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Dems weigh in on Tiverton student club

March 31, 2011

The Rhode Island Democratic Party is denouncing comments by a state representative, who has been critical of a gay student group at Tiverton High School.

Rep. Dan Gordon, a Republican whose district includes Tiverton and Portsmouth, says it is inappropriate for a club “promoting sexuality of any kind” to assemble at a publicly funded school. Gordon has threatened to divert funding from Tiverton High School to a charter school because of the Gay-Straight Alliance.

State Democratic Party Chair Ed Pacheco says he is appalled by Gordon’s remarks.

“I am appalled Rep. Gordon would attempt to prohibit the Gay-Straight Alliance from meeting on the Tiverton High campus,” Pacheco said in a written statement. “Diversity is what strengthens our communities and to deny students the opportunity to meet in their school, a place where they should always feel safe, is unacceptable.”

School officials have been supportive of the club, which was started by a member of the senior class.

Gordon maintains that he is not calling for a ban on the club but believes it should not be allowed to meet on the campus of a public school. Gordon says members would be free to gather at a private home if they chose to do so.

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