LGBT group sues Utah over alleged anti-gay school laws

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In this Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 file photo, Equality Utah director Troy Williams speaks during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Activists in Utah say they're are taking up a new front in LGBT rights by challenging in court a law that bans "advocacy of homosexuality" in schools. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Equality Utah director Troy Williams speaks during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol in February. Activists in Utah say they’re are taking up a new front in LGBT rights by challenging in court a law that bans “advocacy of homosexuality” in schools. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah LGBT activists are suing to strike down a state law that bans what it calls advocacy of homosexuality in the classroom, one of several such measures in states around the country.

The lawsuit filed against the Utah State Board of Education Monday says the 2001 measure was aimed at sexual education classes has been broadly interpreted and discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. It says the law allows bullying by barring school officials from telling other kids it’s OK to be gay.

National Center for Lesbian Rights lawyer Christopher Stoll says this is the first lawsuit challenging such laws.

He says they also exist in several other states including Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas.

The Utah State Board of Education and Utah Attorney General declined comment.

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