gsn-google gsn-google

Ohio student now allowed to wear 'Jesus Is Not a Homophobe' T-shirt at school

Court rules in favor of Maverick Couch, an openly gay student who had previously been threatened with suspension for his attire

Ohio student now allowed to wear 'Jesus Is Not a Homophobe' T-shirt at school

Maverick Couch got a lot more than he bargained for when he wore a a T-shirt to classes at Waynesville High School in Ohio last year with the slogan ‘Jesus is not a homophobe’ on it.

After being called into the principal’s office, he agreed to turn the shirt inside out. It also had a rainbow Ichthys (or ‘sign of the fish’) on it. But Couch went home and slept on it and decided to wear the same shirt to school the next day. He was then threatened with suspension.

Fast forward 13 months: A court has ruled that Couch has the right to wear the T-shirt any day he chooses and was also awarded $20,000 for damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

‘We’re very happy for Maverick and all LGBT students in Ohio,’ says Christopher Clark , a senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal which took on Couch’s case. ‘If school officials had any doubt before, it’s clear now: First Amendment rights apply to all students on every day of the year, and efforts to silence LGBT youth will not go unchallenged.’

Last month, the school district said Couch could wear the T-shirt but only on April 20 which is National Day of Silence. That did not satisfy Lambda Legal which pressed on with its legal action.

‘I just wanted to wear my shirt,’ Couch says. ‘The shirt is a statement of pride, and I hope other students like me know that they can be proud, too.’

Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .




Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure
areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.



Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting
information anonymously.

_ga, _gat, _gid, _pinterest_cm
_ga, _gat, _gid


Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across the website. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third-party advertisers.

_gads, fr, GoogleAdServingTest, IDE, impression.php/#, khaos, NID, pcs/activeview, pixel.gif, r/collect, rsid, test_cookie, tr
_gads, GoogleAdServingTest
fr, impression.php/#, tr
IDE, r/collect, test_cookie
khaos, rsid


Unclassified cookies are cookies that we are in the process of classifying, together with the providers of individual cookies.

_asc, _auc, _smb_api_session, address_bar_tracking, atrk.gif, ckid, cktst, gs_chn_id, gs_trk_id, gs_user_id, gsHideBar, LSW_WEB, ps/analytics, trackedUrl
_asc, _auc, address_bar_tracking, trackedUrl
_smb_api_session, _smb_api_session, gs_trk_id, gs_user_id, LSW_WEB
ckid, cktst, ps/analytics

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?