Jesus_is_not_a_homophobeA teenage boy from Ohio is suing his school after he was banned from wearing a T-shirt which bore the slogan ‘Jesus is not a Homophobe’.

Maverick Couch faces suspension from Waynesville High School, near Cincinnati, if he wears the T-shirt, to school. He is taking legal action, arguing that the ban violates his right to freedom of expression. He seeks a repeal of the ban.

Mr Couch wanted to wear the T-shirt to show his support for the Day of Silence, an American event held on the 20th April which highlights the injustice shown to LGBT students who are victims of bullying.

A year earlier Mr Couch had worn the T-shirt but was ordered by school principal Randy Gebhardt to turn it inside out claiming it was “indecent and sexual in nature”. The accompanying image of a fish to represent the Christian faith was described as too religious.

Mr Gebhardt was supported by the school district’s superintendent who branded the t-shirt a “distraction” that created an environment which was not conducive to education.

Mr Couch wants to wear the shirt again this year. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer: “I wanted to wear this shirt to promote respect for all students, gay or straight. I am just trying to stand up for what I believe in.” Civil rights group Lambada Legal are backing Couch’s case, and in January wrote to Gebhardt supporting Mr Couch’s right to wear the T-shirt.

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