Thursday, July 31, 2008

Federal Judge OK's Gay-Straight Alliance

In a "groundbreaking" decision that could have wide impact on students across the country, U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore has ruled in favor of students at Okeechobee High in Florida, allowing their Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on campus just like all other non-curricular school groups. This legal battle had been raging for over a year and half, which is when we first talked about it on the show with our guest, the plaintiff, Yasmine Gonzalez, and her ACLU attorney. Yasmine started the GSA while a student there to promote tolerance, but was forced to file a lawsuit in November 2006 after the school president refused to recognize the group.

Judge Moore reasoned the School Board failed to show any substantial reason to deny the GSA's existence beyond:

"a desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness of tolerating a minority of students whose sexual identity is distinct from the majority of students."
The ACLU said:
"Moore broke the legal mold by asserting that schools must provide for the well-being of gay students the same as straight students and therefore, the school cannot discriminate against the GSA."
CONGRATS! To the students at Okeechobee -- and a very fair and reasonable Judge Moore.