This week read about Jeff Green donating to an LGBT group in Utah, and an LGBT club granted equal rights as other clubs after a lawsuit in Indiana.
Billionaire Leaves LDS Church, Donates to LGBT Group
Jeff Green, reportedly the richest person from Utah, announced his exit from the Church of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. He wrote a letter that was critical of the church and made a $600,000 donation to Equality Utah, an LGBT advocacy group.
Green became an inactive member of the church a decade ago, but in December he requested to be officially removed.
According to NBC News, about half of the donation will create a scholarship fund for LGBT Utah students. This can also include students at Brigham Young University who "may need or want to leave.” The university is sponsored by the church and is Green’s alma mater.
“We made this investment sizable and publicly to send a message that Equality Utah isn’t going anywhere,” Green wrote in his letter to the church’s president, and added that he hopes his donation is the first of many.
Green also wrote that he believes the church has "hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.”
Neither Green, the church president nor the university have responded to NBC’s requests for comment.
Gay-Straight Alliance Club Granted Equal Rights After Lawsuit
Pendleton Heights High School. Photo via Facebook.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana filed a lawsuit in September on behalf of Pendleton Heights High School’s gay-straight alliance (GSA) student organization. U.S. District Court Judge James Sweeney has issued an order requiring that the school give the club the same rights as its other student-led groups.
“The student-led Gay-Straight Alliance group at Pendleton Heights High School must be treated in the same manner that all other student groups are treated,” the ACLU wrote in a statement.
Students claim that though they have been allowed to create the group, the school hasn’t let them advertise its existence on school bulletin boards, the school radio, or anywhere on the property; which other organizations on the campus are allowed to do, the IndyStar reported.
The order requires that Pendleton allow the GSA to advertise, raise funds, and be listed in its handbook while litigation is still ongoing.
In a news release, the ACLU said that the schools’ unequal treatment of the GSA "severely hindered its purpose as a place of shelter, support, and education, not just for LGBTQ students, but for all Pendleton Heights High School students.”