I have been saying that, while the march toward marriage equality is growing stronger every day — even with places like Alabama needing to be dragged kicking and screaming into it — the next big fight will be against the use of so-called “religious freedom” to discriminate against the LGBT community.
I mean, we’ve seen it with bakers, and florist and dressmakers, who cry foul when asked to serve a customer who is gay, saying the Baby Jeebus doesn’t want them baking or arranging or sewing for The Gays, so, while I hate to sound pessimistic, I think it’ll get worse before it gets better; but, to steal a Dan Savage phrased, it will get better.
In Washington yesterday, Democratic congressmen Jared Polis [Colorado] and Bobby Scott [Virginia] were joined by Republican — yes, a Republican, and one of the few LGBT friendly one at that — co-sponsor, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [Florida], to introduce the Student Non-Discrimination Act [SNDA] which would protect LGBTQ students in public schools from discrimination based on so-called religious exemption; Senator Al Franken a Democrat from Minnesota introduced the same bill in the U.S. Senate.
"Evidence shows that discrimination against LGBT students deprives them of equal educational opportunities by increasing their likelihood of skipping school, underperforming academically, and dropping out. School must be a place where all students feel welcome and safe to thrive." — Representative Bobby Scott
"Every single child deserves a quality education that is free from discrimination and prepares them for college and a career. It’s simply unacceptable that in 2015, there are thousands of students who face bullying and harassment every day when they get to school simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity." — Representative Jared Polis
"No student should face discrimination for any reason, including their sexual orientation or gender identity. If we aspire to a society where prejudices are a relic of the past then we must begin by preaching and living the virtues of tolerance at our educational institutions."
Here’s hoping the GOP does what’s right — and, yes, I know it’s a long shot — and we start protecting all students in all schools.