Gay Lawsuit Shot Down by Federal Court - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/3/04

Gay Lawsuit Shot Down by Federal Court

One of my friends called crying and saying, 'What did we do wrong," said Rene Caudillo, shocked Wednesday, after learning that a federal judge had struck down his lawsuit to allow a Gay/Straight Alliance Club to meet on school property. "I thought it was going to go great, but I guess not," he said.

With Wednesday's ruling, Lubbock High School has set a national precedent. Across the country, six similar lawsuit have addressed the issue of gay/straight alliances seeking the right to meet on school property. In Utah, Indiana, Kentucky, and California, all of the cases ended in favor of the gay organizations. Until Wednesday, with Lubbock becoming a landmark. Is it discriminatory?

"This is not an anti-gay statement," said LISD Board of Trustees President Mark Griffin. "Had it been a heterosexual club, based upon some type of sexual orientation or sexual information or based upon sex as a system or as a concept, the decision would have been the same. Our policy would have been the same, so it was not and is not discriminatory in any form or fashion," he said.

"I was surprised and very disappointed," said Attorney Brian Chase. He represents the gay/straight alliance and says what's discussed after school isn't any of the school's business. "The school maintains its abstinence only, and that's part of the curriculum, but as far as what students are allowed to discuss in non-curricular time, then it's an entirely different matter," he said.

"The mere fact that there was the possibility of inappropriate or inconsistent information being imparted to the students, minors, which is a very significant point, I think justifies the decision of the court," countered Griffin.

"It got turned around on us saying that we were nothing but sex and that's all we were going to talk about," said Rene. Although he has since graduated from Lubbock High, he's hoping the lawsuit will be appealed with a focus on the group's true intention. "The whole purpose of the group was for tolerance and to spread understanding of who we are and just to get along with the other people in the school and just to let people know that we're as equal as them and we're no different," he said.

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