Main | Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Gay-Straight Club Suit In Florida

Two high school students in Jacksonville, Florida are being backed by the ACLU in their lawsuit to establish a gay-straight club.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed the suit Tuesday in federal court on behalf of Yulee High School students Hannah Page, a freshman, and Jacob Brock, a junior. The lawsuit claims violations of the First Amendment and the Federal Equal Access Act. The act requires schools to grant access and recognition to a Gay-Straight Alliance and other groups if the school allows any extracurricular group to meet on campus, said ACLU attorney Robert F. Rosenwald. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to allow the club to meet at Yulee High while the case makes it way to trial. Page said the group just wants to meet like others do. "We just want the club so that straight and gay kids can get together to talk about harassment and discrimination against gay kids in an open environment. The school is discriminating against us and that's exactly the kind of thing we want to prevent," she said.

The Nassau County School Board, who was served with the suit, says that clubs that "highlight sexual orientation" are a violation of policy. Last year the ACLU won a similar case against Florida's Okeechobee County.

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