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ADF likely to appeal 'There are only two genders' T-shirt case

Monday, Jun 10, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation David Cortman regarding a decision Sunday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in L.M. v. Town of Middleborough that affirms a Massachusetts school’s decision to forbid a middle school student from wearing two T-shirts to school that say, “There are only two genders” and “There are [censored] genders”:

“Students don’t lose their free speech rights the moment they walk into a school building. This case isn’t about T-shirts; it’s about a public school telling a middle-schooler that he isn’t allowed to express a view that differs from their own. The school actively promotes its view about gender through posters and ‘Pride’ events, and it encourages students to wear clothing with messages on the same topic—so long as that clothing expresses the school’s preferred views on the subject. Our legal system is built on the truth that the government cannot silence any speaker just because it disapproves of what they say. The 1st Circuit erred in its decision denying L.M. his right to free speech, and we are reviewing all legal options including appealing this decision.”

Attorneys with ADF and Massachusetts Family Institute representing the middle-school student filed a lawsuit in May of last year and appealed to the 1st Circuit in September.

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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