On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Franken proposal protects gay students from bullying

Share story

U.S. Sen. Al Franken is introducing a bill Thursday designed to protect gay students from discrimination and harassment. The measure would prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Franken, DFL-Minn., says he and others are still working on how the law would actually define discrimination against gay and lesbian students. But he says people will know it when they see it.

"I think that once we raise awareness about this and have a law, that it'll bring down the incidence of this and make life a lot better for these kids," said Franken. 

Under the bill, public schools that violate the statute could lose federal funding or be sued by victims. Franken says 22 of his Senate colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.