August 14, 2008
Some members of the AALS, including the Legal Writing Institute, are protesting the hotel, the Manchester Grand Hyatt, at which many events are scheduled to be held. The hotel's owner, Mr. Manchester, contributed substantially to the proposed amendment to the California constitution (Proposition 8) that would ban same sex marriage and overturn the California Supreme Court decision.
Some argue that he is just an individual and his views do not represent the official policies of the hotel. However, corporations are run by individuals. Those individuals have a substantial amount of power--due to the patronage of the public.
It is not unheard of for individuals to stop shopping at a particular store because the President gives millions of dollars to the NRA. Is this any different?
At the very least, individuals who disagree with the owner of the hotel can and should let their money do the talking and avoid the AALS events that are scheduled to take place at this particular hotel (the Manchester Grand Hyatt).
I will be one of them.
August 13, 2008
Florida District Court Requires Schools to Recognize GSA
August 13, 2008
The Southern District of Florida recently ruled in favor of a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student group that sued the School Board of Okeechobee County after the group was denied official recognition as a student group at their high school in Okeechobee, Florida. One of the students sued under the First Amendment and the federal Equal Access Act, which prohibits schools from discriminating against student groups unless doing so is necessary to maintain order or discipline.
The court found for the GSA on both grounds, ruling that:
"the reasons presented by [the School Board] for denying the GSA equal access and recognition sound in a desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness of tolerating a minority of students whose sexual identity is distinct from the majority of students and discordant to [the Board's] abstinence only program. Ensuring that this minority of students are afforded meaningful expression secures the precept of freedom from external dominion over thought and expression exalted by the founders and safeguarded by the First Amendment." Gonzalez v. Sch. Bd. of Okeechobee Cnty., No. 06-14320-Civ, at 18-19 (S.D. Fla. July 29, 2008).
The full opinion can be found here at the ACLU website.
Posted and drafted by Michael, a law student.