Illinois court rules that anti-gay T-shirts are OK

Posted by JD Uy
March 2, 2011 12:08 AM |

''A school that permits advocacy of the rights of homosexual students cannot be allowed to stifle criticism of homosexuality.... People in our society do not have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs or their way of life.''

Part of a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit about a high school student's decision in 2006 to wear a t-shirt with the slogan: "Be Happy, Not Gay." According to the Chicago Tribune, school officials objected to the slogan and changed it to ''Be Happy, Be Straight,'' then just "Be Happy." (Chicago Tribune)

The conservative religious legal organization Alliance Defense Fund filed the lawsuit. ADF's Nate Kellum said the student who wore the shirt, Heidi Zamecnik, did so to promote her religious views:

''Christian students shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs''

According to the State Bar of Wisconsin, two students at a Naperville, IL high school were subjects of the lawsuit -- one who did wear the shirt, and one who wanted to but feared reprimand. They allegedly wanted to wear the shirts in counterprotest to the school's Gay/Straight Alliance wearing t-shirts reading "Be Who You Are" as part of the annual Day of Silence. The court ruled that the school could not prove that the shirts would cause substantial disruption in school. (

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