School district to allow ‘Jesus Is Not a Homophobe’ T-shirt – for one day only

Lambda Legal still proceeding with lawsuit on behalf of gay student

School district to allow ‘Jesus Is Not a Homophobe’ T-shirt – for one day only
04 April 2012

A school district in Ohio said Wednesday (3 April) that a gay student  an wear his T-shirt bearing the slogan 'Jesus Is Not a Homophobe' on National Day of Silence on April 20.

The Wayne Local School District made the concession a day after Lambda Legal filed suit and a motion for a temporary restraining order on behalf of Maverick Couch, an openly gay junior who was threatened with suspension if he wore the T-shirt.

'We're glad that Maverick is able to wear his shirt on April 20th,' said Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal. 'However, a student’s First Amendment rights are not restricted to one day of the year – we will continue to fight until Maverick is allowed to express who he is on any day he chooses.'

The National Day of Silence falls, which this year falls on April 20 is an annual event sponsored by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to raise awareness of LGBT issues in schools.

'Maverick and his family have shown incredible courage in standing up for what they believe in,' said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. 'We hope officials at Wayne Local School District develop similar understanding and commitment to making sure that all students deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.'

Couch, was called into the principal's office of Waynesville High School last April and told to turn his T-shirt inside out. In addition to the slogan, the shirt also had a a rainbow Ichthys (or 'sign of the fish').

After going home and researching the matter, Couch believed he had the right to wear the shirt so he wore it to school again the next day. This time, Principal Randy Gebhardt told the student, whose mother was called to the school in Waynesville, Ohio, that he needed to remove the shirt or be suspended.

'I’ve been bullied and called names, I wanted to wear the T-shirt to encourage respect for all students, gay or straight,' Couch said this week. 'I wish my school would help me create an accepting environment for LGBT kids, not single me out for punishment.'

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Apple launches gay 'emojis' for iPhone and iPad

Users of Apple's new mobile operating system will be able to text pictures of unsmiling gay and lesbian couples
No thumbnail available

Married Ugandan gay couple win case to stay in Sweden

A gay couple who fled from Uganda's homophobic laws married in Sweden, and are now allowed to stay after worldwide support
No thumbnail available

Daytime Emmy Awards nominations announced

Chandler Massey gets nod for performance as gay teen on Days of Our Lives; Ellen DeGeneres Show gets 12 nods but not one for its host
No thumbnail available

PM should support gay marriage says Aussie Big Brother winner’s mum

Prime Minister Julia Gillard should get 'on the bandwagon' says mother of first gay winner of Big Brother Australia
No thumbnail available

FIFA will probe anti-gay chants at World Cup

Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Croatia could have their World Cup career in jeapordy over fans' behavior at matches
No thumbnail available

Ten Walls dropped by festivals, says sorry for anti-gay rant

Is the Walking with Elephants DJ’s career over?
No thumbnail available

Gay celebs have tweetfest over Lindsay Lohan's Liz and Dick flick

Alan Cumming, Lance Bass, BD Wong and others weigh in
No thumbnail available

Trans footballer allegedly vilified on pitch in New South Wales

Australian Football League steps in to mediate and educate after local club fails to investigate vilification claims adequately
No thumbnail available

Shia LaBeouf explains why he grabbed Alan Cumming's bum during Cabaret

'I grabbed the whole cheek cause I wanted the party right here in my pants'
No thumbnail available

Robbie Williams: ‘I am 49% gay’

Former Take That star has caused controversy for saying that he is half gay because he likes musicals