The LGBT Technology Partnership and Institute argues that the gay community has needs for the internet that call for government action. In particular, the group is urging a reform of the government’s E-Rate policy that they say is blocking students from accessing important LGBT resources and reaching out to other members of the gay community. Such filters often block sites dealing with gay health issues, and can also prevent gay youth from discovering their own identities.
E-Rate is the common name for a federal program that offers schools and public libraries discounts on providing internet access and other telecommunications. Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act, schools and libraries receiving funds from E-rate must implement filters to block certain content deemed “harmful to minors,” such as pornography.
The group concludes, “This [filtering] jeopardizes the fundamental rights to free speech not only for young people, but also adult users of publicly funded Internet access…For LGBT people living in rural areas, the Internet is a vital mechanism for youth negotiating a LGBT identity in the rural United States.”
via The Daily Caller