“Bullying children is wrong and bad” may sound like the most basic tenet of human decency, but if you ask conservative lobbying groups like Concerned Women for America and Focus on the Family, making it a crime to taunt someone until they kill themselves is akin to interfering with religious freedom. According to AlterNet’s Katherine Stewart, conservative groups across the country have opposed various anti-bullying measures because they say outlawing bullying is akin to state endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle. You know, Madonna and glitter and buttsex and all-women’s softball teams all that. The homosexual lifestyle.
In Michigan, lawmakers attempted to insert a provision into an anti-bullying bill that would have allowed bullying only on the grounds that it was being done based on a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” (As in, “I sincerely and morally believe that Mandy has a nutsack” or “God told me I should write “FAG” on your locker?”). That effort was killed after national outcry against it, but in Tennessee, lawmakers are now attempting to make it legal for jerkhole kids to bully other kids based on their religious preference — or lack thereof. And in Washington, 70 education and civil rights groups have backed a measure that would make it illegal for sexual orientation or gender identity to be used as basis for student discrimination. Christian groups have claimed this law would contribute to the “homosexualization” of students, notes Stewart.