(NBC NEWS) A U.S. district judge in South Carolina overturned a decades-old state law Wednesday that prohibited discussion of LGBTQ issues in public school sex education classes. According to the ruling, the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The decision was prompted by a lawsuit filed just two weeks earlier by student members of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance at the School of the Arts in Charleston County, as well as several legal and LGBTQ advocacy groups.
The law, passed in 1988, made it illegal for public school teachers to discuss “alternate sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships” except in the context of sexually transmitted diseases. Teachers who disobeyed the law — whether by including LGBTQ issues in their curriculum, answering a student’s question or allowing classroom discussion — could be imprisoned.
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