Tuesday, October 29, 2002

ACLU backs efforts of gay-rights group

The Associated Press

CANNONSBURG, Ky. - A dispute on whether a gay-rights group can hold meetings at a northeastern Kentucky high school has divided students, parents and community leaders.

Twice this year, the six-member parent-teacher council at Boyd County High School unanimously rejected the request by the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet at school.

The American Civil Liberties Union entered the debate after it was contacted by student supporters of the group. The ACLU sent the parent-teacher council a letter last month saying the alliance, under the federal Equal Access Act, must be allowed to use school facilities if other non-curricular groups have access.

The school council was scheduled to meet again Monday night to reconsider the group's request.

"The belief systems guiding each side don't match up. We have two groups that have core beliefs and are working their way through the messy business of participatory democracy," said school principal Jerry Johnson.

Meanwhile, at the high school, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes holds prayer sessions three mornings a week in a classroom. The Human Rights Club and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America also meet at the school.

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Kentucky Digest
ACLU backs efforts of gay-rights group