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School District Bans Gay Sites, Ex-Gays OK

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School District Bans Gay Sites, Ex-Gays OK

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

May 9, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Palm Beach, Florida) Palm Beach County's school board is under fire for blocking access to the Web sites of LGBT rights groups while allowing sites advocating the so-called ex-gay movement to go unfiltered.

Among the gay sites deemed inappropriate for students is one belonging to a local gay youth advocacy group.

Other banned sites include the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

Yet sites belonging to the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, the Traditional Values Coalition and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality can all be viewed.

All of those sites denounce homosexuality and advocate that gays can be turned straight.

The banned sites are included in Web sites that promote violence, racism and pornography.

The school district defends the blocking. It say that it is only following federal government guidelines. Its computer security manager, Bob LaRocca, says the filtering software being used comply with the Child Online Protection Act and the Children Internet Protection Act.

At the request of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council the American Civil Liberties Union is reviewing the school district's policy.

"If their blocking software prevents kids, particularly middle and high school kids, from having access to information about gay rights and public health issues, but on the other hand allow access to religious group Web sites that are hostile to gay and lesbian legal rights and public health, that constitutes censorship," James Green, an ACLU lawyer told the Palm Beach Post.

©365Gay.com 2006

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"If their blocking software prevents kids, particularly middle and high school kids, from having access to information about gay rights and public health issues, but on the other hand allow access to religious group Web sites that are hostile to gay and lesbian legal rights and public health, that constitutes censorship," James Green, an ACLU lawyer told the Palm Beach Post.

They should also block those sites.

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