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FOES OF BAN ON GAY CLUBS PLAN TORCH-ROUTE PROTESTS

The groups that fought the Legislature's decision to ban gay clubs in Utah schools are planning protests while the Olympic torch is being carried through the state on its way to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Games.

A demonstration is tentatively set for Friday afternoon, when the torch passes East High School. The school was where students first petitioned to start a gay-straight alliance, sparking the debate over school clubs.Another demonstration is being organized at This Is The Place State Park, where the torch will arrive Saturday morning. The events are intended as a warning to organizers of the 2002 Winter Games as well as to lawmakers.

"The question is, is the world welcome here?" Carol Gnade, executive director of the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said Wednesday.

"This is a quiet protest to send a message to our representatives and to organizers of the 2002 Olympics that we find it unacceptable to promote bigotry, intolerance, injustice, fear and hatred," Gnade said.

The ACLU will be joined in the demonstration by the Citizens Alliance for Hate-Free Schools, the Utah Human Rights Coalition and the Utah Community Action Network.