PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT - 800-671-1776
York City Settles Lawsuit By Agreeing to Open
"Gay-Only" School to Heterosexuals
York, New York - Liberty Counsel has settled the lawsuit it filed
on behalf of State Senator Ruben Diaz and parents of public schools
students against the New York City Department of Education (DOE) over
a school billed as the first "gay high school" in the nation. Liberty
Counsel filed suit soon after the City's July 2003 announcement that
Harvey Milk High School would become a publicly-funded school, and
would continue to admit only "gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning"
youth. The school was originally governed by the Hetrick-Martin Institute
(HMI) a private pro-homosexual organization. Liberty Counsel's suit
challenged the legality of funding a "gay-only" high school with tax
part of the settlement, school administrators and HMI admit that they
cannot discriminate in admissions, or otherwise, against heterosexual
students. The City also agreed to train the staff responsible for
placement of students in Harvey Milk consistent with the DOE's nondiscrimination
policy and to represent in DOE materials that the school is open to
all students. Instead of admissions based on students' sexuality,
the school will be described as "small transfer school" for students
in grade 9-12 who have not been successful in at least one other school
and want to continue their education in an alternative, small school
Stanley, Chief Counsel for Liberty Counsel, stated: "We are pleased
that the New York City Department of Education finally agrees that
students should not be segregated according to 'sexual orientation.'
Countless 'at risk' students could benefit from individual attention
in a small school setting. We are concerned that the school be open
to all students, so we are launching a 'Keep Harvey Milk High Accountable
Campaign.' Taxpayers should monitor the school to be sure that the
DOE abides by the settlement and admits all qualified students, regardless
of 'sexual orientation.' We encourage students who are not 'gay, lesbian,
bisexual, or questioning' their sexuality, to apply for admission.
Once you do, please contact us so that we can track applications to
ensure that the DOE is not discriminating against heterosexual students.
In addition, if you attend or work at Harvey Milk High, we want to
know what is being taught there. We need your help to ensure that
Harvey Milk makes that opportunity open to all at risk students."