A discriminatory South Carolina public school health statue needs to be removed, LGBT rights groups contend.
Recently, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed Gender and Sexuality Alliance v. Spearman, a federal lawsuit challenging a South Carolina statute that prohibits public school health education from including any discussion of same-sex relationships except in the context of sexually transmitted diseases.
The statue, a provision in South Carolina’s 1988 Comprehensive Health Education Act, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against students who are LGBT, the lawsuit states..
“LGBT kids at our school – and every school in South Carolina – just want to feel safe, respected, and equal to other students in the classroom,” said Eli Bundy, a tenth grader who is the president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), an organization of high school students at a public magnet school in the Charleston County School District, in a press release. “This discriminatory law treats LGBTQ students like we are outsiders in our own community, and that we aren’t equal to our peers. School should be a safe place for all students to be treated fairly and equally.”
Singling out LGBT students for negative treatment is wrong, said Julie Wilensky, Senior Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
“The state law sends a message to students that ‘homosexual relationships’ are so shameful or dangerous that they can only be discussed in a negative context,” Wilensky said. “This contributes to a hostile school climate in a state where nearly 90% of LGBTQ middle and high school students regularly hear homophobic remarks from other students.”
South Carolina is one of a half a dozen southern states with restrictions -- often dubbed ‘no promo homo’ laws -- on LGBT content in public schools.
Read the complaint here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/sc_gender_20200226_complaint