Senate panel OKs bill backing discrimination in student groups

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that seeks to bar public universities and colleges from implementing nondiscrimination policies for student groups is advancing in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was approved unanimously 9-0 by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill passed the House 75-21 earlier this week.

The bill does not include private institutions like Vanderbilt University -- a provision that caused Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to veto last year's version.

A representative from the governor's office said Wednesday that the governor supports the current proposal.

Sponsors say the measure is aimed at preventing colleges from creating policies requiring student groups to open membership to all students and allow all members to seek leadership posts.


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