Utah sued by LGBT groups over ‘discriminatory’ laws
LGBT groups in Utah are asking a judge to stop laws which discriminate by stopping students from talking about gay issues in schools.
The laws prohibit instruction on the “advocacy of homosexuality,” as well as banning talking about contraceptives and sex outside of marriage.
A law enacted in the mid 1990s also bans gay-straight alliance clubs in schools, which is being challenged in the lawsuit.
Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights released a statement today stating that the anti-LGBT laws create a “chilling culture of silence that stigmatises LGBTQ students.”
Lawyers for the groups wrote in a filing: “Its only purpose is to express the state’s moral disapproval of ‘homosexuality’ and codify the views of those within the community who harbour such disapproval.”
The state has already asked for the case to be dismissed.
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It says that the lawsuit selectively chooses parts of state law and some specific school rules.
The state school board should be immune to the lawsuit, saying it should be dismissed.
The state-wide sex education bill was passed in 2001, and the Utah State Board of Education also adopted similar rules a year later.
Those in support of the law say it bans talking about any kind of sex in schools.
Plaintiffs in the case include three Utah students.
“The prohibition tells gay students that their sexual orientation is less valid than that of heterosexual students, and, thus, that they themselves are less valued,” lawyers wrote in the filing.