Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Suit Challenges Utah's "Anti-Gay School Laws"

Suit was filed in Utah federal district court last week challenging Utah's so-called "Anti-Gay School Laws." As summarized in a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
The lawsuit challenges several Utah laws and regulations that prevent positive portrayals of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in curricula, classroom discussions, and student clubs. The lawsuit claims that these discriminatory restrictions create a negative environment for LGBT students, perpetuate discrimination and bullying, and contribute to the high rates of anti-LGBT harassment in Utah schools. For instance, one plaintiff experienced severe physical and verbal harassment from other students in his kindergarten class based on his gender non-conformity. When his parents complained to school leaders about the harassment, they were told that the school district could not protect their son because of these discriminatory school laws.
The complaint (full text) in Equality Utah v. Utah State Board of Education,(D UT, filed 10/21/2016), contends that the statutes and regulations being challenged violate the 1st and 14th Amendments, as well as Title IX and the Equal Access Act.