The Right to Create or Run a GSA

The federal Equal Access Act (20 USC 4071 et seq.) mandates that under certain circumstances, students who wish to create or run a GSAs (“Gay-Straight Alliances” or “Gender and Sexuality Alliances”) have the legal right to do so.

The Act Applies to:

  • public secondary schools (middle and high schools)

  • which receive federal funds

  • which have created a “limited public forum,” meaning that at least one student-initiated, non-curricular group is permitted to form and meet in non-instructional time.

What Schools May Not Forbid

Where these conditions are met, a school may not forbid the creation of a student group, or interfere with its otherwise permissible activities, because it does not agree with the group’s purposes.  The Equal Access Act has been a powerful tool used frequently to protect students’ abilities to create and operate GSAs, including in Minnesota.  A good resource for more information is available through the ACLU: