Nassau College Human Sexuality Course

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Artist: N/A

Year: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

Date of Action: 1996-1999

Region: North America

Location: Nassau, New York

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Religion, Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Public Speech

Confronting Bodies: Residents, The American Catholic Lawers Association, The American Family Association

Description of Artwork: "The college introduced the course in the fall of 1968, and 3,500 students a year take it. Its purpose, the college catalogue says, is 'to acquaint the student with detailed factual information about a multitude of family living and human sexuality issues and to provide the student with an atmosphere for exploration of attitudes and personal value systems.'" [1]

The Incident: Several students who partook in the class sued the university, on the grounds that the course advocated non-monogamous relationships, homosexuality, and other issues pertaining to sexuality that were explicitly attacking their religion, and that this is an infringement on their first amendment rights.

Results of Incident: Nassau Community College ultimately won the suit. "Rejecting the claim that the course entangles the college in religion, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon observed that, 'Allowing religious groups to dictate the curriculum of a public college would have the direct and obvious effect of endorsing those groups? religious views.'" [2]