Student wins right to wear "Jesus is not a homophobe" shirt. Good decision?
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Monday
affirmed an Ohio high school junior’s First Amendment right to wear a
T-shirt with the slogan “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe” to school.
Maverick Couch, an openly gay junior at Waynesville High School, wore
the shirt during the National Day of Silence in April 2011. The day of
silence is meant to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment
School officials said the shirt was “indecent and sexual in nature”
and ordered Couch to turn his shirt inside out. He complied with the
order. In 2012, he asked the principal for permission to wear the shirt
again, but was told he would be suspended if he did so.
Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against the school on behalf on Couch, claiming the school violated his First Amendment rights.
“We’re very happy for Maverick and all LGBT students in Ohio,” said
Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “If school
officials had any doubt before, it’s clear now: First Amendment rights
apply to all students on every day of the year, and efforts to silence
LGBT youth will not go unchallenged.”
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