School District Told to Replace Web Filter Blocking Pro-Gay Sites

CAMDENTON, Mo. — Students using the computers at Camdenton High School here in central Missouri have been able to access the Web sites for Exodus International as well as People Can Change, antigay organizations that counsel men and women on how to become heterosexual.

But the students have not been able to access the Web sites of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

They have been able to read Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a Georgia statute criminalizing sodomy. But they have been blocked from reading Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that held that laws criminalizing sodomy were unconstitutional.

They have been given access to scores of antigay sites, but not to those supportive of gay people.

A clear-cut case of censorship? Actually, not so clear. “These filters are a new version of book-banning or pulling books off the shelf,” said Pat Scales of the American Library Association. “The difference is, this is much more subtle and harder to identify.”

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