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Student Can Wear 'Jesus Is Not A Homophobe' Shirt

JesusHomophobeLambda Legal scored a nice win in Waynesville, Ohio, where high school student Maverick Couch was threatened with suspension for wearing a "Jesus Is Not A Homophobe" shirt.

Couch first wore the shirt last year and was asked by his principal, Randy Gebhardt, to remove it, which he did. Then, as the latest school year began, the student asked if he could wear it again. He was denied and threatened with detention. That's when Lambda Legal got involved.

The legal group has more information on the case:

Lambda Legal sent Gebhardt a letter in January outlining the legal precedent supporting Maverick’s right to wear the shirt. The school district responded that “the message communicated by the student’s T-shirt is sexual in nature and therefore indecent and inappropriate in a school setting.” Lambda Legal sued the school district on Maverick’s behalf on April 3. The next day, the school conceded that Couch could wear the shirt—but only on one day: the Day of Silence.

Today's ruling says that Couch can wear the shirt any day he chooses. "Plaintiff is expressly permitted to wear the “Jesus Is Not A Homophobe” T-shirt to school when he chooses," the ruling reads.

Said Lambda Legal senior staff attorney Christopher Clark: "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."

And Couch of course is thrilled, as well, "The shirt is a statement of pride, and I hope other students like me know that they can be proud, too."

In addition to being ordered to let Couch wear his shirt, the school must also pay him $20,000 for legal fees.

Here's a PDF of the ruling.

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Comments

  1. Not surprising. I'm glad the school has to pay legal fees. This turned out like it should. Mr. couch is brave and smart and will go far.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 8:05:29 PM


  2. It was an agreed judgment, which means the school district agreed that he could wear the shirt and they agreed to pay $20K in legal fees. It's not a "real" legal victory, insofar as the case was really no disputed.

    Posted by: Jason | May 21, 2012 8:14:18 PM


  3. So wait, this site who consistently poops all over Christians is using Jesus to further indifference between me as a gay man, and others that disagree with my lifestyle?

    Get real. Talk about hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Alan | May 21, 2012 8:22:20 PM


  4. Alan: Huh? I'm sure you know what you mean, but I doubt that anyone else does.

    Posted by: John | May 21, 2012 8:31:10 PM


  5. Jesus is not a homophobe and he does not use the word "lifestyle".

    Posted by: Ernie | May 21, 2012 8:58:36 PM


  6. Go Maverick!

    Posted by: kelehe | May 21, 2012 9:16:44 PM


  7. If I were that brave kid, I'd wear one of those shirts every day until the end of the school year.

    Posted by: RedOnTheGreg | May 21, 2012 9:36:19 PM


  8. Who ever gave the go ahead for this lawsuit should have to personally pay the 20K. The taxpayers should not have to pay for this wasteful lawsuit.

    Posted by: Claire | May 21, 2012 10:02:48 PM


  9. Alan: Seriously, GFY.

    Posted by: Kevin | May 21, 2012 11:36:16 PM


  10. I want to know where to get that shirt! I love it!

    Posted by: Bo | May 22, 2012 1:06:35 AM


  11. One good turn for Lambda Legal and a great experience for Maverick in helping to defend and uphold the Constitution of The United States; worth every penny of the $20,000 dollars. I think this site embraces Christians as much as it embraces anyone, it only poops on the christian behavior of raping other people with the phallus of their diseased dogma.

    Posted by: Greg McNeal | May 22, 2012 2:02:40 AM


  12. Christian homophobes concentrate on sexual acts, not on love. In their world, sin trumps love in the important issues of life. There is more to being gay than having sex, however, and everyone should encourage love. And as it is for straight people, what gays do in the bedroom is not the government's business. Homophobes should re-read the Bible about casting the first stone against perceived sinners.

    Posted by: trees | May 22, 2012 3:30:53 AM


  13. Some people say 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve'. Well the biggest joke of irony is Adam and Eve were the GREATEST SINNERS OF THEIR TIME, CONDEMNED, BANISHED AND KICKED OUT BY GOD from the garden of Eden! Outch !!

    What could be worse than that if God indeed were to create Adam and Steve!

    Posted by: Simon | May 22, 2012 4:24:32 AM


  14. Students should not be permitted to wear slogan Tee shirts to school. We will have dueling tees in school. Students should be spending ther time studying Math and Science et al and not debating social issues on there clothes. This kind of nonsense disrupts the learning process. I can tell you that as a high school teacher of 35 years it is difficult enough to keep the students on task without these distractions.

    Posted by: andrew | May 22, 2012 9:56:46 AM


  15. Andrew: Forgive my skepticism. If you were, in fact, a high school teacher for 35 years, I would hope that you know that your phrase, "...on there (sic) clothes...." was improper grammar, and that we don't capitalize nouns like "math" and "science."

    Posted by: Kevin | May 22, 2012 10:16:41 AM


  16. Beautiful shirt and beautiful ruling. Thank you Maverick for your courage and thank you Lambda Legal. I hope the bigots in that school district will think twice before they deny a gay student's constitutional rights in the future.

    Posted by: Jay | May 22, 2012 10:25:13 AM


  17. @Kevin: I have a BA from The Catholic University in D.C.( 1964) and an MA from Villanova University(1973). I also have Pa State Certification. I was a teacher for 35 years, now retired. Do you challenge my point that dueling Tee-Shirts in the classroom are disruptive of the learning process?

    Posted by: andrew | May 22, 2012 10:51:09 AM


  18. Andrew: It was the pricipal who made this a distraction in the first place by condending that the T-shirt was sexual in nature(which it isn't). If you wanna blame someone for costing the taxpayers, blame the bigot principal.

    Posted by: rapscallion | May 22, 2012 12:48:55 PM


  19. They way to the demons heart is through his wallet! GET PAID! GET PAID! Now, maybe you'll focus on education your students, Mississippi, instead of worrying about what t-shirts they are wearing. IDIOTS!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 22, 2012 3:31:57 PM


  20. "educating"

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 22, 2012 3:32:22 PM


  21. my sons name is Jesus.. this shirt is a hurting my child. along with his learning? the kids are bothering him? asking him why does this boy have his name on his shirt ? this is a huge disturbance in my childs learning ... the school should still stop this shirt from disrupting my childs schooling.. i dont want to expose my child to this and give his last name to school officials to be bullied by these people who are not Homophobe...the school did the right thing and should appieal.. on those grounds their are thousands of kids named jesus and should not be disturbed in school with their name on someones shirt if its not theirs

    Posted by: jesus | May 29, 2012 7:48:40 PM


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