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School gay rights group wins ruling

A Minnesota federal judge ruled Tuesday that a gay-straight student group at Maple Grove High School deserves the same privileges as other groups.
U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen ruled that the school had violated the federal Equal Access Act by allowing other extracurricular groups the chance to use school bulletin boards or the public address system, rights denied to the Straight and Gays for Equality (SAGE) student group.
The legal case was initiated just shy of two years ago by two former students and SAGE members who sued the Osseo School District in 2005.
The district has argued that SAGE had been denied broader communication access not because of the group’s popularity or moral judgements, but rather because its purpose and activities are unrelated to the school’s curriculum. School officials claimed to favor “curricular? groups in providing communications access.
But as Ericksen outlined in her ruling, the district’s definition of several groups as “curricular,? goes against federal law.
The Associated Press said the group was limited to posting posters only on a community bulletin board and outside their meeting places ahd was prohibited from using other forms of school communication, according to the ruling.
As of Wednesday, reports The Star Tribune, school officials had not had time to fully review Ericksen’s decision, said Lawrence Hayes, an attorney for the district. He said the district will consider all its options, including appealing the ruling.

The Star Tribune:

The Associated Press: