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How a Bill About State Contracts Law is Designed to Discriminate Against LGBT Students


John LaBruzzo isn't around anymore to propose bills about sterilizing or drug testing welfare recipients. But it's the Louisiana legislature, so someone had to take the giant metal pole and stand in the middle of the rainstorm. Though he was trying to be subtle about his intentions, Sen. A.G. Crowe (R-Slidell) has taken up this year's mantle with a bill that is about contracting law on the surface, but actually permits discrimination in charter schools.

 

Crowe's bill, SB 217, would formalize nondiscrimination language across all state contracts. It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of "race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex or disability," which might all sound as it should be. But the contracts charter schools sign with states have specific provisions that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and ability to speak English. If Crowe's bill passes, those provisions would no longer appear in the contract.

 

The bills true intentions unravelled at a Senate Labor and Industrial Relations committee hearing, where the bill was ultimately passed. From the Advocate:

 

 

 

Leslie Ellison, of New Orleans, testified she refused to sign a charter school contract with the state Department of Education because it required her company to promise not to discriminate against gays and others, criteria that are not listed in state law. The Louisiana Department of Education “doesn’t have the right to insert” its own opinions into a state contract, Ellison said.

 

 

Outside the hearing, the Baton Rouge newspaper discovered the real force behind the law:

 

Gene Mills, who heads Louisiana Family Forum, said after the hearing that “we’re sending a message” for Jindal to strip the provision from his Education Department’s contract criteria. Louisiana Family Forum is a coalition of religious groups that lobby the legislature on social and other issues.

 

 

And now the whole nation's watching.

 

Despite the exposure, there are no signs of the Senator eating Crowe. He's insisted the bill isn't about discrimination.

 

The bill still needs full Senate and House approval to reach Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk.




This is a blatant attack

This is a blatant attack against students based on their English language level (read: national origin or origin of their parents), to access education in the State of Louisiana.

We must defeat this bill.

And so what can we all do to

And so what can we all do to defeat this bill?

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Listings Editor

Anna Gaca

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock