ADF Legal Counsel Logan Spena emphasized that the case goes beyond a mere T-shirt, highlighting that it is about a public school infringing on a middle-schooler’s right to express a viewpoint that differs from the school’s established beliefs. Spena argued that if the school allows other students to wear clothing expressing their stance on the same issue, it cannot single out and silence Liam for attempting to protest against their censorship. He underscored that the school’s refusal to accommodate Liam’s position is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and he urged the 1st Circuit to rectify this injustice.
In May, a lawsuit was filed by attorneys from ADF and Massachusetts Family Institute on behalf of Morrison, who had worn a T-shirt stating “There are only two genders” to school in order to express his belief. However, the principal and a school counselor intervened by pulling Morrison out of class and demanding that he remove his shirt. Despite Morrison’s refusal, the school officials insisted that he take off the shirt if he wanted to return to class. Consequently, Morrison made the decision to leave school for the remainder of the day, missing all his classes.
In response to the prohibition of his original shirt, Morrison opted to wear a modified version that displayed the message “There are [censored] genders.” However, upon arriving at school, his teacher promptly directed him to the principal’s office, where he was informed that he was not allowed to wear that shirt either.
The lawsuit, known as L.M. v. Town of Middleborough, argues that school officials have embraced a specific perspective on the topic of sex and gender, which asserts that an individual’s subjective identity determines their gender rather than their biological sex.
In a statement to NBC10 Boston, transgender rights activist Mason Dunn expressed that a pride flag and a shirt denying gender identity should not be equated, as the latter has the potential to incite violence. Dunn emphasized that messages of pride are intended to convey support and affirmation, rather than promoting hatred or bias.