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Michigan AFA drones on about anti-bullying bill

The far-right elements in Michigan are working hard to defeat Matt’s Safe School Law (HB 4162 and 4091), a proposed anti-bullying measure.

East Lansing resident Kevin Epling, whose son Matt was the impetus for the legislation, was pleased that the bill made it through the Dem-controlled state House.  The fourteen-year-old Matt committed suicide, WZZM reports, after a traumatizing last day at MacDonald Middle School in 2002, when upperclassmen smeared him with raw eggs and syrup. The bill now faces a difficult path in the GOP-led state Senate.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, has been leading the charge against the legislation, using the argument that the language of the bill prohibits bullying based on a victim’s religion, race, height, weight, religion, ancestry, socioeconomic class, national origin — plus sexual orientation and gender identity. Can you guess what’s causing the bee in the bonnet?

“Homosexual activists are using legitimate concern for student safety as a Trojan Horse to sneak their special rights agenda into law.”
Gary Glenn

Of course the tactic taken by Glenn and the fundie campaign is that the bill shouldn’t specify any groups and should just blanket protect all students. Of course the problem with that smoke screen is that once something that non-specific is in place, the bigots can claim that somehow it violates their religious freedom or some such nonsense when a gay bullying incident arises. I assume, of course, that they wouldn’t mind that religious protections would be in place.

Glenn is so hopped up about this bill that he’s dropped over to Straight, Not Narrow, blogger Jim Johnson’s pad, to whine.  Jim said:

“Formally recognize homosexual behavior?” What are they doing, forming their own government and seeking diplomatic relations? Not recognizing GLBT students will keep them in their place, these conservatives are probably hoping–the closet.

Glenn bleats the fundie line, and unashamedly reveals his problem with the law.

The facts that those supporting the bill oppose such language makes pretty clear to any fair observer that the agenda behind this bill is something other than protecting ALL students.

Its purpose, which is why they refuse to protect kids as individuals, is to create “protected class” status for the first time ever in Michigan law based on homosexual behavior and cross-dressing.

Surf over and read the rest.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding