Another delay of lawsuit over ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in Utah schools

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office and a pair of LGBTQ rights groups have asked a judge to extend the stay of a lawsuit targeting state laws forbidding discussion of anything considered “advocacy” of homosexuality in schools.

In a filing in U.S. District Court on Friday, lawyers for the state of Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights asked Judge Dee Benson for another stay. They said that even though the Utah State Legislature repealed the law and Governor Gary Herbert signed it, the Utah State School Board must still take it up with some amendments proposed by the gay rights groups.

“The State School Board is scheduled to meet on May 5, 2017 to consider proposed amendments to its administrative rules,” assistant Utah Attorney General David Wolf wrote.

“In addition, the parties have agreed to voluntarily exchange documents necessary to better understand the validity of Plaintiffs’ claims for monetary relief and Defendants’ defenses thereto.”

Equality Utah and the NCLR sued Utah over the law nicknamed “No Promo Homo.” It prohibited teachers from discussing homosexuality in a way that could be considered “advocacy.” The groups — representing three LGBT students in Cache, Jordan and Weber school districts — alleged it created a hostile school atmosphere for them, where they could not even discuss subjects like same-sex marriage and subjected them to bullying.

With the repeal passing the Utah State Legislature, Equality Utah has hinted at the potential for a settlement. Friday’s court filing also seemed to suggest all sides were close to a compromise.

Read the filing here: