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Gay-straight alliance bill for schools voted down in Alberta

More than 300 Manitobans spoke at public hearings on the bill.

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A private member's bill that would make it mandatory for Alberta schools to allow for the creation of gay-straight alliances has been voted down in the legislature.

Kent Hehr, Liberal member for Calgary-Buffalo, said on Twitter he was disappointed the bill didn't pass but said he would continue fighting for the cause.

The final vote was 31-19 with the Liberals and the NDP supporting the motion, along with some members of the Conservative government, but the majority of Tories and the Wildrose opposing it.

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Dr. Kristopher Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta says he is disappointed, but not surprised.

He says there is still a lot to do to educate politicians and policy makers about what gay-straight alliances are and how they help children.

But he also says he is glad there are some politicians that do support this motion and that it was brought forward.

"I take heart to the fact that we had 19 MLAs who voted for the motion and 31 who voted against," Wells says. "It's those 31 who obviously don't understand the issue."

He says one way to make them understand would be to invite them to meet students who want to form gay-straight alliances and hear their stories.

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