FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 5, 2007
(Pennsylvania, February 5, 2007) — The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and co-counsel Sharon McKee of Hangley, Aronchick, Segal and Pudlin, reached a settlement agreement on behalf of NCLR client Jennifer Harris with Penn State and its women's basketball coach Rene Portland and athletic director Tim Curley.
This groundbreaking lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Harris alleged discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and invasion of privacy. In agreeing to settle the case, the defendants continued to dispute Harris' claims and did not admit liability. The specific terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
"I'm proud to have brought this case, and I'm thrilled that we have been able to resolve it," said Harris. "I look forward to putting this matter behind me and focusing on being the best student and basketball player I can be." Harris, a former star player for the Penn State Lady Lion basketball team, is currently a member of the women's basketball program at James Madison University, but has been sidelined this season with a persistent ankle injury. Harris underwent ankle surgery in mid-January, 2007. The surgery was successful, but Harris is unlikely to return to play this season.
This case has provided an unprecedented platform for public dialogue about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes. It has raised public awareness about the harmful effects of discrimination and homophobia and the importance of promoting fair and equal treatment of all student-athletes, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. For more information on NCLR's Sport Project, click here.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.