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01/04/2008

Adults with law degrees to again use 'em for ill

by Jeremy Hooper

Teegay-1-1Do you remember back in March of last year when a U.S. District Judge ruled against an Illinois student's right to wear a shirt reading "Be happy, not gay," setting off a discussion about what is and is not acceptable in the world of condemnatory teen fashion? No? You drank away that part of your brain on New Years Eve? Well, lushy reader, that's basically all that happened -- a judge ruled that while students have a right to express their beliefs, they do not have a right to condemn other students in the process. And the students were told that they had to stave off their desires to protest gay acceptance via their garments until they got home from school.

Well, never ones to let accurate, responsible, society-enriching decisions to go unchecked, the dastardly legal beagles at the Alliance Defense Fund have decided to reopen that old can of worms again this year. They've announced that they will appeal last year's ruling in federal appeals court:

Student not giving up effort to wear anti-gay T-shirt [Daily Herald]

The money quote from the above piece? Well, in reference to why the school's suggested alterna-shirt, "Be Happy, Be Straight" is not acceptable, the ADF's Nate Kellum says the following:

"Be Happy, Be Straight" doesn't necessarily encompass opposition to homosexuality, a viewpoint students should be allowed to express, Kellum said.
"I think some messages are just better phrased in the negative," said Kellum, citing "No smoking" as an example.

Well yes, Nate, it is certainly a negative message you are seeking. But do us a favor, buddy: When comparing your message with others, please compare it only to sentiments that are actually along the same lines. "Be happy, not black," for example. "Be happy, not Christian," for another. "Be happy, not Jewish," if you wanna stick on religious lines. Or maybe, "Be happy, not deaf," or even, "Be happy, not hetero" would work. For you see, Nate-dog, stopping kids from puffing on a fag is not at all the same thing as encouraging them to call gays a 'f*g'! The message you are supports attacks people, not a dangerous substance. And no amount of offensive "gay/smoking" likening is ever going to change the fact that your discriminatory pushes are the metaphorical carcinogen to which far too many are addicted!

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Your thoughts

Can we get a "Be Happy, not a Homophobe" shirt yet?

Posted by: Raphael | Jan 5, 2008 1:02:30 PM

I would not mind if anyone took either the 'this shirt and all those like it should be prohibited in school' position or the 'all shirts must be considered free speech' position.

But the universally adopted position is 'Its free speech is I agree with it.' The same people who think that its an attack on free speech to ban the 'be happy, not gay' shirt would, with few exceptions, immediatly go into a moral outrage and demand immediate suspension if a student were to go into a school wearing a tshirt declaring 'Gay love can be romantic too.' They would probably try to declare him a threat to student safety.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | Jan 6, 2008 6:41:36 PM

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