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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 25, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 08
National News
Section One
ALL STORIES
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

ACLU takes on school web filtering
The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School have launched a campaign called 'Don't Filter Me' against web censorship by public high schools.

The campaign urges students to check if their school is blocking LGBT content and to report such incidents at http://action.aclu.org/dontfilterme.

'Students may not realize that it actually is illegal for their schools to block educational and political content geared toward the LGBT community,' said ACLU attorney Joshua Block. 'We hope to inform students of their rights, and let them know there is something they can do if their school is engaging in censorship.'

Blocking such content can violate the First Amendment and the federal Equal Access Act, which requires equal access to school resources for all extracurricular clubs, including Gay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups, the ACLU said.

'Some schools have improperly configured their web filters to block access to websites for LGBT rights organizations such as the GSA Network and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, but allow access to sites that condemn homosexuality or urge LGBT people to try to change their sexual orientation,' the organization said. 'Some schools have also improperly configured their web filters to block news items pertaining to issues like 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

A video showing students how to check if their school is illegally filtering content can be found at tinyurl.com/filttest.

Indiana Legislature targets same-sex couples
The Indiana House of Representatives passed a measure February 15 to send to voters a constitutional amendment that blocks recognition of same-sex marriages and any status similar to marriage.

House Joint Resolution 6, which passed 70-26, states: 'Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana is amended by adding a new section to read as follows: ... Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.'

To take effect, the amendment would have to pass two consecutive general assemblies and be ratified by a majority of voters who turn out to vote.

'Freedom to Marry calls on the Indiana Senate to reject this punitive amendment, which would write discrimination into the state constitution,' said the group's president, Evan Wolfson. 'Government should be on the side of all families, not putting barriers in their paths as they seek to care for their loved ones.'

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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