LGBT National Briefs: Campus and Coffee

California schools considering questions on identity and orientation, while Starbucks gets thousands of thank-yous


COLLEGES MAY ASK STUDENTS ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION/GENDER IDENTITY

California state institutions of higher education are considering adding some questions to applications or enrollment forms, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The move comes in conjunction with a law intending to determine whether or not colleges and universities in the Golden State adequately serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) students.

“It would be useful to know if we are under-serving the population,” Jesse Bernal, the UC system’s interim diversity coordinator, told the Times.

The law in question, which California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law last October, asks colleges and universities to allow faculty, staff and students ”to identify their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on any forms used to collect demographic data.”

One gay student at the University of California at Berkeley told the Times that some students might be nervous about the move at first, but that ”in general” he thinks it is a good thing. ”Beyond counseling services, professors might alter approaches to various lectures if they know a sizable percentage of the class is gay or lesbian,” the student, Andrew Albright, said.

When interviewed by the Times, Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, expressed his support for the measure.

“Why can you be asked about race and ethnicity but not about LGBT?” he asked.

MORE THAN 630,000 THANK STARBUCKS FOR MARRIAGE ENDORSEMENT

Hundreds of Thousands have taken the time to ”thank Starbucks,” the Seattle-based, global coffee chain, for its unyielding support for marriage equality in Washington state and across the country by signing a massive thank-you card created by SumOfUs.org.

The card comes in response to ”Dump Starbucks,” a National Organization for Marriage (NOM) boycott campaign against the 40-year-old company with more than 15,000 outlets around the world.

”We’ve been stunned by the passionate response to ‘Thank Starbucks’ – our most viral campaign ever,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumOfUs.org. ”We’ve seen in our campaigns that consumers expect corporations to do right by their workers and by their community. We hope that this overwhelming show of support for Starbucks for supporting gay rights will inspire other corporations to keep making similar public statements.”

Signees, dressed as life-sized Starbucks coffee cups, planned to deliver the giant thank-you card, bearing the genuine signatures of about 40,000 supporters, as well as the hundreds of thousands received online, to Starbucks headquarters midday in Seattle, Wednesday, April 4, after Metro Weekly deadline.

“We knew that people would stand with Starbucks for standing up for marriage equality, but this response is amazing,” said Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage. ”This kind of consumer support shows why so many Washington companies recognize that all loving, committed couples should have the freedom to marry.”

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