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Vineland School District In N.J. Lifts LGBT Website Filter

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After New Jersey students and staff complained to the American Civil Liberties Union that LGBT sites were being blocked at school, the district removed the filter.

Vineland District middle and high school students won't be able to access adult content, but they will now be able to visit sites such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Associated Press reports.

The filter restrictions were such that one student wasn't able to research Harvey Milk, one of the country's first openly gay elected officials, according to the Courier Post.

Besides being a research impediment, the ACLU tells the Courier Post the blockage was marginalizing.

"Frankly we feel filtering based on LGBT content is discriminatory and against the law," said Jeanne LoCicero, deputy legal director for the state's ACLU chapter. "Hopefully other districts will look at this situation and follow Vineland's lead."

The ACLU sent letters Monday to schools in Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia demanding they stop LGBT website censorship. The letters are part of the "Don't Filter Me" campaign, a partnership between the ACLU and Yale Law School.

Joshua Block, staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Project, tells the organization:

"This is not a case where overbroad filters are accidentally filtering out LGBT websites. These filters are designed to discriminate and are programmed specifically to target LGBT-related content that would not otherwise be blocked as sexually explicit or inappropriate."

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