An opinion column in the February 11 edition of a Kansas high school's student newspaper says same-sex relationships "just are not normal" and uses quotes from the Bible to advocate punishing gays and lesbians with death, according to TheWichita Eagle.
Gay rights activists are calling on Wichita school leaders to "undo the damage and hurt" caused by the column, which ran in the editorial section of East High School's The Messenger.
The column says same-sex couples "just are not normal" and "should be frowned upon." It then quotes a verse from the Bible, saying men who have sex with other men have "committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death."
District officials and the newspaper's faculty adviser say the column is free speech and is protected by the First Amendment and the Kansas Student Publications Act.
But the president of the Wichita chapter of the Center for Human Rights says the column isn't free speech -- it's hate speech.
Administrators "have the responsibility to make sure our kids are safe," James Pryor said. "By allowing this hate speech to happen, it's just legitimizing bullying and hate, and it's irresponsible." Read more here.