The Loudoun County School Board in Virginia voted 5-4 to reject an LGBT proposal to add gender identity and sexual orientation as protected characteristics in its employment policy.
It voted unanimously to add a statement saying that the district hires based on excellence and merit and values diversity in its employees and students.
It is one of America's largest school districts. The board oversees a $1.03 billion budget and more than 10,000 employees.
Conservatives praised the board's action. Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said "this is good news that the Loudoun county school board is not caving to radical activists." He noted, "the law already protects employees from discrimination based on race, age, biological sex and religion. The Constitution does not protect a person's choice of sexual lifestyle."
Liberty is currently seeking to overturn a decision by the Fairfax County school board in Virginia that approved a similar LGBT proposal. Liberty sued Fairfax but the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled in favor of the board. Liberty is now filing an appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Virginia ACLU has argued that local school boards are within their rights to add sexual orientation and gender identity to non-discrimination policies for employees and students. It has cited a 2015 opinion by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.