For a few years now, Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota has been trying to pass a bill that protects LGBT kids from discrimination in public schools. Seems like a pretty easy one to pass considering, in Franken’s words that, “Kids have these protections for race, national origin, gender and disability. We want to extend to LGBT kids the same right that other kids have.”
Pretty much a no brainer, right? Protect kids from being bullied. Afford them the same rights as other kids to take legal action if they are beaten up, pushed around, and harassed. Not to Republicans. They, led by GOP Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, voted the bill down today.
According to Buzzfeed:
Bullying of LGBT students is “becoming an epidemic,” [Franken] said, citing three boys who committed suicide after they were being harassed by classmates who believed they were gay. “You can’t learn if you are afraid,” he added.
Taking his legislation to a floor vote is a new strategy for Franken, who has worked in committee since 2010 to advance nearly identical legislation, called the Student Nondiscrimination Act, or SENDA. But that bill never got a vote in the full Senate. This time, Franken attached his legislation to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would replace expired rules under No Child Left Behind.
During an appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Franken seemed optimistic about the upcoming vote.
Franken was wrong, the bill was voted down by Republicans who seem to think it’s perfectly okay to beat the crap out of someone because they’re different. Sixty votes were needed for it to pass.
Not agreed to, 52-45: Franken amendment #2093 to S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act (60-vote affirmative threshold).
— Floor Monitor (@SenGOP_Floor) July 14, 2015