The lawsuit over homosexuality in Utah schools is over

Posted at 10:59 AM, Oct 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 12:59:02-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit filed over policies and a law that forbade anything construed as “promotion” of homosexuality in Utah schools has been settled.

In a court filing obtained by FOX 13, the Utah Attorney General’s office and LGBTQ rights groups Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit against the Utah State Board of Education and the Jordan, Weber and Cache school districts.

“All claims seeking declaratory or injunctive relief have been fully settled and resolved. Each party will bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs,” the filing states.

Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sued Utah on behalf of three students who alleged the law, dubbed “No Promo Homo” by gay rights activists, created a hostile and discriminatory environment in Utah schools. They alleged the law subjected LGBTQ kids to bullying and intimidation in schools and silenced any discussion on homosexuality, including same-sex marriage.

The students — Josh Greer, 18, Katy Smith-Gish, 17, and Kaiden Turkel, 8 — sued under pseudonyms. They spoke to FOX 13 last week as the lawsuit was being settled.

“The law was worded so vaguely that it affected all of my classes and how teachers were able to teach things,” Greer said.

In response to the lawsuit, the Utah State Legislature moved quickly to repeal the law. The Utah State School Board also repealed its policy, which centered around health education. Under the new law, school health curriculum still teaches abstinence outside of marriage but is silent on whether that union is same or opposite gender.

In a letter to all of Utah’s public and charter schools obtained by FOX 13, the Utah State Board of Education instructed them to eliminate any outdated policies immediately.

“The Utah State Board of Education desires each student in Utah public schools to receive a high quality education free from all manner of discrimination, which can take the form of bullying, based on religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” the letter says.

Read the Utah State Board of Education’s letter here: