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WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to protecting physical, emotional, and psychological health and well-being of all young people in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Department of Education in its 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that gay and lesbian high school students are four times more likely attempt suicide than are their heterosexual peers; and
WHEREAS, Governor William F. Weld signed into law Chapter 282 of the Acts of 1993, which amended section 5 of Chapter 76 of the Massachusetts General Laws to prohibit discrimination in Massachusetts public schools against students based on their sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to abolishing harassment, violence, and discrimination against young people because of their real or perceived sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS, Massachusetts has been and continues to be in the forefront of the national movement to end discrimination and prejudice directed at gay and lesbian youth; and
WHEREAS, the Safe Schools Program created by the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth established by Executive Order 325 has become a national model for creating a safe school environment for gay and lesbian students; and
WHEREAS, many of the problems facing gay and lesbian youth are within the purview of state government and can be corrected by promulgation of information, training and the implementation and diffusion of formal guidelines and state policy; and
WHEREAS, the health of the Commonwealth is served by strengthening the physical and emotional health of all individuals and their families;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Argeo Paul Cellucci, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby revoke Executive Order No. 325, establish the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and order as follows:
1. The Commission shall consist of at least fourteen (14) members appointed by the Governor who shall serve at his pleasure, without compensation. At the time of appointment, the Governor shall designate each member to serve an initial term of one year or two years. Subsequent appointments or reappointments shall be for two-year terms. The Governor shall designate the chair of the Commission. The membership of the Commission shall include at least one parent of a gay or lesbian person; one high school student; one college student; one representative from an educational institution; and one representative of the mental health professions.
2. The Chair of the Commission may designate on an annual basis one or more Commission members as Vice- Chairs of the Commission, and may appoint on an annual basis members of the Commission as chairs of advisory committees on high school education, higher education, human services and youth. The Chair of the Commission may create other advisory committees as needed after consultation with the Commission.
3. The Commission shall investigate the utilization of resources from both the public and private sectors to enhance and improve the ability of state agencies to provide services to gay and lesbian youth.
4. The Commission shall make recommendations about policies and programs supporting gay and lesbian youth on an ongoing basis to the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
5. The Commission shall report and make recommendations to the Governor relating to the concerns of gay and lesbian youth on an annual basis.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 7th day of October in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight.
Argeo Paul Cellucci
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth