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ADF attorneys again ask court to stop ban on “Be Happy, Not Gay” T-shirt at Illinois school

Neuqua Valley High School sophomore continues to desire to wear T-shirt with same message that school officials censored in April

CHICAGO — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are again asking a federal district court to stop Neuqua Valley High School officials from prohibiting a student from wearing a “Be Happy, Not Gay” T-shirt while a lawsuit against the school district moves forward in court.

ADF attorneys filed their motion Monday, explaining that sophomore Alexander Nuxoll’s desire to share his religious-based conviction that homosexual behavior does not lead to happiness has not waned despite the school’s avowed intention to preclude any such message.

“School officials cannot treat Christian students as second-class citizens.  As the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, students do not lose their constitutional right to free speech upon entering the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum.  “Neuqua Valley High School officials unconstitutionally single out one viewpoint--Alex’s--for censorship while allowing other students to present the opposite view.  Alex wants the court to confirm his right to convey his religious beliefs.”

The school prohibits any speech critical of homosexual conduct but allows students to promote and advocate it, particularly during the “Day of Silence,” an event promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.  Nuxoll desires to wear his T-shirt at various times for the remainder of his enrollment at the school, including the day following the “Day of Silence,” as a way of peacefully responding to other students wearing shirts with messages supporting homosexual behavior.  Without court intervention, Nuxoll will forego his message for fear of punishment.

“We filed the motion on behalf of Alex to ask the court to keep school officials from censoring his message as they did in April of this year,” said Kellum.  “Alex’s First Amendment right to free speech is important and should be thoroughly considered.”

ADF attorneys originally filed the lawsuit on March 21 on behalf of then-student Heidi Zamecnik.

 

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.