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04/15/2009

http party: ACLU defends sanctity of gay URLs

by Jeremy Hooper

This writer runs a non-adult LGBT information site. This writer is a product of Tennessee public schools. That is why this writer cares so much about this new ACLU case:

ACLUThe ACLU LGBT Project, ACLU First Amendment Working Group, and the ACLU of Tennessee have demanded that two Tennessee public school districts stop illegally preventing students from accessing online information about LGBT issues. Knox County Schools and Metro Nashville Public School use web filtering software that blocks student access to the websites of many well-known national LGBT organizations, including PFLAG, GLSEN, and HRC. While access to LGBT-positive websites is prevented by the filtering software, students are still able to reach anti-gay sites, including websites that urge LGBT persons to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay” ministries – a practice denounced as dangerous and harmful to young people by such groups as the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Tennessee School Internet Filtering - Case Profile [ACLU]

Look, when I was a TN teen, the most "pro"-gay thing I heard in school involved the dude who thought he might become a professional "smear the queer" player. And the only quality computer time came when I successfully forged the river on "The Oregon Trail." So as one who wants to see good, quality, computerized information cut through the stereotypical red state stances and reach the equality-minded youngsters, I completely support the ACLU's efforts here.

*The demand letter:


Tn Internet Filter Dem

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

This doesn't surprise me in the least, though it does make me wonder what other school districts nation wide are doing this. Hopefully this issue is handled peacefully and in cooperation with all parties involved, rather than having to take it to court.

But I doubt it.

Posted by: Tyler | Apr 15, 2009 12:41:56 PM

Just as worse the filtering software blocks " Alternative religious sites" ,such as sites that promote, Wicca and Atheism-but allow mainstream religious sites.


Posted by: Jeff Chang | Apr 15, 2009 12:44:23 PM

This is an example of why I renew my ACLU membership every year. I also maintain membership with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. They are two great organizations which help keep aggressive religion out of our lives.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Apr 15, 2009 12:47:31 PM

ACLU, yes. This will be a good one to follow. Does make you wonder how many other districts have a similar policy. Is there a local PFLAG... and GLSEN...they should be right there on this too.

Posted by: LOrionL | Apr 15, 2009 6:00:19 PM

I find it funny that you wrote this story a month ago, but only now, when the ACLU actually files the lawsuit, does the news pick up on the story (Front page of two newspapers. Big ole' story, now).

Posted by: Brooke | May 20, 2009 10:27:25 PM

It's slightly humorous that one of the school superintendents involved has his office on Gay Street.

Posted by: Dan T. | Dec 30, 2009 2:59:28 PM

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