A small group of Oregon teens have provoked controversy by wearing shirts that read “Gay Is Not OK” and “Gay Day Is Not OK” to their high school.
“I just made it say ‘Gay Day is not OK,’ because I don’t believe that it’s OK,” Oregon City High School student Alex Borho told KPTV.
Borho and some of his friends wore the shirts to school during the National Day of Silence on April 11. The event is intended to bring attention to bullying and harassment targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
“I don’t have a big problem with gay people. It’s just when they start parading around the school about how we have a day of silence for gays, lesbians and transvestites,” Borho told KPTV. “We don’t have a straight day.”
Borho told KATU News that he did not approve of gay people because he was religious.
A school administrator said that the school would not allow the shirts, and would make the students turn the shirts inside out or remove them completely.
The American Civil Liberties Union has repeatedly criticized public schools that censored anti-gay shirts. The civil liberties group took action against schools in Wolcott, Connecticut, and Naperville, Illinois, after administrators prohibited students from wearing shirts with anti-gay slogans.
“The First Amendment was written to protect unpopular speech, which is naturally the kind of speech that will always need protection,” said Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, in 2012.
The ACLU has also litigated on behalf of students who were censored for wearing pro-LGBT shirts.
Watch video, via KOMO News, below.