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Lambda Legal Sues Ohio School

Jim Burroway

April 3rd, 2012

"Sexual in nature."

Lamda Legal has filed a lawsuit against Waynesville High School in Waynesville, Ohio, about 20 miles south of Dayton, on behalf of Maverich Couch, an openly gay junior who was threatened with suspension for wearing a T-shirt reading “Jesus is not a homophobe” last April for the National Day of Silence. According to Lambda Legal:

The school principle (sic), Mr. Randy Gebhardt, called Maverick into his office and instructed him to turn the T-shirt inside out; Maverick complied. Over the summer, Maverick further researched his First Amendment rights, and when school resumed in the fall of 2011, he approached the school principal seeking permission to wear the T-shirt. Mr. Gebhardt restated that he would be suspended if he wore the shirt.

In January 2012, Lambda Legal sent a letter to Mr. Gebhardt outlining the legal precedent supporting Maverick’s right to wear the shirt, to which the school district issued the response, “the message communicated by the student’s T-shirt is sexual in nature and therefore indecent and inappropriate in a school setting.” [Emphasis mine[

You see, that’s the problem with dealing with people like him. His imagination is far more sexually charged than mine could ever hope to be.

You can sign a petition supporting Maverick Couch here.



April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Well, doesn’t the opening on the little fish symbol kind of maybe sort of looks like either an opening waiting for something to be inserted into it, or kind of maybe sort of like a tongue extending out to lick something . . . like . . . you know, an ice cream cone. Yeah, a long, drippy, ice cream cone. We’ll just call it that for now, so we don’t get too, you know, sexual.

David in Houston
April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I’m actually surprised that Lambda is able to make a case for this. I thought schools had the right to control what students wear. Such as banning gang colors (types of clothing), or even forcing students to wear uniforms. If a girl went to school wearing a string bikini, the school would force her to change clothes or get suspended. Where exactly do you draw the line?

Yes, the “shirt is sexual in nature” response is laughable. But I’m curious how much leeway schools have when it comes to “message” shirts? Can a Christian wear a “Homosexuality is a sin.” t-shirt?

Priya Lynn
April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

David said “Can a Christian wear a “Homosexuality is a sin.” t-shirt?”

Yes. There was a case a few years back where the school prevented a student from wearing an anti-gay t-shirt. The child sued and won the right to do so.

April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

So case law should be pretty clear, obviously a pro-gay shirt would also be allowed per the same ruling. For that matter…I wonder if a “secular” pro-gay shirt might not have provoked the same reaction? It seems as if the principal was offended more because the shirt said that about Jesus but that’s just the vibe I get.

I’ve actually had the experience of a fundamentalist getting angry with me because I hold the viewpoint that a lot of “secular” values are more Christian than the ones the Christians are pushing these days. The same person seemed to feel more threatened by liberal Christians than by Atheists. She took the side of an Atheist in an argument against a liberal Christian at least once to my knowledge.

April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

It’s the rainbow fish, isn’t it?

Kind of reminds one of circuit parties and go-go boys.


April 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Well, I don’t know. That fish DOES look like a rainbow sperm cell or something.

April 4th, 2012 | LINK

The fish is rather yonic.

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