By Nico Lang
Kentucky schools may soon have a license to discriminate against LGBT students.
After the House passed it by a vote of 81 to 8 on Monday, a bill is sitting on Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk that could allow student-run organizations in colleges and K-12 schools to deny membership to classmates based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Known as Senate Bill 17, the stated purpose of the legislation to prevent people of faith from having their political or religious opinions silenced in schools. Comparing it to the “religious liberty” bills introduced in states like Indiana and Georgia, advocates argue that it has the potential to promote anti-LGBT bigotry in the name of faith.
SB 17, which had already passed the Kentucky Senate last month, was introduced in response to an incident when Johnson County Schools cut a Bible verse from a production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” During a pivotal scene Linus tells Charlie Brown, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Administrators at W.R. Castle Elementary School in Wittensville, Kentucky, were worried that overt references to Scripture could open the district up to a lawsuit.
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