Constitutional Law; Equal Protection; School Vouchers; LGBT


More than a dozen states operate school voucher programs, which allow parents to apply state tax dollars to their children’s private school tuition. Many schools that participate in voucher programs are affiliated with religions that disapprove of homosexuality. As such, voucher-accepting schools across the country have admissions policies that discriminate against LGBT students and students with LGBT parents. Little recourse exists for students who suffer discrimination at the hands of voucher-accepting schools. This Note considers two ways to provide protection from such discrimination for LGBT students and ultimately argues that the best route is for an LGBT student to bring a lawsuit under the Equal Protection Clause. Such a lawsuit would require a finding of “state action,” which U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence suggests would present a serious challenge for a plaintiff. This Note suggests that plaintiffs should urge courts to take a more relaxed approach to state action due to the unique nature of the discrimination at issue.