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Utah Titans demand gay-straight student group

By Ian Decker |
February 25, 2014
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Holladay, UT - Students at Olympus High School, in suburban Salt Lake City, are demanding the school administration officially establish a Gay-Straight Alliance to provide a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students. To advance the struggle for gender and sexual equality, they formed the Students Cooperation Network, or SCN.

LGBTQ rights are a hot button issue in Utah, with a court recently ruling against the ban on same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples rushed to get married during the court ordered lifting of the ban. Then the state of Utah filed an injunction to prevent and annul the marriages, attempting to maintain the system of discrimination against LGBTQ couples.

However, the struggle for equality is spreading to all parts of Utah society, including local high schools.

Around 30 students met for a SCN meeting on Feb. 20. The meeting included both members of the Students Cooperation Network and those interested in forming a Gay-Straight Alliance. Principal Mark Manning is stalling the charter for the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus. Manning is using rules and technicalities, while refusing to work with students demanding equal rights. The students know their rights however.

Students are organizing to win equality. This week they handed out 300 small purple pins to symbolize the campaign for equality on campus.

The SCN set three concrete goals for the school year. First, they want to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance to provide a safe and supportive environment for all LGBTQ students and allies. Second, they plan on expanding the SCN so that as students graduate new students can carry forward the struggle. Finally, they hope to establish the SCN as a strong organization capable of fighting for students at Olympus High School against all forms of oppression, discrimination and bigotry.