A federal judge has
ruled that a Florida high school gay-straight
alliance must be allowed to meet.
Judge Henry Adams ruled
that Nassau County school board officials violated the First
Amendment and Federal Equal Access Act in denying official
recognition of the club.
The school board had
denied two students permission to start a gay-straight
alliance at Yulee High School, near Jacksonville,
saying that its name "highlighted specific sexual
orientations" and thus violated school board policy.
Adams ordered the
school board to grant official recognition to the gay-straight
alliance and afford it the same privileges as any other student
organization. In addition to granting the club permission to
meet on campus, the judge's order prohibits the school from
forcing the club to change its name, as the principal had
previously demanded as a
condition for official recognition.
The two students filing
the suit were represented by the American Civil Liberties
Union, under the counsel of Robert Rosenwald. Of the ruling,
The School Library Journal
, "This is a victory for our clients, for the Yulee High GSA,
and indeed for gay and straight kids all across America. Time
and time again, we've seen discrimination and intolerance
struck down by the courts in these cases, and for every school
that wishes to cross the line, we'll be here to defend the