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Video: Michigan state senator slams anti-bullying law

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  1. Dr Robin Guthrie 7 Nov 2011, 4:22pm

    I wish these people would stop claiming that religious = moral.

    Far from it in my experience.

  2. Wow wish there were more of her about in all the state senates she makes perfect sense!!!!

    1. I agree, she sounds a terrific woman.

  3. Well said senator

    Any Christian who uses their faith as an excuse for bullying has clearly not understood the teachings of Christ.

    1. Miguel Sanchez 8 Nov 2011, 3:00pm

      RIGHT ON Joss God teaches love not hate.

  4. The Michigan School Board is pandering to (1) Christian Groups who would like to be able to come into schools and proselytize about “family values” and protecting (2) kids whose parents raised them to believe being gay is a sin and homosexuals go to hell, from being labeled “bullies” if they express their religious opinions. First of all, no religion is supposed to be endorsed by ANY State funded, public facility. Secondly, if some child comes to school, parroting religious homophobia he needs to be challenged by (1) the gay recipient of the condemnation (2) the Sex-education programmes in the school that present the scientific, social, medical facts on the matter. Just as creationist-indoctrinated kids have to learn the science of evolution at school and let go of fairy tales, homophobic, racist, sexist or religiously absolutist indoctrinated kids need to learn how not to be social pariahs in a modern, diverse society.

    1. Miguel Sanchez 8 Nov 2011, 3:04pm

      I hope the Federal Government steps in here. Michigan’s new law clearly violates the 14th Ammendment of the Constitution. Equal Protection under the law.

  5. Jen Marcus 7 Nov 2011, 6:53pm

    State of Michigan Senator Whitmer is “SPOT ON”! This Republican controlled state that panders and is a tool to the “Irreligious Right is probably one of the most backward, “drunk on religion” states in the US much akin to those in the “bible belt” south.There should be no exception, or excuse for bullying of any kind by anyone,anywhere, period!All ye Christian hypocrites what happened to practicing the Great Commandments” and “love thy neighbor as thy self” or are you once again “cherry picking” the things from scripture that suit and justify your institutional power and political ends?

  6. So now i could drive someone to suicide and just say i didnt agree with them based on a book and im in the clear.

    How can this exist :(

    1. If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn’t be any religious people (Gregory House MD)

  7. This is why there must never be any exceptions to the law based on religious belief. The law must apply to everyone or it ceases to protect everyone. If people can claim exemption from discrimination law based on religious belief, why shouldn’t demands to allow honour killings based on religious belief be accommodated? Or exemption from rape laws? Or vigilantism? One law for everyone. No exceptions.

    1. We really need to guard against this kind of misleading legislation here in the UK. The government’s recent announcements concerning the allowing of Civil Partnerships in religious establishments is one such piece of sleight of hand. If you create a loophole then you give the green light for people to commit atrocities based on their “religion”.

      1. De Villliers 8 Nov 2011, 8:51am

        I agree but your example is not really an atrocity.

  8. jamestoronto 7 Nov 2011, 10:17pm

    This is one dangerous law and not necessarily from the obvious anti-gay clauses written into it. “Moral or religious grounds” validates bullying!!! This is more like lighting a campfire and burning down the forest. Some religions preach that Muslims are a scourge. Some that Jews are beneath contempt. Others that Christians worship a piece of wood. None of them should be allowed in my school. I have a moral objection to blacks or Hispanics or whites in my neighbourhood school. I find it repugnant that women are allowed to work outside the home and go to school. I morally object to provocative clothing and short skirts in the school environment. This law is a licence to violence for any sick kid in any school in the state. These stupid Senators cannot see past their own noses because they are blinded by their own bigotry. Detroit – in Michigan – already has a reputation for violence. Now they have legal permission!!!!

  9. This is why we must arm our gay, lesbian and transgendered youth to be able to speak up and stand up for themselves agaisnt religious objectors and/or bullies.

    It seems we cannot depend on Government to do it for us. If they want to allow religious people their right to say, “It’s evil, a sin, etc.” then we have to also have the right to say, “You cannot prove SQUAT! Your religion is evil, inhumane and destructive to all reason and human progress.”

    Do they REALLY want those kinds of debates at school?

