Earlier this month, Wisconsin high school sophomore Brandon Wegner, 15, published an editorial article in his Shawano Community High School student paper arguing gay couples should not be allowed to adopt. The school subsequently removed the article from remaining copies of the publication, allegedly claiming it was a violation of the school's bullying policy, WSAW TV reports.
Now, the school faces legal action after attorney Harry Mihet of the Liberty Counsel is taking on the incident.
"He did nothing more than to express his opinion on a particular topic," Mihet told the station. "An opinion in which with some are free to agree and some to disagree but an opinion which is absolutely protected with the First Amendment of the Constitution."
According to the report, Mihet says that the Shawano Community High School superintendant Todd Carlson pulled Wegner out of class, called the student ignorant, and made him feel "ashamed" of the piece.
"In a Christian society, allowing homosexual couples to adopt is an abomination," Wegner reportedly wrote in his piece.
Carlson sent the station a statement, noting that the incident has lead to threats to school staff. Carlson also denies accusations from Wegner that he called the student defamatory names.
American conservative blogger Rod Dreher has spoken out about the incident, saying that while he doesn't agree with what Wegner wrote, he believes the school's actions were hypocritical.
"Unbelievable. Granted, Wegner's editorial is a thoroughly lame piece of rhetoric, but remember, he was asked by a teacher to take the opposing side of a controversial public issue. For this, the kid gets punished? And not only punished, but his exercise of free speech in a school paper op-ed is 'bullying'?!"
A blog post by Fox Nation reports that Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, sent Carlson a letter demanding an apology for the school's "unconsitutional and irrational censorship and humiliation."
If the school does not comply, the firm is reportedly threatening legal action.
Clarification at Friday, January 27, 9:57pm: In the original article, The Huffington Post failed to identify that not only did Wegner state, "allowing homosexual couples to adopt is an abomination," but he also quoted several Bible passages including Leviticus 20:13 which calls for the death of a "man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman":
From Wegner's opinion piece according to Towleroad.com:
"...if one is a practicing Christian, Jesus states in the Bible that homosexuality is (a) detestable act and sin which makes adopting wrong for homosexuals because you would be raising the child in a sin-filled environment. Leviticus 20:13 states "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them."