MassResistance, Liberty Counsel Lobby School Board Members Ahead of Monday's Meeting
Two anti-LGBT hate groups from out of state, MassResistance and Liberty Counsel, reportedly have joined the battle against a newly formed Gay-Straight Alliance at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee.
In response to a controversy over the GSA, the Franklin County school board will again discuss its policies related to student organizations on Monday night. Chairman Kevin Caroland recently told The New Civil Rights Movement that officials may consider eliminating all 17 of the school's non-curricular clubs in an effort to ban the GSA without violating the federal Equal Access Act.
MassResistance, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group, reported Saturday that it had been contacted about the GSA by local parents and a Franklin County school board member, and now plans to send a representative to the meeting.
Tennessee county battling Sodomite onslaught over gay club in high school. Showdown at school board meeting Monday https://t.co/TykwCsIyRHâ€” Rachel Cohen (@RachelCohen12) March 12, 2016
MassResistance also reportedly contacted the Liberty Counsel, also listed by the SPLC as an anti-LGBT hate group. Liberty Counsel has provided legal guidance to local officials.
"With a good legal group now backing them, a decision has been made to take a vote at the School Board's upcoming meeting this Monday, March 14," MassResistance wrote. "If the Board does the right thing, listens to their outraged constituents, and votes to disband the GSA club in the face of the LGBT movement, it will be a great show of pro-family strength. And it could be the start of a larger counter-revolution in other places!"
Lisa Rung, a local citizen journalist, disputed MassResistance's account, saying it was actually a representative from the group, Brian Camenker, who contacted the school board member:
Rung also said in an interview with Franklin County Buzz that even if the school board eliminates all non-curricular clubs, it could be a violation of the Equal Access Act, since it's clear officials are targeting the GSA.
"It is absolutely cut and dried; the only reason you're doing this is because of that one club," Rung said. "They're basically saying, 'We want to erase you, we wish you didn't exist, and to say that to someone who's already marginalized. ... I hope they won't walk off a cliff. They're talking about walking off a cliff. It would be a very extreme thing they're talking about doing."
Franklin County Buzz also reported that if the board violates federal law and loses in court, individual members could be held liable.
The school board has again moved its meeting to the Franklin County High School auditorium to accommodate a large expected crowd.
At the board's last meeting, opponents of the GSA waved Christian flags and warned that the club is part of a "youth recruitment strategy" from radical gay activists, who want to expose children to fisting, rimming and anal sex. Opponents of the GSA have also compared it to ISIS, and students have vandalized the club's posters and worn "Straight Pride" stickers in protest.
Trouble for the Franklin County High School Gay-Straight Alliance first came in January when anti-gay parents compared the GSA to ISIS and called on school officials to resign for allowing it.
The parent who compared the GSA to ISIS, apparently a Donald Trump supporter based on posts to his Facebook page, also posted the statement from MassResistance to his Facebook page.
Supporters of the GSA again plan a rally prior to the meeting, and they've launched a petition calling on the school board to keep non-curricular clubs.
"In the high school, there are clubs related to the Christian faith," Franklin County High School senior Katlyn Council wrote in the petition. "Also, in the high school, there are students who do not believe in the Christian faith. There is a simple solution the students in disagreeance with Christian clubs have already found: Don't attend the club meetings.
"As a senior applying daily for admission into college and scholarship applications, I am able to firsthand tell you how important clubs are to students," she wrote. "Punishing all students of FCHS is not the answer to a problem that already has a simple solution."
The Franklin County Buzz reportedly will be streaming video from the rally and school board meeting on its YouTube channel.
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