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Dismissal of Utah Lesbian Suit Sought
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 1998
SALT LAKE CITY -- The State of Utah has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lesbian teacher’s
lawsuit in which she is challenging a school gag order banning her from talking about her sexual
orientation, the Associated Press reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Wendy Weaver, a
40-year-old mother of two, after she was fired as volleyball coach for being a lesbian, then ordered
not to talk about her sexual orientation while her regular teaching job.
The ACLU claims the gag order violates Weaver’s right to freedom of expression and despite the
dismissal request is optimistic the case will be settled.
"I”m hopeful that with a little dialogue, we will able to solve this without protracted litigation,"
Weaver’s lawyer, David Watkiss, told Associated Press.
But the Utah Attorney General’s Office is arguing that Wendy Weaver’s comments regarding her
homosexuality are not protected by the First Amendment.
"The right to privacy has not been extended to matters involving homosexual relationships, " and
there exists no "fundamental right to engage" in same-sex behavior, according to briefs filed by
lawyers representing the Nebo School District.
State lawyers argued that Nebo’s decision fell within its "legitimate interest" in maintaining the
morale, integrity and public acceptance of the school system and in minimizing substantial
disruption or interference in the normal activities of the schools.
Source: Associated Press, December 26, 1997