In October, Equality Utah made history by filing a lawsuit against Utah’s state education office. The lawsuit challenges a curriculum law that prohibits discussing homosexuality in a positive way. National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) brought the lawsuit on behalf of Equality Utah and three students — all minors. Utah’s lawsuit is the first of its kind and has the potential to set national precedent.
On January 25th, Equality Utah asked the federal court for an injunction to prevent the enforcement of these state curriculum laws. Equality Utah says curriculum laws barring discussions of homosexuality in public schools violate First Amendment rights to free speech. These laws, often called “no promo homo” or “don’t say gay” laws, exists in seven other states: Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina
“Our state’s anti-gay school laws contribute to a chilling culture of silence that stigmatizes LGBTQ students and treats them different than other students,” Troy Williams, of Equality Utah, said in a statement. “We are bringing this lawsuit because we want LGBTQ youth to know that they are seen, they are valued and that they belong in our schools and state just as much as other students do.”
Equality Federation wishes Equality Utah and NCLR every success in their historic lawsuit. We stand with you as you fight for LGBTQ youth in Utah and across the country. This victory will set the pace for every state that still has one of these regulations on the books. May your success lead to our collective success!