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Okeechobee High's gay-straight alliance coming back


The ACLU plans to ask a judge to reinstate an order that Okeechobee High School allow a gay-straight alliance on campus because the club has regained members.

According to court documents filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, two students want to revive the club, which was dismissed this month as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Okeechobee County School Board because the club apparently had no members and had not met since the fall.

The club's founder, Yasmin Gonzalez, has graduated; subsequent club presidents have left the school. However, Okeechobee High School junior Brittany Martin told a teacher last week she and another student want to revive the club and host a meeting next month.

Principal Toni Wiersma told the students the club couldn't meet, ACLU attorney Rob Rosenwald said. He plans to ask U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore to reinstate an April 2007 order that the club be allowed to meet while the lawsuit makes it way through court.

Moore dropped the order this month, when it seemed the club had dissolved.

The ACLU represents Gonzalez, who sued the school district in November 2006, claiming it violated federal law by allowing other clubs to meet on campus but banning the Gay-Straight Alliance.

Gonzalez has said she started the club to provide a safe environment for students to talk about homophobia and to promote tolerance of one another, regardless of sexual orientation.

Attorneys for the school board, who have declined to comment to the press while the case is pending, have said the gay-straight alliance is a "sex-based club" that violates a state law requiring schools to teach abstinence "while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage."


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Good Afternoon,

I hope you are having a good week and that this event invite crosses you in the midst of a good day.

Specifically, we are holding a Gay and Lesbian Open Forum at the South Regional Broward College Library. Audiences are given the opportunity to discuss an individual that made a profound impact on their lives, how it changed their view homosexuality, amd much more! In addition, we are having a guest speaker, Bill Schoolman, who is the President/Chair of the Broward County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He will speak about the following topics for the Gay and Lesbian Open forum below:
What is the ACLU and what have they accomplished in the Broward County area.
The importance of gay rights and the important contributions of famous gay individuals.
Information about the proposed amendment regarding the Marriage Defense Act.
What people can do to get involve in promoting equal rights for all and eliminating stereotypes.
List specific organizations that can provide health information that targets gay individuals.
Event Name: Gay and Lesbian Open Forum
Event Location: South Regional Broward College Library
Event Address: 7300 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

Event Date: October 30
Event Time: 6:00pm
Event Contact Number: 954-201-8896
Guest Speaker: President of the Broward County Chapter of ACLU, Bill Schoolman

Hopefully, you are able to promote this event with individuals in your group and everywhere else.

Thank you,

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