Silence, led by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, to raise awareness about the discrimination and harassment LGBTQ+ students face in schools.

Hundreds of anti-trans bills have been introduced across the nation in 2022 alone, including in Missouri.

Katy Erker-Lynch, executive director of PROMO Missouri, noted one bill the Legislature is considering would prohibit gender-affirming health care for trans children, and another would ban transgender girls from participating in girls' sports.

"It's not really about saving women's sports," Erker-Lynch asserted. "It's about discrimination. So it's really, 'OK, can we ban kids from athletics? Can we ban kids from health care?' And the question that really begs, is whether LGBTQ+ people should be treated fairly across all areas of life."

Last week, the Missouri House advanced the school sports bill by including it in a separate bill on how elections are run. Missouri is also among the states introducing legislation similar to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which prohibits including topics around gender identity and sexual orientation in school curricula.

In addition to being discriminatory, Erker-Lynch added the health care bill represents a gross misunderstanding about what gender-affirming care really is. According to psychologists and pediatricians, it starts with mental health care, and can include treatments like puberty- or hormone-blockers.

But despite language in the bill regarding surgeries for minors, it's not the care trans kids get, experts maintained. Whether to undergo a gender confirmation surgery is a decision they make as adults.

"The fact of the matter is denying best practice medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening," Erker-Lynch asserted. "Politicians are playing a really dangerous game with the health care and mental wellness of trans youth."

She pointed to studies showing this type of care saves lives. Trans and nonbinary youth experience anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation at far higher rates than their cisgender peers.


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The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

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Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …


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Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

Social Issues

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A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …


During Latino Advocacy Week, Hispanic Access Foundation members met with lawmakers to promote equity in the upcoming Farm Bill. (Evelyn Ramirez/Hispanic Access Foundation)

Environment

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It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

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As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says a law change, which includes updating the state's public waters list, could provide protections for at least 640 miles of additional waterways across the state. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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What might seem like an under-the-radar administrative task could end up being a lifesaver for Minnesota waterways in need of safeguards against agric…

Social Issues

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Two years ago today, a teenager killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The families of those shot and killed have …

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Amid nationwide labor shortages and high turnover, employment experts say fostering an equitable workplace is key to finding and retaining workers…

 

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