Prominent Straight Allies Pledge to Make It Better for LGBT Young People

In honor of Ally Week, a national week celebrating straight allies who improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people—prominent Coloradans are voicing their commitment to “making it better” for LGBT students across the state.

Governor John Hickenlooper, Senator Mark Udall, Senator Michael Bennet, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Mayor Michael Hancock, and Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks joined education, faith, and community leaders in a video pledging to end bullying and harassment against LGBT young people in Colorado schools. The video also includes students from Denver’s Auraria Campus.

“More than any other group, LGBT students are the repeated targets of bullying, harassment, and even violence,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado Education Fund, the organization that produced the video. “It’s our job as adults to ensure that every young person who sits in our classrooms and walks through our halls is treated with respect and dignity.”

“During Ally Week, we celebrate straight allies whose commitment to LGBT youth is critical to making our schools better. We are extremely fortunate to have statewide leaders who are willing to speak out against the bullying and harassment that LGBT students are so often forced to endure,” said Clark.

This video continues a conversation about anti-LGBT bullying that was started during the 2011 legislative session when lawmakers passed a bill that clearly defines bullying and specifically protects LGBT young people. The new law, which went into effect this school year, also requires each school district to adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy.

“The new law is an important step toward addressing the pervasive problem of bullying against Colorado’s most vulnerable young people. It sends a clear message that bullying is no longer an adolescent rite of passage but a serious problem that will not be tolerated in our schools,” said Clark.