March 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Liberty Counsel appeals dismissal of lawsuit against Va. school district

hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade

The Liberty Counsel has appealed a ruling that dismissed its lawsuit against the Fairfax County School District’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

The Liberty Counsel has appealed a ruling that dismissed its lawsuit against the Fairfax County School District’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

The anti-LGBT legal group on March 17 filed a notice of appeal of Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Brett Kassabian’s ruling with the Virginia Supreme Court.

The Liberty Counsel last December filed the lawsuit on behalf of Traditional Values Coalition President Andrea Lafferty and an unnamed minor. His parents and two of their friends are also named as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that members of the Fairfax County School Board violated Virginia law when they added sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy in November 2014 and May 2015.

Robert Rigby, Jr., president of FCPS Pride, a group that represents LGBT employees of the Fairfax County School District, criticized the Liberty Counsel in a press release he issued on Tuesday.

“With these tactics, Liberty and their allies seek to delay FCPS’ progress in developing policies, regulations, resources for families, and trainings for staff and students to implement fair and successful treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, their families, staff and applicants,” said Rigby.

The Liberty Counsel has yet to return the Blade’s request for comment.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring in March 2015 said state law allows school boards to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. This opinion overturned then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore’s 2012 position that said officials cannot add such language to such provisions, unless the General Assembly passed a law allowing them to do so.

A Virginia House of Delegates committee last month killed state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County)’s bill that would have prevented municipalities from enacting measures against anti-LGBT discrimination.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

3 Comments
  • All the more reason why we need federal legislation to protect GLBT Americans. These conflicts will persist state by state and depending on what political party is in power.

    Also emphasizes the need to have the right makeup on the SCOTUS to assure they defend our rights in case of litigation over such issues. Vote Democratic this election to assure the right person fills the vacancy on the court! Protect your future!

    • Right you are. But that probably won’t happen without both a Dem Senate AND House.

      Rooting for Cruz– even voting for Cruz where allowed in ‘crossover state’ primaries– seems wildly counterintuitive for LGBTs. But it is now the best path to deny Trump a majority of GOP delegates.

      In turn, that’s likely to piss off many GOP voters just enough to stay home in November. THAT could be barely enough to overcome the 10-year gerrymandered advantage the GOP has had in the House.

  • Liberty Counsel is a laugh, a phony and a well-funded (probably inadvertently by the USA Treasury) hate group that rakes in the bucks thru phony P.R and from its anti-Gay constituents. Like the Pharisaic lawyers in Christ’s time, it is a group worthy of Christ;s admonition “:Woe to ye, Scribes and Pharisees…” Liberty Council is nothing more than a pharisaical parasite emanating from its misnamed mother lode, the hateful Liberty University.

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