The battle over GSAs.Aidan Grennell, a 17-year-old former president and current member of the gay-straight alliance at James River High School Three high schools in Virginia are named after the James River:
But some state lawmakers argue that GSAs are promoting sexual activity, and they have been pushing legislation--although somewhat unsuccessfully--to limit or ban the clubs, including bills in Utah, Virginia, Missouri, Arizona, and Georgia.
Utah state representative Aaron Tilton and state senator Noun 1. state senator - a member of a state senate
senator - a member of a senate Chris Buttars Chris Buttars (b. April 1, 1942) is a Republican state senator for Utah representing senate district 10 (which spans the cities of South Jordan, West Jordan, and Herriman). He has served in the Utah State Senate since 2001. have been pushing parallel legislation that would allow school districts to ban clubs if they involve "human sexuality," including "promoting or encouraging self-labeling by students in terms of sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. ." Although this legislation doesn't target college clubs, Thomas Nelson, 20, copresident of the Lesbian and Gay Student Union at the University of Utah The University of Utah (also The U or the U of U or the UU), located in Salt Lake City, is the flagship public research university in the state of Utah, and one of 10 institutions that make up the Utah System of Higher Education. , has made it his mission to stop the bills. He personally spoke with legislators and invited them to a GSA meeting on Salt Lake City's Capitol Hill. "If they weren't willing to come to us, we would go to them," he said. Nelson's resolve may have helped. Although the senate approved Buttars's bill in February, both bills stalled in the house before Utah's legislative general session ended in March.
In Virginia the house passed a bill similar to the proposed Utah legislation, but the senate education and health committee nixed it by a 9-6 vote on March 2. The legislation, introduced by Del. Matthew Lohr, sought to give school boards the power to prohibit the use of school facilities by any club that "promotes" sexual activity. Lohr said the bill was meant to give local school boards the power to take action against clubs that try to promote a "secret agenda."
Tully Satre, a 16-year-old gay activist, founded the Commonwealth Education Equality Virginia Initiative, a group established in January in response to Lohr's bill. "We are here to provide a resource network for gay-straight alliance clubs and GLBT GLBT Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered youth in Virginia," Satre said. "We know that GLBT and supportive youth can speak for themselves. CEEVA will simply bring them together as one strong voice."