LOUISIANA: Bullying Bill Pulled Because Gay Students Don't Actually Get Bullied
Advocates for LGBT students have pulled their anti-bullying bill from consideration after the Louisiana Family Forum pressured legislators to strip the mention of sexual orientation from the bill. Because being gay does not subject a student to bullying.
In what has become a near annual rite at the Louisiana Legislature, civil rights and gay rights advocates failed Wednesday to win approval for a more detailed and, advocates say, stronger anti-bullying law for public schools. Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, pitched House Bill 407 as necessary, given continued evidence of bullying, including a recent suicide by a Point Coupee teenager who had complained to adults many times about being mistreated by her classmates. Opponents, lead by the conservative Louisiana Family Forum and aides to Gov. Bobby Jindal, argued that the measure went too far by listing perceived or actual characteristics that should not subject a student to bullying. The committee voted 10-5 to strip the bill of those key changes, which included sexual orientation. Smith shelved the measure, saying the action gutted its intent.Louisiana Family Forum head Pastor Gene Mills: "You could make a criminal bully out of a child who holds an orthodox view of Christianity." (Tipped by JMG reader Mike.)