A bill intended to help stop anti-gay bullying in schools nationwide would move closer to passage if President Obama backed it, according to a letter sent to him by 70 organizations.
The Student Non-Discrimination Act was proposed by Sen. Al Franken and has about a third of the Senate signed up as cosponsors. But it often takes 60 votes to get anything through there these days. So groups including the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network are calling on Obama to make clear his support for the bill.
“Your administration’s endorsements of both the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Respect for Marriage Act provided those bills with critical momentum,” states the letter, which was first reported by the Washington Blade. Neither of those pieces of legislation has passed Congress but activists are hopeful that ENDA, which prohibits antigay discrimination in the workplace, and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act are moving closer to success. The president regularly cites the bills as items Congress should pass.
“An endorsement of the Student Non-Discrimination Act would likewise be a clarion call for equality in our schools and better protections for vulnerable children,” the letter says. “And more importantly, it would make clear to all Members of Congress what the administration views as a necessary federal legislative solution to the serious problem of anti-LGBT discrimination and harassment in our nation’s public schools.”