Alex Blaze

I'm not a lawyer - I just play one on the internet

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 22, 2007 12:42 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Gay-Straight Alliance, law, school, utah

Utah's state legislature just passed a bill to restrict GSA's in that state. More from 365gay.com:

The bill would allow schools to ban clubs they believe would threaten the "moral well-being" of students or faculty.

It would require parents to sign a consent form before their children can join clubs and it would force clubs to provide school principals with information that would be presented to the club a week in advance so parents can review it.

The legislation also requires the state to cover the costs of lawsuits involving the restrictions of school clubs. That provision is seen as a move to use the power of the state to prevent lawsuits if Gay-Straight Alliances were banned at schools.

Gosh, they just don't stop trying, do they? Didn't Lawrence say that states couldn't use morality alone as a reason for justifying a law? Didn't the Federal Equal Access Act say that schools had to allow all clubs regardless of content the same access to school facilities? And doesn't restricting lawsuits to overturn the law imply that they already know that there's good reason to overturn it?

Silly me for thinking that the law should be applied to the situations to which it explicitly applies.

But maybe if we look at it this way:

Both [UT Senator] Buttars and [UT Representative] Tilton say the bill will survive a legal challenge because it imposes the same restrictions on all clubs equally.
Yeah, all clubs, from the Chess Club to the Astronomy Club, will have to be equally non-gay. Why didn't I think of it that way? (More importantly, why did Chess Club and Astronomy Club come to me first as examples of high school clubs?)

(Crossposted from Q-Bomb)


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But there is this bit of good news....

House Reconsiders Gay Clubs Move
Feb 22, 2007 by Julie Rose

(KCPW News) "Several hours after passing a bill empowering school districts to ban gay clubs, the Utah House reconsidered.

After 7 p.m. last night, the House recalled the bill from the Senate and chalked their decision up to confusion. It would have given a vote of confidence to school districts who ban any club they don't think meets their standards. It also requires a parent's approval before students can join a club, and it creates a lengthy process for starting new clubs.

A large number of House members think they should leave it to local school districts to make those rules and approved a bill to that effect. With the State PTA's support, Buttars orchestrated a return to his original intent. Last night's curve ball from the House will likely force the bill to a conference committee for negotiation."
_________________________________

Reason prevails!! Even in Utah....

See also: 'Oppressive' rules stall school clubs bill - Salt Lake Tribune

"The actions of the House show how Republicans are split. Early in the day, the House approved Senate amendments, which would have mean[t] the bill needed only the signature of the governor to become law. But in the evening, lawmakers reconsidered and voted down the Senate amendments. ...

The House revolt stemmed from the part of the bill creating a detailed process to create a club. The bill contains 17 requirements, including a constitution, budget, rules for electing new members, meeting schedule and more.

Rep. Kay Mciff, R-Richfield, called the rules "excessively complex." And Rep. Scott Wyatt, R-Logan, said it was easier to start a corporation than it would be to create a high school club."

...