Judge Rules in Favor of Student in Gay Freedom of Expression Case

United States District Court Richard Smoak ruled in favor of high school student Heather Gillman yesterday in a suit she and the ACLU brought against her school’s principal and the Holmes County School Board. Gillman claimed that her First Amendment rights were violated when the school forbid her from wearing clothing or displaying stickers supporting tolerance and fair treatment of LGBT people.

GillmanVia the ACLU: “During the trial, which was held in Panama City yesterday and today, Ponce de Leon High School’s principal David Davis admitted under oath that he had banned students from wearing any clothing or symbols supporting equal rights for gay people. Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind. The principal went on to admit that while censoring rainbows and gay pride messages he allowed students to wear other symbols many find controversial, such as the Confederate flag.”

Said Gillman, who is not gay: “Standing up to my school was really hard to do, but I’m so happy that I did because the First Amendment is a big deal to everyone.”

Federal Judge Rules That Students Can’t Be Barred From Expressing Support for Gay People [aclu]
Gay Rights Case Over, Student Wins [wmbb – with video]

Posted May 14, 2008 at 12:55pm ETC by Andy Towle
in aclu, florida, News