Lambda Legal Selects Lubbock High School Gay Straight Alliance As Recipient Of The 2004 Courage Award

June 23, 2004 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dallas, TX, June 21, 2004 Lambda Legal announced today the selection of the Lubbock High School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) for the 2004 Courage Award. The Courage Award is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding courage in the face of uncertainty, discrimination and hostility in the advancement of civil rights for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities. Ricky Waite, recent high school graduate and co-founder of the Lubbock High School GSA, will accept the award on behalf of the organization on June 26, 2004 at "Lambda at the Nasher,' Lambda Legal's inaugural annual event commemorating the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas.

In Fall 2002, gay and straight classmates at Lubbock High School in Lubbock, Texas, came together to organize a Gay Straight Alliance; the purpose of which was to not only provide support for gay and straight students but also promote equality in local school system and community. The Federal Equal Access Act prohibits federally funded, secondary schools that allow non-curricular student groups to meet on campus from discriminating against any groups based on their viewpoints. While the Lubbock Independent School District (ISD) allowed numerous special interest groups to meet on campus in compliance with the Equal Access Act, school officials erected numerous procedural roadblocks before ultimately denying the GSA's application in December 2002. In July 2003, Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of the GSA. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of the Lubbock ISD.

"An award has never been more aptly named nor an organization more rightly honored,' said Dennis Coleman, South Central Regional Director for Lambda Legal. "It took true courage for these students to stand-up in righteous cause of civil rights. It is only through the activism of young leaders such as these that a future of full equality for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities will come to pass.'

About Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is the nation's largest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and people with HIV/AIDS through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Headquartered in New York, and with offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, Lambda has regional and national expertise in all aspects of sexual orientation and HIV-related law and policy. For more information, please visit www.lambdalegal.org

About South Central Regional Office
The South Central Regional Office (SCRO) of Lambda Legal is the organization's newest region covering Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Now in its second year, the SCRO is shifting the legal landscape throughout the South Central United States, where anti-gay and HIV-related discrimination is especially entrenched. The office can be reached directly at 214-219-8585.