In a meeting Wednesday afternoon, the school board for Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts in American Fork, Utah, voted to close its doors, after only seven years, because of funding issues and low enrollment. At the time of the meeting, 120 students were registered for the new year scheduled to begin August 20. However, PHS needed 169 students enrolled to stay open.
Established in 2012, PHS helps students who are passionate and want to pursue training in dance, music, and/or theater.
“Those who pursue the arts are sometimes people who are in high-risk groups in many respects and don’t really fit in all the time. This was a wonderful place that created a safe haven for that,” said PHS Executive Director, Dallyn Bayles. “Our school was a safe place for students who might be LGBTQ and really want to professionally pursue the performing arts and wanted an alternative to traditional public schools.”
Thomas Hurd and Dylan Toften from Root, New York, went to the local county courthouse expecting to walk away with a marriage license. A county clerk, however, turned them away on the grounds that they didn’t make an appointment. While that was the case, the clerk’s religious beliefs also played a major role in her refusal, reported LGBTQ Nation.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, once hearing of the incident, ordered the state Division of Human Rights to launch an investigation.
“Personally I cannot believe that this could happen anywhere in this country, let alone in the state of New York,” he said in a statement. “Marriage equality is the law of the land, and it has been in New York since we were the first big state to pass marriage equality in 2011.”
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