Michigan Senator: We Must Protect Religious Freedoms Before Bullying | Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary

November 5, 2011

Michigan Senator: We Must Protect Religious Freedoms Before Bullying

Lansing, MichiganLast Wednesday Kevin Epling knew the day was finally arriving after years of hard work, and dedication, to get an effective anti-bullying law passed by the state legislature. The bill was called “Matt’s Safe School Law” in honor of Kevin’s son Matt, who took his own life shortly after finishing the eighth grade in 2002.

The Republican legislature had been dragging their heels for years, and it didn’t seem as though they were interested in passing a comprehensive anti-bullying law. After the Republican governor asked for a bill - Senator Rick Jones drafted one.  After some arm twisting from the Michigan American Family Association, they took the teeth out of the bill, and passed a law that allowed bullying. The bill says that if you bully and you justify your violence by saying the bible said you could, that you can bully anyone wherever and whenever you want

In the Washington Post Elizabeth Flock reports:

Just days after a cellphone video emerged showing a gay 15-year-old in Ohio being assaulted by another student, the Michigan Senate passed new anti-bullying legislation, but some say it actually encourages bullying to take place.

Chief among its critics is Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who in a searing floor speech said that the new “Matt’s Safe School Law,” named after a Michigan teen who committed suicide after an anti-gay hazing attack, is meaningless.

Whitmer cites a special exception in the law for bullies who have “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” The law also does not address bullying against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

So if you’re into fag bashing, and want to attack any fag you want, you can do it. The kid doesn’t even have to be a fag, you can just say you thought that he was., and assault whoever you want. I read a comment online that said a kid’s Dad was going to get him a pocket bible, to keep in his back pack, because it would keep him out of trouble.

In the Detroit Free Press Lori Higgins reported:.

"This bill may not be perfect but we tried our best, and have the whole community to worry about, not just the homosexuals, but it certainly gets us on the road to making sure that local communities pay attention to this problem and we'll have this good Christian policy in place," said the bill's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge.

Let’s pray for the kids going to school in Michigan, as well as the ignorant and hate filled Republicans who don’t care one bit about their cowardly and flippant bill. It’s like they just gave the finger to everyone across Michigan, and throughout the country who works on this issue.

The state of Michigan and their legislature really has made a joke out this serious problem, and I’m trying to think of a quick and effective way to shame them into amending the bill. If we could get thousands of people to call these legislators at their offices, homes, and wherever they could be found, but we would have to mobilize thousands to call. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

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