US Senate votes down LGBT anti-bullying law
The US Senate has voted down an amendment to ban LGBT discrimination in schools.
The first LGBT-related proposal since the Supreme Court decision, the Student Non-Discrimination Act by Senator Al Franken received 52 votes- just short of the standard 60 necessary to pass. 45 senators voted against.
When countered that it would bring about “costly lawsuits,” Senator Franken of Minnesota said, according to The Washington Post: “This isn’t about lawsuits, this about schools doing the right things when parents ask.
“We have the same protections granted to kids by virtue of their race.
“That wasn’t a local issue, that was a federal law we had to pass.
“Same thing with Title IX — that’s why we won the World Cup.”
An amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, it would have called for school staff to get involved if an LGBT student was being bullied. If the harassment was brought to the attention of law officials, schools could not retaliate.
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45 senators were in opposition of the measure, but it was sponsored by one Republican, Senator Mark Kirk, and backed by the White House.
Additionally, five other Republican senators voted for the act, making it the fourth proposal for LGBT progress to gain the majority of the Senate’s support this year.
According to BuzzFeed, Senator Franken said: “I’m tremendously disappointed in the Senate.
“The inability to put in place meaningful protections for some of our most vulnerable children is an enormous disservice to LGBT students all across the country who face terrible bullying every day.”
The senator has attempted since 2010 to have similar legislature pass.
This time, he referenced the suicides of three school boys- aged 11, 13 and 15- all of whom experienced harassment.
Arguments against the proposal included that it should be taken care of at the state level and that Title IX already handles the issue.
There have been suggestions that Title IX needs to be revised to have more coherent terms when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity.