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Campus Gay Republican Sues Gay Rights Group


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Campus Gay Republican Sues Gay Rights Group

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 7, 2005 3:00 pm ET

(Reno, Nevada) A kiss-in at the University of Nevada to protest the military ban on gays serving opening in the armed forces has prompted a lawsuit by a leader of the school's Republican Club.

Queer Student Union, Nevada Students for Peace and Solidarity, and Act Now to Stop War & End Racism staged the demonstration last week when military recruiters visited the campus for a job fair.

In his complaint, filed in Washoe County District Court, College Republican vice chair Matt Beiser accuses the protesters of intimidating and verbally abusing students trying to talk to the recruiters.

"The idea behind it was that it's not fair that those groups should be able to dissuade people from finding out about the military recruitment on campus," Beisner told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The complaint seeks a temporary restraining order and unspecified legal costs.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the protestors has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

"We don't believe kissing and holding hands is a form of harassment and believe that this lawsuit is a homophobic reaction and a blatant attempt at intimidation," the Queer Student Union said in a statement.

The protest was one of several at universities and colleges that involved military recruiters.

Last month gay and lesbian students staged a kiss in to protest 'don't ask, don't tell' during a job fair at University of California, Santa Cruz. (story)

Protests against 'don't ask, don't tell' also were staged at Stanford and at the University of Iowa. (story)

At Stanford, students staged a noisy protest as Navy recruiters entered the campus. The recruiters left a short while later when no prospective job candidates showed up for interviews.

At the University of Iowa recruiters for the Judge Advocate General also found a lack of interest in jobs among students. Nearby, members of the Outlaws, a gay-straight group of law students, set up a table with displays outlining the military's position on gays.

The universities say they cannot not bar military recruiters from the campus because of a law called the Solomon Amendment which allows the federal government to withhold funding to universities which deny the military access to students.

Twenty-four law schools went to court last year to fight the law, arguing that the military ban on gays serving openly violated the schools' policies on equal rights.

Last November, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law, saying it infringed on the free-speech rights of the schools. (story) In February, the US House of Representatives voted 327 - 84 to express support for law.

The Bush Administration appealed the court ruling to the Supreme Court. (story) It will be one of the first cases heard by new Chief Justice John Roberts.

Without waiting for the court to hear the case the Pentagon in September suspended to three universities who barred military recruiters. (story) A day later Harvard Law School said it would no longer ban military recruiters from its campus after it was threatened by the Pentagon. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005


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