SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for Equality Utah and the Utah State Board of Education have jointly asked a federal judge to extend a stay through Sept. 15 in proceedings in the organization's constitutional challenge of state education policies it says prohibit positive speech about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The extension was requested because one of the parties who planned to attend a settlement conference scheduled for June 8 was unable to attend due to a family emergency.
The court rescheduled the settlement conference for Aug. 22 and 23.
"Extending the stay of proceedings in this case until Sept. 15, 2017, would allow the parties and this court to hold this conference, and implement the terms of any potential agreement," the joint motion states.
A joint motion for a stay in the lawsuit was initially requested following the Utah Legislature's passage of SB196 during its general session. The legislation eliminated a specific prohibition against advocacy of homosexuality in health instruction in Utah public schools. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law on March 20.
Equality Utah’s lawsuit against the State School Board and Jordan, Weber and Cache County school districts cited experiences of three unnamed Utah students in elementary, middle and high schools as examples of other LGBT youths' experiences in Utah public schools, according to the complaint.
Equality Utah, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs last fall, claims Utah school policies violate constitutional rights of free speech and equal protection, as well as Title IX protections.