US Senate vote against LGBT protections in schools


The US Senate have failed to pass a bill which includes protections against discrimination for LGBT students in public schools.

Democrat Senator Al Franken has been attempting to pass the legislation for years with very limited support. Franken has included his proposed changes in an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act – the US government’s flagship aid program for disadvantaged students.

“Kids have these protections for race, national origin, gender and disability,” Senator Franken told Buzzfeed, “We want to extend to LGBT kids the same right that other kids have.”

The vote was split 52-45, with the majority voting in favour of the amendments to the No Child Left Behind Act, however the move required a 60 vote threshold to be passed and was therefore dismissed.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee led the vote against the protections.

“There’s no doubt bullying or harassment of children based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is a terrible problem,” Senator Alexander told the Washington Post, “But the question is, is this best addressed by the local school board or the national school board in Washington D.C.?”

During Senate debate, Senator Franken told the stories of 3 LGBT youths who were driven to take their own lives in the face of harassment and discrimination.

A new report from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) revealed that almost 30% of school districts in the US have no anti-bullying policy whatsoever, while less than 50% of schools with policies have specific protections for those who are harassed for their sexual orientation.

OIP Staff

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