John M. Becker

Israeli Lawmakers Ban Discrimination Against LGBT Students

Filed By John M. Becker | March 23, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: bullying, discrimination laws, discrimination protection, Israel, school bullying, Student Non-Discrimination Act, trans-inclusive

israel-pride-flag-gay.jpgLast Tuesday, the Israeli parliament passed a law protecting students in the country's schools from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The body, known as the Knesset, passed the measure overwhelmingly, with 25 members voting to approve it and just two voting against it.

According to the bill's sponsor, MK Dov Khenin, it is the first law in Israel to explicitly protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

"[From now]... in every school the right of LGBT youth to be equal students appears black and white. But this law is there to protect not only LGBT students, but is there to protect us all.

"If youth today are experiencing verbal abuse in schools, then physical violence against the [LGBT] community could become everyday reality."

"Approval of the bill sends a clear message: We want to live in a society where we all have equal rights, and it is the responsibility of us all to fight for this cause."

GLAAD adds:

Research done by Israel's Gay Youth Organization (IGY) indicates that 52% of LGBT youth in Israel have faced hate speech, 84% have reported that the Hebrew equivalents of gay or lesbian are frequently used as slurs.

Other than verbal violence, LGBT youth have also reported sexual harassment and physical violence at school. Students have complained that teachers did not respond or take action against these acts of violence, and even used hate speech themselves.

Kudos to Israel for protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from discrimination and taking this major step towards full equality.

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