Apr 2, 2007
You have to wonder exactly why and what Republicans are so afraid of about lesbians and homosexuals.
The discrimination they harbor against the gay community is baffling, and it drives a large part of their agenda. They embrace hatemongers like Ann Coulter and Gary Glenn who are clearly homophobic and discriminatory. The latest example of their discrimination is their opposition to the common sense, anti-bullying bill, House Bill 4162, introduced by Rep. Pam Byrnes, (D-Lyndon Township) and passed by the House almost along party lines 59-50 on March 28. It’s hard to believe 50 alleged elected leaders are kowtowing to the extreme rightwing hate groups and opposing the bill – known as Matt’s Safe School Law - because they say it promotes the homosexual agenda. I know it’s absurd but that’s the claim.
According to an Associated Press story in the Lansing State Journal, “Michigan law shouldn't formally recognize homosexual behavior, conservatives say, nor should gays get special protection. Republicans favor a broad ban against all bullying in schools.”
What caught my eye about this story - other than the ridiculous notion that homosexuals, who often face violent harassment and bullying, should not be protected - is that some of the 200 people who showed up on the day the bill was approved to lobby in support of the bill were from my high school, Monroe High School. I’m proud to be a Trojan.
De'Lea Cheatham braces for abuse every day.
The 17-year-old senior at Monroe High School says she frequently has been yelled at and shoved by other students because she's a lesbian. It began in middle school and has only gotten worse in high school, says Cheatham.
One student who supports the legislation is Ben Mathews, an 18-year-old senior at Monroe High and member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. Mathews says many students are bullied even if they’re straight but perceived to be gay or lesbian.
Veteran journalist Jack Lessenberry put it best in his blog, and he cut right to the chase. I guess 30 years of journalism experience will do that for you. Lessenberry has worked as a foreign correspondent and executive national editor of The Detroit News, reporting from more than forty countries. His writing has appeared in such national publications as Vanity Fair, Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Boston Globe. He is also a professor of journalism at Wayne State University, and his freelance columns appear in The Metro Times, The Traverse-City Record Eagle and The Toledo (Ohio) Blade. He also has local ties to Livingston County, serving as the executive of Hometown Communications that includes all the Observer and Eccentric newspapers, as well as the Livingston County Daily Press and Argus before the chain was purchased by Gannett.
Lessenberry said it was a well-written law, and “anyone who grumbles about it imposing state control hasn’t read it. In a civilized society, this bill would be adopted unanimously. But in fact there are those who want to kill or weaken it. “
But there are bigots who are so blinded by their hatred and fear of anyone gay, or who might be gay, that they would rather put children’s lives at risk. There are also those who support the haters for cynical political reasons. Two Republican state representatives are fighting to make sure the bill does not protect people based on sexual orientation.
He calls Gary Glenn and his organization – the so-called “American Family Association” - a hate group. It was Glenn who gave Vicky Fyke, the leader of the anti-gay hate group known as “LOVE” PAC (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) and the former advisor of the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans, the ridiculous idea to have the FBI investigate books in the high school curriculum as pornographic.
They are doing the work of a hate group misnamed the American Family Association. It is spreading the lie that this bill’s real purpose is to “legitimize homosexual behavior and cross-dressing,” and that this will lead to increased cocaine use in children under thirteen.” You can read this garbage on their web site.
The real obscenity and crime is that the much needed-bill will die in the Republican-controlled, homophobic Senate.