Yasmin Gonzalez

Yasmin Gonzalez vs. School Board of Okeechobee County (2009) A victory for LGBT students!

Yasmin Gonzalez, then a 16 yr old student at Okeechobee High School, filed a lawsuit on Nov. 15, 2006 along with the American Civil Liberties Union, to challenge the school board’s ban on the district’s Gay Straight Alliance club. 

Gonzales has said she started GSA to provide a safe environment for students to talk about homophobia and to promote tolerance of one another, regardless of Sexual orientation.  Gonzales formed the club after she collected 500 signatures to challenge a ban on same sex couples at the school prom when she wanted to take her girlfriend.

For two years Yasmin held bi-monthly off campus meetings and more regular secret meetings on the school grounds.  More than 50 students were members of the club.

In July 2008, Federal Judge K. Michael Moore ruled that school officials in Okeechobee, FL must allow a gay-straight alliance club (GSA) to meet on campus.  In the precedent setting order, the judge upheld an earlier ruling that GSA clubs do not interfere with abstinence only education, and in a legal first, held that schools must provide for the well being of all students regardless of sexual orientation.

“You shouldn’t have to grow up feeling like you’re alone,” Gonzales said about the ruling.  “it was just terrible, I saw that something was wrong, and I’m trying to change it!”