August 19, 2009

>Judge Rules in Favor of Florida Gay-Straight Alliance

>Some (slightly) old, but good, news:

Two Yulee High School [Florida] students were “grateful” Monday when they learned that a federal judge ruled that the Gay-Straight Alliance can meet on campus and have the same privileges as other student groups.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams issued a permanent injunction Friday that the district can’t make the group change its name or interfere with its ability to “advocate for tolerance, respect and equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

The two students, Hannah Page and Jacob Brock, sued the Nassau Country School Board back in February after the district ordered them to change the name of the club. The reason? Officials alleged that "Gay-Straight Alliance" violates the school's abstinence only-policy.

The students started the GSA at Yulee High because both had faced homophobic harassment in the past and wanted to create a safer environment for themselves and fellow LGBT students. GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey found that students attending schools with GSAs felt safer and experienced less harassment and bullying than students at schools without GSAs. Gay-Straight Alliances, therefore, are important steps in creating inclusive and welcoming communities for LGBT students.

Keep fighting the good fight!

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