Fear of a Gay School

As gay-straight alliances proliferate, so do virulent protests and legal battles against their existence

El Modena High has a nickname. Students at neighboring schools in Orange County, Calif., call it "Homo-dena," spitting out the syllables with all the cruelty and attitude that high school rivalry can disgorge. And a battle is being joined in El Modena, a battle over the right to form a student club on campus similar to ones that have become increasingly popular and controversial nationwide.

It is a very physical and emotional conflict. On Wednesday Anthony Colin, 15, leader of El Modena's Gay-Straight Alliance, was hit on the head by a demonstrator who was furious because a federal judge had ruled...

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