Lesbian Teacher Sues After Company Allegedly Outs Her

Sat. July 26, 2003 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Chicago, IL - An Illinois teacher says a skateboard company outed her, threatening her career by using her picture in an ad campaign without permission.

The women, identified in the suit filed in Chicago only as "Jane Doe" is a lesbian but is not out to her school district, students, or fellow teachers.

The ad shows the junior high school science teacher with the caption under it "I am gay in a happy way not a sexual one."

A student brought the advertisement to the teacher's class. The suit says she has been "repeatedly questioned" about it by administrators, students and parents.

In court papers the 22 year old teacher says she was "in constant fear she would lose her job"

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $100,000 from defendants Ed Templeton, president of Toy Machine Bloodsucking Skateboard Co., and San Diego-based Tum Yeto Inc., a skateboard products company that is associated with Toy Machine.

Templeton shot the photograph of the woman sitting with another woman on a park bench in June 2002, but the lawsuit said the women were not told the picture would be used in an ad.

"It's a simple fact that Illinois law requires that if you use someone's picture for commercial gain you need written permission," said Keith J. Keogh, the woman's attorney. "We allege that wasn't done."

After the ad was circulated around the school, the suit alleges that several teachers told the woman the advertisement "did not reflect well upon her and it would not be good for her career."

"As a new teacher you shouldn't have to deal with all these things on top of starting at a new school," Keogh said. "No one should have to deal with that at their job or anywhere."

by Steph Smith
365Gay.com Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©365Gay.com® 2003

This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.



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