Gay Rights Groups Protest Religious Viewpoint Protection in Michigan Anti-Bullying Bill


The Detroit News:

The Michigan Senate passed an anti-bullying bill Wednesday over strong objections from Democrats and even the father of the bullying victim after whom the bill is named.

"Matt's Safe School Law" passed 26-11 with all Democrats voting against it. The bill is named for Matt Eppling, an East Lansing 14-year-old who committed suicide after being bullied by classmates in 2002.

The law includes a section noting it doesn't abridge First Amendment free speech rights or prohibit expression of religious or moral viewpoints — a provision Democrats fear could be used to justify harassment of gay, lesbian or transgender students.


  1. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Michigan legislators are wisely trying to avoid the religious persecution we've seen all over the country. Of course the gay groups are going to object to it. They've grown accustomed to crying "bullying" every time someone disagrees with their agenda.

    These same groups are also quick to exploit the tragedy of suicide to further their agenda. The truth is that suicide is seldom, if ever, caused by any single event. Bullying may indeed be one motivation for suicide but when you take the time to examine the mental health history of the victim you will usually find many causes.

  2. Davide
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    cant be said democrats arent morons

  3. Christopher
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Beliefs do not equal bullying, that's true, but expression of those beliefs against someone absolutely can be. One child telling another child that they're going to hell is an expression of a religious belief. It's also bullying.

  4. Richard
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    So, it's okay to bully a kid to death as long as the bullying is done from a religious or moral position? That provides a flimsy and weak excuse for mean people to disrespect anyone over their "moral" behavior that someone disagrees with. Totally wrong.

  5. Davide
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Christopher 'gay' kids telling religious kids they are 'oppressors', 'haters', 'bigots' is also bullying and many cases is heterophobia.

  6. Pat
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Lots of good lessons learned by this so-called "bullying." In my day, we used to say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones...," but today we've created a society of tattle-tales who run to mommy government to stop the bad people calling attention to their shortcomings. Instead of sticking up for ourselves, we blame others and kill ourselves. What a pathetic bunch of pussies we are creating through such legislation.

    I was in a supermarket the other day where the dad was play-boxing with his young son: "Move toward the punch, move toward the punch!" he was teaching him. And I thought, "this kid will never get bullied, and he will be very prepared for what is a tough world filled with other tough people."

  7. Davide
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Richard back away from the gay. You are over playing your hand. I have yet to hear one single 'gay' kid getting bullied to death by Christian kids. The real bullies of 'gay' kids is by homosexual advocacy by refusing to tell these children about the health risk associated with homo behavior. The STD rates with kids is at epidemic porportions according to the CDC. While we at it lets pretend the other risks such as depression, drug abuse, depression, suicides, whoring and kickbacks. As a SSA male i wish i did have a older gay male talk to me about the very real dangers of homo sex behaviors. All i got instead was a litany of offered blow jobs. How's that for bullying?

  8. Posted November 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    My question is: what could a person possibly say that *isn’t* a “religious or moral viewpoint”?

  9. Sam Jones
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    And what do you call labeling people who disagree with homosexual dogma "bigots" "homophobes" "haters" and other names, then sicing the government on them for thought crimes?

    Bullying can go both ways.

  10. C Warren
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Suicide, by definition, is something one does to one's self. Some people blame themselves, most blame others. In truth, the person just decided to stop trying and the responsibility for that choice is their's. Not every kid that is bullied commits suicide, but every kid that commits suicide was troubled.
    People choose homosexuality. Those who claim to have been "born that way" cannot refute the fact that they choose not only to stay that way.
    Who is labeling these kids "gay"? By what standard and under what authority? Lgbt recruits kids. They are trying to advance the notion they people are born sexual deviants and many parents buy in to it.perhaps somes could not abide the prospect of being doomed to live an lgbt lifestyle and no one bothered to tell him he didn't have to. Lgbt is using our kids for their own agenda. For the first time since Freud (homo)sex(uality) is the cause of all mental issues; and it happens to coincide with lgbt's big push? Not hardly.

  11. C Warren
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Suicide, by definition, is something one does to onesself. Blaming others to assuage one's guilt and shame and villifying other people's children is no more useful than suppressing criticism of homosexuality.
    If parents learned how to hear what their child is really saying and to talk to them in a way they will hear what the parent is saying; it would be a more effecctive suicide prevention method.They should ask their kid what they think gay means, and, if they think they are gay, ask why. Most times they will find their kid just got bad information.

  12. C Warren
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Suicide, by definition, is something one does to onesself . Blaming others and villifying othe people's children is no more useful and equally as harnful as suppressing criticism of homosexuality. Parents need to wake up and realize lgbt is using them and their kids to advance their agenda. They are determined to have validation and retribution at any cost; including the lives of your children. Label your child as "gay" instead of discovering the real problem and that may be the price.

