Stripping Protections for Gay-Straight Alliances Raises Concerns of Outing Students

Gay-straight alliances (GSAs), clubs where students offer support to their gay peers, have been a contentious topic since their inception in 1988, most recently sparking a debate in the Canadian province of Alberta over whether parents can be notified if their child joins such a club, BBC News reports. The issue arose during the recent provincial election, with conservative party leader and incoming provincial premier Jason Kenney expressing that he will undo legal protections regarding identifying students involved in the clubs, saying "parents know better than politicians what is best for their kids.” Critics of the move argue it could unwillingly out children to parents who might not be supportive of their sexuality or identity and could endanger relationships, or even the children’s lives. In the US, GSAs have prevailed in 17 federal lawsuits under protections of the Equal Access Act, Title VIII of Public Law 98-377.

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