First Amendment rights are not a one-way street – The Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Posted: November 16, 2019 at 9:44 am

An article in the Nov. 13 Chronicle reports that four students at Bozeman High School objected to the status of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club as an authorized club at BHS.

The students assert that national FCA policies discriminate against gay and lesbian students and that the status of the local FCA club at BHS should be revoked. Those policies support the position that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. The article notes that there is no claim that any of the local members have engaged in any discriminatory practices.

The article reports that the School Board has agreed with the students and has given the local FCA club the choice of disaffiliating with national FCA or losing its club status at BHS. Also, as the article notes, the consequences of losing that status are significant.

Supporters or promoters of gay rights have a protected right to express their views. Those who do not agree with that position are entitled to similar protection. The Supreme Court has said, Discussions regarding matters of political interest are at the core of constitutionally protected rights and that such discussions should be robust. Discussion of gay rights is such a matter.

There are at least three First Amendment rights at issue: free speech, religious freedom and the right to assemble. These rights do not provide support for a position I may take but not for an opposing position.

The action by the School Board discriminates against the FCA students, is not reasonable and should be reversed.

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First Amendment rights are not a one-way street - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle

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