The Matthew Shepard Act was passed by the U.S. Senate on Sept. 27th.
Nine years ago Shepard was murdered in a hate crime because he was gay.
“We just made history,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign in a press release. (Source: Human Rights Campaign).
In unrelated non-profit news, the American Lung Association is addressing elevated lung cancer risks near rail yards. In the wake of a report by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that found an increased lung cancer risk from diesel soot for those living near active railway yards, the American Lung Association of California recently testified at an air board hearing in the city of Commerce, CA about the health risks associated with diesel engines and the need to reduce to the deadly exhaust. Residents of ciies near the rail yards, such as Commerce in Southern California, are more concerned than ever about the amount of diesel fumes and toxic dust that surround them because the elevated cancer risk is significant, even under the air board’s conservative analysis. (Source: American Lung Association).
In other Association news, six California bicyclists participated in the American Lung Association’s Big Ride Pacific Coast to raise funds for education, advocacy, and research. (Source: American Lung Association of California). Back for his second year was Steve Rubenstein, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. At age 65, Otto Sanders from Newbury Park was the second to the oldest rider on the trip. The youngest participant was 19-year-old Sarah Devereo from Clayton.
In other non-profit news, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Sept. 17th signed legislation restoring the rights of adopted adults 18 years old or older, born in the state on or before July 17, 1974 or on or after Jan. 1, 2008 access to their original birth certificates without a court order. (Source: Mass.gov).
In unrelated adoption news, North Carolina has allocated $4.5 million to help foster kids go to college. North Carolina state legislature on July 31st passed the 2007 Appropriations Act which allocates it in the next two years to pay the costs of post-secondary education for foster youth aging out of care and special needs kids adopted from foster care after age 12 who attend public schools of higher education in the state. (Source: ncleg.net).
In other adoption news, Maine’s highest court ruled in favor of a same-sex couple’s petition to jointly adopt two siblings from foster care who had been in their custody since 2001. (Source: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute).
A Chapin Hall study examining factors related to the overrepresentation of African-American children entering foster care found that the disparity rate of black to white children fell from 2.9 in 2000 to 2.3 in 2005. (Source: chapinhall.org).
A comparison of two groups of children adopted from China found no significant differences between the groups on pre-adoption adversity, developmental delays, initial adaptation to adoption, or total behavior problems. (Source: sciencedirect.com).