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Brevard County School Board discusses anti-LGBT discrimination policy

Brevard County School Board in debate over anti-LGBT discrimination policy

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A proposed policy which would prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in Brevard Public Schools was discussed at a school board meeting on Tuesday evening. 

During that discussion, the consensus of the school board was that the non-discrimination policy should be forwarded to the school superintendent and legal department.

The sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policy applies to both students and employees of Brevard Public Schools; however, there was debate about whether there should be separate non-discrimination policies for students and employees, and whether student discrimination protections should be a higher priority than those for employees,  News 6 partner Florida Today reported.  

Board member Andy Ziegler voiced his position that both students and employees should be protected by the nondiscrimination policy.

"I don't see any reason to separate the two," he said.  "I think our employees  are just as important as our students," Ziegler said, Florida Today reported.  

The first speaker, Daniel Wall-DeSousa, a Heritage High science teacher and married gay man who has been campaigning for the nondiscrimination policy since 2014, thanked the school board for addressing this issue. 

"I want to thank you for sending a message that complacency is no substitute for doing the right thing," he said, Florida Today reported. 

Kenneth Delgado, one of several critics against the non-discrimination policy, of Palm Bay said the non-discrimination policy threatened religious liberty and created "a collision course between freedom of religion and gender identity," Florida Today reported.