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Judge Rules in Favor of Lesbian Schoolteacher

November 26, 1998| From Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge ruled Wednesday in favor of a high school teacher who claimed she was fired as volleyball coach because she is a lesbian.

Wendy Weaver said Spanish Fork High School officials violated her rights with a gag order that prevented her from talking with students or staff about her sexual orientation, even outside of school.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins agreed that her rights of free speech, equal protection and due process were violated. He ordered the school district to offer Weaver the coaching position, lift the gag order and pay her $1,500.

"Although the Constitution cannot control prejudices, neither this court nor any other court should, directly or indirectly, legitimize them," Jenkins wrote.

School lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

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