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H.R. 4530: "Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2010"

The fundamental cause of the conflict.
Introduction of bill by Rep. Jared Polis.

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In this website, "LGBT" is an an acronym that refers
to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and transgender persons.

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The fundamental cause of the conflict:

LGBT rights, protection, and equality are currently among the highest profile conflict in North American culture. Some public opinion surveys among evangelical Christians have shown that preserving reduced rights for LGBT persons -- including preventing same-sex marriage -- is of even greater concern to them tham limiting abortion access for women.

Although these conflicts have been portrayed as whether to give special rights for gays and lesbians, all of the proposed and passed legislation give equal protection to all Americans of all sexual orientations, whether they be bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual.

Engaged in the conflict are:

  • Groups opposed to equality: Most social and religious conservatives, the elderly, African Americans, and persons who do not have a close LGBT relative or friend. Opposition to equality is found extensively among Roman Catholics, fundamentalists and other evangelical Christians.

  • Groups in favor of equality: Most social and religious liberals, LGBT persons, civil rights advocates, mental health professionals, teens, young adults, and those who have a close LGBT relative or friend.

There are at least six different belief systems about sexual orientation. However, many -- perhaps most -- people probably match one of the two following descriptions:

  • Many religious and social conservative view homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality as behaviors, which are chosen, abnormal, unnatural, changeable, and immoral. Many believe that same-sex sexual behavior is hated by God, and will prevent a person from attaining Heaven. when they die. Because it is a chosen behavior, oppression of LGBTs is not a civil rights issue as are items that are beyond a person's control like gender, race, skin color, etc. A major goal is to prevent sexual orientation and gender identity from being considered civil rights issues. Another major goal is to preserve traditional marriage, which involves denying loving, committed LGBT persons the right to enter into same-sex marriages. They are concerned that by granting LGBT persons equal rights and protections -- that is, by making it easier for a LGBT person to come out of the closet, more people will choose to be LGBTs and problems will increase. They view same-sex behavior and transgender identity as serious disorders that are directly responsible for the higher suicide rate and higher level of addictions among LGBT persons. Some fear that God will retaliate against America with natural disasters -- destructive hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. -- if the country continues on its path towards equality for persons of all sexual orientations.

  • Many religious and social liberals, LBGTs, secularists, etc. view homosexuality, bisexuality as orientations, that are discovered, and are normal and natural for a minority of persons. They are fixed, morally neutral, and accepted by God. Because sexual orientation is a fixed and unchosen factor beyond a person's control --like race, color, gender, etc. -- oppression of LGBTs considered a civil rights issue. A major goal is to promote sexual orientation and gender identity as the prime civil rights issues of the 21st century. Another goal is to promote marriage access for all loving. committed couples, including those of the same sex. By granting LGBT persons equal rights and protections, their numbers will not increase. However, they will be able to be publically open about their sexual orientation, and lead happier, more productive, and healthier lives. The higher suicide rate and higher level of addictions among LGBT persons are caused primarily by the oppressive homophobic and transphobic culture in which LGBT individuals live. They view natural disasters as having natural causes and having no relation to God's displeasure.

Gender identity is only now surfacing as a major civil rights conflict. It does not have the high profile of sexual orientation. There are probably a half dozen conflicting beliefs about gender identity as well. Various groups' reactions to trandgenderism is probably similar to the above.

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Introduction of H.R. 4530, the "Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2010" (SNDA or SeNDA):

On 2010-JAN-27, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced H.R. 4530 into Congress. 1 He has historically been a leading promoter of equality in education and was the first openly gay politician to be elected to the House asa freshman.

The bill is closely modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688), which prohibits discrimiantion on the basis of gender in educational programs and other programs receiving Federal funding. If passed into law the bill would expand the existing protections from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, disability, and national origin that students in public schools currently enjoy to also include actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to Rep. Polis, the legislation would give schools across the country tools to fight against discrimination that includes "... everything from exclusion from prom, to banning clubs, to lack of actions addressing bullying situations." 2

Polis' web site states:

"Every day innocent students fall victim to relentless harassment and discrimination from teachers, staff, and fellow students based on their sexual orientation," said Polis.  

"These actions not only hurt our students and our schools but, left unchecked, can also lead to life-threatening violence.  Like Title VI for minorities in the 60s and Title IX for women in the 70s, my legislation puts LGBT students on an equal footing with their peers, so they can attend school and get a quality education, free from fear."

"Hatred has no place in the classroom," said Polis.  "Every student has the right to an education free from harassment and violence.  This bill will protect the individual freedoms of our students and enshrine the values of equality and opportunity in our classrooms." 2

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Text of "Student Nondiscrimination Act of 2012," Library of Congress, at: http://thomas.loc.gov/
  2. Louise, "Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Introduces Federal Safe Schools Bill," Pam's House Blend, 2010-FEB-05, at: http://www.pamshouseblend.com/

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Home>Homosexuality/Bisexuality>Challenges>School discrimination>here

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Copyright © 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2010-FEB-11
Latest update: 2010-FEB-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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