Washington - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today on the Florida federal court ruling to allow a gay-straight alliance (GSA) group to meet on school grounds. The ruling follows a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in November 2006 after students at Okeechobee High School were denied access to meet on campus. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore upheld his earlier ruling that GSAs do not interfere with Florida's policy of abstinence-only education and, for the first time, held that schools must provide for the well-being of gay students.
Statement from HRC Senior Youth & Campus Outreach Senior Manager Candace Gingrich:
"The ruling makes it crystal clear that students have the absolute right to form Gay-Straight Alliances and that schools need to consider the welfare of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. This is a victory for all students in Florida - not just those who are GLBT but for their straight allies and those with GLBT family members. For too many GLBT students, school is not a place where they can feel comfortable or safe. Yazmin Gonzales, the student who attempted to form the GSA in this case said it perfectly, 'You shouldn't have to grow up feeling like you're alone.' Thanks to her bravery, a lot less GLBT students will feel that way."
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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