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DIAZ: All students should be protected

Trojan horse that is the Student Non-Discrimination Act

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For a movement that prides itself on equality, too many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) advocacy groups and their congressional supporters are surprisingly consistent in their promotion of special rights for GLBT people. Pro-GLBT inequality apparently is acceptable, even if other kinds are not.

We have seen this before - with "hate crimes" legislation, for example, and more recently in the significant increase in taxpayer money specifically designated to benefit GLBT causes. Last year, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) received $285,000 from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase the number of schools establishing "safe spaces" for GLBT students.

The reintroduction of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) is yet another indication of where this movement is headed. It is certainly not interested in equality. The end goal is much more in line with an affirmative-action-type promotion for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered persons.

S. 555, introduced by Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat, and H.R. 998, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, would be more appropriately titled the "GLBT Student Promotion Act." The clear focus of SNDA is spelled out on its first finding, emphasizing, "Public school students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ... have been and are subject to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence."

No point in arguing that.

The more revealing question is: Why focus on sexual behavior alone? All students should be protected. Bullying or harassment for any reason is reprehensible.

The answer, SNDA declares, is that bullying based on "sexual orientation ... represent* a distinct and especially severe problem." Apparently for Mr. Franken, Mr. Polis and their GLBT supporters, the pain an obese kid feels when he is bullied is not as severe as that of a bullied homosexual.

The act tries to mask its obvious promotion of inequality by saying, "Federal statutory provisions expressly address discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability and national origin." But that still does not address the countless other reasons why kids are bullied or harassed at school. Kids are bullied because they are obese or skinny, wear glasses or don't have the money to buy the latest designer clothing, the latest electronic gadgets or countless other things.

Why should this law be aimed at protecting homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders alone? Why not protect all students?

The answer is obvious to the reasonable observer. The aim of the legislation is not the protection of students. SNDA is a Trojan horse with the objective of promoting acceptance of GLBT behavior by eradicating deeply held beliefs that proponents view as "homophobic."

The dangers with such a piece of legislation are many. The clash with other students' deeply held religious beliefs is the most obvious problem. Is it bullying or harassment for a student to say he believes marriage should be the union between one man and one woman, he believes homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful, or that he believes a person can change his sexual orientation"?

But the problems go far beyond that. Under SNDA, for example, GLBT students are not to be "excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." What about a transgender girl wanting to participate in the male football program? Is the school discriminating if it prohibits her participation? Will the school be found in violation of this law for refusing to accept her as a "boy" when she was born biologically female? We already have seen attempts to force schools to allow such students to go into the other sex's bathrooms. Will that be required under this legislation?

Regardless, the reality is that to use "student safety" as a vehicle to promote sexual behaviors as a political agenda is shameful. No senator should take pride in supporting this piece of legislation. It has nothing to do with equality.

Mario Diaz is legal counsel for Concerned Women for America.

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