LGBT school group in Pendleton wins injunction, can promote activities

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A group supporting LGBT students at an Indiana high school won a court decision Wednesday that will allow it to raise money and promote meetings.

U.S. District Judge James Sweeney II granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the Pendleton Heights Gay-Straight Alliance at Pendleton Heights High School.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the group’s behalf in September, arguing that its free speech rights were being violated along with other laws.

The principal at Pendleton Heights had barred the group from advertising on school bulletin boards or anywhere else on school property, according to the lawsuit.

The judge said the Gay-Straight Alliance should be given the same benefits that other clubs at the school enjoy.

The group is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” without an injunction, Sweeney said.

In a court filing, the school argued that its bulletin boards and afternoon announcements should be limited to groups whose activities are “directly related to the curriculum of the school.”

The Gay-Straight Alliance is “asking for special access,” attorneys for the South Madison Community School Corp. said.

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