The ACLU is going after a Mississippi school district that's requiring students to obtain parental permission before joining a club that advocates for homosexual rights.
Students in several Mississippi school districts have looked to organize Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs recently. One of the latest is in Brandon, where last week Rankin County Schools superintendent Lynn Weathersby stated the district "does not promote discussion of sexuality" among students at school and that it's "a matter the parents need to discuss with their child or children at home in a private setting."
But the ACLU says Rankin County schools would be violating federal civil rights laws by requiring parental permission for students to join a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance club.
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council explains to OneNewsNow that parental permission is required for all kinds of school activities, such as field trips and participation in sports. "I would think [for] anything that's extra-curricular that's outside of the regular prescribed curriculum of the school, it would be legitimate to require parental consent for that," he adds.
In its letter to the superintendent, ACLU of Mississippi claims one of the benefits of on-campus GSA clubs is dialogue. "Students talking openly and honestly [on gay-related issues] with other students is a uniquely effective way of making young people aware of the harms caused by discrimination and violence," states ACLU-Mississippi.
But Sprigg says it's disingenuous for GSA clubs to state their purpose is to promote dialogue. "What they do is exist to eliminate dialogue by silencing people who disapprove of homosexual conduct," he points out, "and that's the ultimate goal of the homosexual movement."
Mississippi – along with two other Southern states (Alabama and Arkansas) – is the focus of a concentrated pro-LGBT campaign launched last year by Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT activist organization. In concert with that, HRC's "All God's Children" campaign will be spending more than $8 million over the next three years to convince Southerners that homosexuality is compatible with Christianity.