Posted By Eric Ethington on March 2, 2011
Kentucky – Republican Representative Mike Harmon has just amended a bill which would have prohibited bullying in schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The amendment states that kids who bully for religious reasons are exempt, as long as they aren’t violent.
Utterly pitiful, hopefully Kentucky will reject this ridiculous argument as easily as Utah did when Paul Mero and Sutherland Institute’s chunky flunky, Representative LaVar Christensen, tried to make the same amendment to local workplace and housing protections.
The amendment essentially legalizes bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children, who will have no defense against bullies in their school unless the bully throws a punch.
Representative Mike Harmon had this to say:
“If someone, just in conversation, said, ‘You know, I think homosexuality is a sin,’ well we don’t want that child to be bullied because they have a certain moral or religious belief,” said Harmon, “And we don’t want them, certainly don’t want them to be labeled a bully just because they have that particular belief.”
[Sponsor of the original bill, State Rep Mary Lou Marzian (D)] says she has no problem with a different amendment that reasserts basic freedom of speech rights, but contends that Harmon’s amendment may actually encourage gay bullying.
“It’s a very cynical amendment,” Marzian said, “I would ask Mike Harmon, ‘What would Jesus do?’ Would He bully people based on religion? I don’t think so.”