  13. leo
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    @ Christ, Richard, this is the reason I suggested a solution to the gay sensitivity problem...
    Legislate for a private school for all GLTB's, recruit special teachers who are equipped to handle these problems. Also include some psychological help in their curriculum as well...
    It is not the Public School's responsibility on the tax payer's dime to counsel, give special attention to those kids who refuse to listen and learn common sense as to what is right and wrong, or to avoid experimenting with unhealthy sexual habits and life changing lifestyles...
    GLBT people want to burden society at large with their ignorance, and sexual choices, WE SAD NO! NO MORE!

  14. M. Jones
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    A law making it illegal to tell young people Gods truths about marriage and homosexuality is supposed to be illegal? It may save them from an unhealthy life style. So much for love thy neighbor.

  15. Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Bulling is verbal and physical. Columbine perpetrators were bullying victims. It needs to be addressed by demanding courtesy. But that does not mean censoring religious and moral speech. It especially does not mean censoring those who point out the empirical fact that homosexual behavior is dangerous to your health. It does not mean censoring those who point out the voluminous research showing that kids do best with a mom and a dad.

  16. Louis E.
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The law shouldn't pass because it doesn't violate the First Amendment?...wacky.

  17. Johnny
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    It has been discovered that the rate of suicide among homosexuals is five times higher than any other group and the reason has nothing to do with tolerance because in places like the Netherlands which is very "gay" friendly, the same problem exists. Many homosexuals feel trapped in the lifestyle because everyone is telling them that's it's okay to be gay and there nothing wrong with it and because the gays intimidated the psychiatrict community with their bullying, the medical diagnosis has been eliminated so now they have no medical person to go to. Why is it that if a man puts on a pea coat, a tricorn hat, sticks his hand on his chest and says I'm Napoleon, we call him crazy but when he puts on a dress, makeup, wigs and gets hormone shots to have breasts we call it "equality"?

  18. Little man
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Do teachers really need to have the meaning of 'bullying' spelled out for them? Would they be qualified teachers if they lacked an understanding of what the word means? Would a student telling another student he/she is going to 'heaven' be bullying? Isn't that just as religious (and perhaps scary?) It is important to note this issue has to do with school district policies, not bullying in general. At some point students need to learn that verbal abuse best antidote is to ignore it. Verbal abuse is only successful if the victim gets offended, promoting more of the same. teachers cannot supervise every second of a student's time at school. Taking verbal abuse untainted is part of growing up, not letting those type of bullies get to you. Now, if bullying takes on the form of physical threat, there's no question the teachers must be prepared for such a possibility. Teenagers have gone with guns to kill students in a high school campus. That's not bullying - that's murder. Sexual orientation does not have anything to do with the subject within mixed (boys and girls) schools, because the more sensitive or delicate boys (perhaps some born premature) would be more like girls, on average, and girls are very well protected in schools. The main problem is not bullying, but the Public Schools not being authorized to readily expel a student who is a bully. No student wants a bully around, but a school district that is prohibited from expelling students as a disciplinary measure, is asking for it. The other problem is mandatory education. Your children have to be in school (yes, with bullies around), as a matter of law, unless you can pay for private school. So, you see, the problem is nowhere close to what is implied by the father of that suicidal kid. Now he's looking for someone to blame (has become a bully himself). If you are too fat, to tall, to skinny, to ugly, too beautiful, to well-dressed, not well dressed, have pimples, have a big nose, wear glasses, have Asian eyes, smell bad, your nose drips, you have a speech impediment, you are indecisive, you are too decisive, you don't have a big brother, you play violin, you can't run fast, you are too smart, you can't hit a baseball, you steal someone's girlfriend, you tattle, you squeal - all these actions or traits can get you bullied. Knowing how to use the school system to protect yourself and focus on the academic work is part of growing up, and the school is a good protected environment in which to learn. Now, outside the school.... that's where real bullying happens. This bill is not about that. We don't all survive, but we are bullied at some point. We learn how to handle it - flee.

  19. Mikhail
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I can understand that telling a child that God hates them and they will go to hell can be quite intimidating and is not the type of language children should be exposed to at least not in a public school. But I think children should have a right to say they accept the bible's word on sex and marriage. How come its only gay bullying they worry about? Fat kids get bullied too along with muslim kids, short kids and kids who are bad at sport

  20. Daughter of Eve
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I believe in the sanctity of free speech and free expression of religious belief.

    I get called a "bigot" all the time, for insisting we maintain the opposite-sexed nature of marriage. Calling me a "bigot" is irrational, considering I don't think sexual orientation is an issue in the debate, but I cheerfully defend any person's right to call me a name (it reflects poorly on their own judgement and tolerance, after all--not mine), because I also have the freedom to choose not to take offense.

    So, name-call away. It's your right. :)

  21. Pat
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    @little man says: "We learn how to handle it - flee"

    or "move toward the punch." Remember Buddy Hinton?

  22. Rob
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    So, what now, it's okay to beat up a young gay kid so long as I say a prayer before I do it...?

    When are we going to end this farcical belief that somehow it's okay to commit violence so long as it's done in the name of religious belief...?

  23. Louis E.
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Rob,the law doesn't exempt any violent acts,only expressions of opinion.

  24. Daughter of Eve
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    A person's right to be offended does not trump my right to free speech or free expression of my religious beliefs. :)

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