March 27th, 2009
Maple Grove High School fought like the dickens to keep its gay students from meeting.
Although the Equal Access Act provides that schools have to allow all non-curricular student groups the same access, Maple Grove thought they knew better.
Their ingenious legal argument? That Straights and Gays for Equity (SAGE) was not a curriculum based organization but that cheerleading, Spirit Club, synchronized swimming, and the Black Achievers all were.
Nice try, but no first year law students would bet that outcome.
New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard wrote, “The result in this case was quite predictable, because to date no school system anywhere in the country has ultimately prevailed in its attempt to exclude a gay-straight alliance while allowing other non-curricular student organizations to continue operating at their schools, and federal judges have uniformly rejected by attempts by the schools to mischaracterize social groups as “curricular” in order to escape the requirements of the statute.
But why did they go to court? And, having lost once, why did they appeal?
And isn’t all this futile legal work expensive? You bet it is. The Minneapolis – St. Paul Star Tribune reports just how expensive.
Osseo schools got hit with a king-size legal bill — $460,143 — in its fight to keep a Maple Grove High School student-run gay-rights group from having the same privileges as other, officially approved, school clubs.
OK. That’s a WOW moment. In this age of shrinking budgets and tightening purse-strings, 460 grand is a lot of money to me. But it didn’t cause the School Board to blink.
Asked about the legal fees, [Osseo schools spokeswoman Barbara] Olson replied:
“The district must pay those costs. It just so happens that all the costs are being reimbursed by our insurance.”
The school can go through nearly a half-million dollars on a lawsuit it knows it’s going to lose, all for nothing other than spiting its gay students. Because it’s insured and if it causes all the insurance rates to go up, well at least it got its day in court to besmirch and denigrate gays.
It is time that insurance companies cease to be the pawns and patsies of these anti-gay frauds.
They certainly wouldn’t fund a lawsuit for a principal seeking to place the cafeteria off-limits to black students or a lawsuit for a school board that wanted to force Jews to pray to Jesus. These are surefire losers and a predictable waste of money.
So too are legal efforts to ban gay students from equal access.
These school insurers need to look these principals in the eye and say, “Sorry, Bub, but if you want to run up legal bills to defend discrimination and bigotry, you’re going to have to do it on your own dime.”
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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