International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

DOI: 10.61494/ijspe

GSA v. Spearman and the Fight against Anti-Gay Curriculum Laws

A. Scott Henderson


In the wake of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, numerous states passed anti-gay curriculum laws that circumscribed and/or prohibited discussions of homosexuality in k-12 public schools. These laws became a target of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer activism in subsequent decades. The following analysis examines one of the last such laws to be invalidated, the so-called “no promo homo” legislation in South Carolina. This investigation concludes that the ultimately successful arguments against the South Carolina legislation relied on the equal protection guarantees found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and on a social movement tactic known as frame bridging.