Teens accused of
being lesbians sue Lutheran school

Two 16-year-olds
who were expelled from a Lutheran high school in
California because they were suspected of being lesbians
have sued the school for invasion of privacy and discrimination.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Riverside County
superior court, seeks the girls' reenrollment at the
small California Lutheran High School, unspecified
damages, and an injunction barring the school from excluding
gays and lesbians.
Kirk D. Hanson, an attorney for the girls, said
the expulsion traumatized and humiliated them. "Their
entire support network was pulled out from under them
because of suspicions about their sexual orientation,"
said Hanson, who declined to say whether his clients
are lesbians.
The school is on Christmas break until next
week, and messages left for school officials Thursday
were not immediately returned.
The lawsuit alleges that the school's principal,
Gregory Bork, called the girls into his office,
grilled them on their sexual orientation, and
"coerced" one girl into saying she loved the other. The next
day, the lawsuit says, Bork told the girls' parents
they could not stay at the school with "those
feelings." In a September 12 letter to the parents,
Bork acknowledged that officials had seen no physical
contact between the girls but said their friendship
was "uncharacteristic of normal girl relationships and
more characteristic of a lesbian one."
"Such a relationship violates our Christian Code
of Conduct," Bork wrote in his letter, which was
included as an exhibit in the lawsuit. He called the
girls' behavior "scandalous" and "immoral."
Hanson said the 142-student school in Wildomar,
Calif., must comply with state civil rights laws
because it functions as a business by collecting
tuition. "There's a lot of hypocrisy going on here," Hanson
said. "The school is claiming the girls were expelled
because their conduct wasn't within the Christian
code. But at the same time, [the school] has students
who aren't Christians and are even Jewish." (AP)

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