T-Shirt Wars: A Temporary Victory for the Mean Spirited
April 24th, 2008
Alexander Nuxoll sued his school district in order to be allowed to wear the slogan “Be Happy, Not Gay” on a t-shirt on the Day of Silence. Twice now courts have upheld the school’s right to ban insulting and discriminatory messages.
But now the Naperville Sun is reporting that appeals Judge Richard Posner has validated Nuxoll’s right to wear his message of condemnation – at least until he has his day in court.
But on Wednesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed the lower courts’ rulings against Nuxoll, saying the district court must order Neuqua to suspend its ban on the shirt while the civil rights lawsuit filed by Nuxoll and Neuqua grad Heidi Zamecnik proceeds.
“We cannot accept the defendants’ argument that the rule is valid because all it does is protect the ‘rights’ of the students against whom derogatory comments are directed,” states the court’s opinion, authored by Judge Richard Posner. “Of course a school can – often it must – protect students from the invasion of their legal rights by other students. But people do not have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs or for that matter their way of life.”
Now that everyone can wear “criticism of beliefs” on their t-shirts, I wonder how Nuxoll would feel if he showed up to his class on the “Day of Truth” and found that all of his other classmates were wearing t-shirts that criticized his beliefs. But I don’t recommend that… it wouldn’t be the way I’d want to be treated.
T-Shirt Wars: Appeals
April 5th, 2008
For some reason, some culture warriors believe it is their Christian duty to condemn gay people. One favorite method is through T-Shirts in public schools.
Heidi Zamecnik, 17, of Naperville, and Alexander Nuxoll, 14, of Bollingbrook, are students at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville.
In response to a National Day of Silence event in April 2006, Zamecnik wore a shirt to school that read “MY DAY OF SILENCE, STRAIGHT ALLIANCE” on the front and “BE HAPPY, NOT GAY” on the back
She was told that she could wear a t-shirt that supported heterosexuality, such as “Be Happy, Be Straight”, but that she could not wear one that denied the happiness of fellow gay students.
But oh no, Zamecnik and her straight alliance don’t want to promote a pro-straight message, just an anti-gay one. Zamecnik has graduated and thus lost standing, but Mr. Nuxoll has stepped in the battle on. He, too, would like to express his contempt.
And the ever eager ADF, of course, is fighting for Nuxoll’s right to be obnoxious.
“Christian students shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs,” attorney Nate Kellum said in a statement Friday.
I’m assuming that “their beliefs” could also include their contempt of other religions or other sects as well, but Kellum didn’t talk about that.
The anti-gays lost the first round but appealed.
A three-judge panel heard testimony Friday in a Naperville high school student’s appeal to wear a T-shirt expressing opposition to homosexuality.
Young Nuxoll is hoping a decision is made in time for him to wear his neighbor-condemning shirt on the Day of Silence, April 28.
Sometimes I wonder if the ADF isn’t secretly an anti-Christian organization dedicated to making those who practice the faith look like a bunch of hate-full buffoons. They certainly are having that effect on youth.