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Governor to Decide Future of Controversial School Clubs Bill

Governor to Decide Future of Controversial School Clubs Bill

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John Daley Reporting Today, Governor Huntsman can either veto or sign the controversial bill regarding gay-straight alliances.

And as I discovered, he's hearing it from both sides. We've had a long-running battle in Utah over this.

The bill requires a student to get a parent to sign a consent form before joining a club. It sets rules to form a club and spells out guidelines for administrators to block a club.

The governor is being pressured by both sides, hearing from several dozen Utahns who are calling and e-mailing his office. One group encouraging him to sign it is called the Standard of Liberty Foundation. Meanwhile, the ACLU is urging a veto.

Karen McCreary, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Utah: "We believe that the way the language is this time, it gives discretion to school administrators and teachers to discriminate against individuals on various bases that they may find are objectionable, despite the fact that the student's First Amendment rights, and federal law, the Equal Access Act, provide the right for students to be able to form clubs."

Stephen Graham, Standard of Liberty Foundation: "It's not natural, it's abnormal, and it's aberrant behavior. It's outside God's law as well. We would not want to do anything that would be any legitimization or acceptance or encouragement of homosexuality."

Earlier efforts have led to court challenges, and the ACLU says if the governor signs the bill, a new round of lawsuits could eventually follow.

The state Board of Education is also pushing for a veto. Two GOP lawmakers who sponsored the bill went to the governor's office today to encourage him to sign it.

We expect to know the final decision sometime today.

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