News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


School club based on sexual preference not appropriate

The American Civil Liberties Union has once again let its overzealous pursuit of equality blind itself to the merits of a cause.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday against a North Georgia school district, alleging it unfairly prevents a gay support club from meeting at the school.

ACLU attorney Beth Littrell said White County High School in Cleveland, Ga., violated the Equal Access Act by not allowing the gay club, called PRIDE, to meet on campus while allowing other clubs to do so.

School administrators recently recommended eliminating all "non-curricular clubs" at White County High School. But because a shooting club and a dance team continue to meet on campus, Ms. Littrell and the ACLU believe the school district is illegally targeting the gay club.

But what seems lost on Ms. Littrell and the ACLU is the fact that school officials have every right — in fact a responsibility — to limit the scope of school-sponsored organizations. And a high school is obviously not an appropriate place for any club that has sex as its primary consideration — whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

If heterosexual students at White County High School formed a club based on their sexual persuasions and sought to meet on campus, the district would be right to prohibit it, just as it does the PRIDE group. This is not a case of officials discriminating based on sexual preference. It is a case of officials responsibly limiting the scope of school-sanctioned activities. A high school is simply not the appropriate place for a club based solely on members' sexual tendencies.

The ACLU works to extend rights to segments of the population that have traditionally been denied rights. It is a worthy cause, if applied appropriately. Because if society denies rights of its most vulnerable members, then everyone's rights are imperiled.

But the ACLU has a history of pursuing lawsuits and causes without first thinking through the issues. The result is expensive but unwarranted lawsuits, often defended at the expense of taxpayers.

This is one such case.

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