On October 14th, 1993, the Boston Globe covered the rally I organized with the Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights at the Massachusetts State House in support of the HB3353 – The Gay and Lesbian Student Rights Bill, which would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation in public schools.
More from the Boston Globe, page 34: Student gay-rights bill urged – 300 teen-agers rally to ban discrimination in high schools by Don Aucoin:
About 300 teen-agers staged a boisterous rally yesterday in the State House to urge the passage of legislation banning discrimination against gay high school students.
The bill, which won approval in the House last week but faces uncertain fate in the Senate, would prohibit discrimination against students in public schools on the basis of their sexual orientation. Under the legislation, students who believe they are victims of discrimination would be entitled to file lawsuits against their schools.
Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci told the crowd that passage of the bill would “send a strong message that discrimination against any student, including gay and lesbian students, will not be tolerated in any school in Massachusetts.” Other speakers said it would help cut high drop out and suicide rates among gay students.
Cellucci appeared deeply affected by stories of harassment recounted by Chris Hannon, a 16-year old Dorchester youth who dropped out of Boston High School after constant abuse by classmates, and [Marsian] De Lellis, a 17-year-old senior at Belmont High School.
“Every day I hear the words ‘homo,’ ‘faggot,’ ‘queer,'” Hannon said. “Every day I wondered: ‘How much longer can this go on?'”
Hannon said the abuse intensified in his sophmore year. “I was pushed, kicked, thrown against lockers, and worst of all, spit on like some vile piece of trash,” he told the hushed crowd.
When he complained to a guidance counselor, she asked him: “Couldn’t you act a little less gay?” according to Hannon. When he complained about physical abuse to other school officials, he was told they could not guarantee his safety, Hannon said. Eventually, he dropped out.
William Kezema, principal of Boston College High School, told the Associated Press that while Hannon was harassed by some students, the youth turned down offers of counseling and other help. “He had total support from the school,” he said.
De Lellis said classmates surrounded him one day on a soccer field, spat upon him until his shirt was soaking wet and hurled dog feces at him. On a virtually daily basis, he hears epithets such as “fag,” he said, while “teachers pretend not to hear these slurs and students go unpunished.”
After listening to Hannon and De Lellis, Cellucci with anger in his …
(check back for update)