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School Cancels Diversity Day Over 'Ex-Gay' Demands


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School Cancels Diversity Day Over 'Ex-Gay' Demands

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

March 21, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Viroqua, Wisconsin) For the second time Viroqua High School has cancelled Diversity Day after conservative Christians balked at the inclusion of gay speakers.

The day, held every two years for juniors and seniors, was to have been held on Thursday as a opportunity to promote diversity in the community.

Speakers were to have included representatives of the African American, Latino, Jewish, Muslim, native American and gay communities.

But, Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based public interest law firm that regularly fights LGBT civil rights issues notified the school that it represented Pastor Don Greven of Bad Axe Lutheran Church and Charles Lind, grandfather of a Viroqua High senior who were concerned that representatives of the so-called ex-gay movement or other Christians opposed to homosexuality were not invited to speak.

Liberty Counsel, in a fax to the school, obtained by the La Crosse Tribune, warned that if Diversity Day went on the school could face legal action.

“By excluding the Christian and ex-gay viewpoints, the District violates the Establishment Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection,” the fax said.

It also said that a federal court in Michigan had ruled unconstitutional a similar exclusion at Ann Arbor Public Schools event.

Following receipt of the threat the school cancelled diversity activities.

The last Diversity Day, in 2004, was cancelled after several hundred people signed a petition opposing a speaker on LGBT issues.

©365Gay.com 2006

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