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Student Non-Discrimination Act Introduced in Senate

The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) was introduced in the US Senate today by Senator Al Franken (D-MN). If enacted, the act would provide federal discrimination protection for students in public schools on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The act would also protect students who are targeted because of their associations with LGBT individuals. The bill has 22 original cosponsors in the Senate and now has over 100 cosponsors in the House, where it was introduced by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) in January. Franken told Minnesota Public Radio, “I think that once we raise awareness about this and have a law, that it’ll bring down the incidence of this and make life a lot better for these kids.” If the bill is enacted, public schools that violate it risk losing federal funding. According to the Human Rights Campaign, SNDA was closely modeled after and is similar to Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all levels of education.

Sources:

Minnesota Public Radio 5/20/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/28/10; Human Rights Campaign Press Release 1/27/10

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