    Then stop pandering to religion in the classrooms. Let young people learn from early that their private, highly subjective faith and impossible to prove beliefs, are only for home and their places of worship.

  10. She’s likely to be our next Democratic gubernatorial candidate (against current Republican Governor Snyder). I hope you’ll remember her name and consider donating time or funds if she runs in 2014.

    1. jamestoronto 8 Nov 2011, 3:10am

      Here’s hoping.

  11. carrie baker 8 Nov 2011, 2:19am

    Bullying and harrassment is one of the most important national security problems, in the world , these adults like her are very dangerous to children and families, and she should have no place in offices as officials and delegates of legislation, she is no good for the well being of communities and states, and famiiy concerns, Bad character and dangerous

    1. jamestoronto 8 Nov 2011, 3:14am

      You say: “Bullying and harrassment is one of the most important national security problems, in the world” and yet maintain that someone who speaks out against it is a “bad character and dangerous.” Please explain your logic because it totally escapes me.

      1. Commander Thor 8 Nov 2011, 9:21am

        She didn’t read the article, and thought it means the senator slammed an anti-bullying law for its own sake.

    2. Jock S. Trap 11 Nov 2011, 11:11am

      Er I have a family and come from a family thank you. Bigots like you have no place in the 21st Century.

  12. Can anyone imagine a state introducing laws for murder or theft or rape or fraud with this same “moral or religious conviction” loophole? Of course not. Even US Republicans – stupid, backward, right-wing, hateful and dangerous though many of them now are – would realise that such things are utterly alien to how the law should operate.

    Well exactly the same principles are in effect here. If religious bigotry isn’t an excuse for murder then it shouldn’t be an excuse for bullying people to death either.

    1. Not so fast. The Republican have tried to redefine rape in order to push their pro-life agenda. So you see, they’ve already done that.

  13. de Villliers 8 Nov 2011, 8:56am

    What a hopeless derogation. It is hopeless because it confuses purpose and effect.

    Anti-harassment laws such as these are effective only if what is outlawed is unwanted conduct which has the purpose -or- effect of violating a prrson’s dignity or coatings an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

    Even if the purpose of the speaker is not to cause such an effect, say due to reiterating religious beliefs, where it nevertheless creates such an effect then such effect should fall within the legal prohibition.

    The derogation as described is confused and reduces substantially the protection that the law is supposed to provide.

  14. de Villliers 8 Nov 2011, 8:57am

    What a hopeless derogation. It is hopeless because it confuses purpose and effect.

    Anti-harassment laws such as these are effective only if what is outlawed is unwanted conduct which has the purpose -or- effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

    Even if the purpose of the speaker is not to cause such an effect, say due to reiterating religious beliefs, where it nevertheless creates such an effect then such effect should fall within the legal prohibition.

    The derogation as described is confused and reduces substantially the protection that the law is supposed to provide.

  15. GingerlyColors 8 Nov 2011, 9:03am

    People only bully for one thing and that is pleasure. There is no excuse whatsoever for anybody to take pleasure from hurting other people. Bullies are the lowest form of scum and should be treated as such.

  16. Katie Kool-eyes 8 Nov 2011, 9:42am

    I would very much like to know what counts as “religious or moral” reasons? For example, is the typical high school cheerleader who had a little “fumble” a while back allowed to be bullied because most religous texts say “no sex outside wedlock”?

    Am I allowed to punch someone in the face becasue they ate shellfish?

    And what religions count? What forms of bullying is “allowed” under this law? By the sounds of it, i can throw a stone at someones head becasue they said “Jesus christ” after stubbing their toe. can I get away with that? according to this law i can.

    Gretchin is right, this law only offers a loophole to insight hate. I for one am discusted at this pathetic attempt to panda to the LGTB community and its votes

  17. Firstly, bulling is unacceptable in any circumstances.

    Secondly, being able to follow one’s religion is a basic human right. How can you stop people believing what they will anyway? What we should concentrate on is stopping people acting out their beliefs such that it harms others – not always an easy call to make!

    Finally, religion does not equal moral but for many of us religion provides a logical basis for morality – something the non-religious do not have.

    1. How is it logical? Except strictly internally, and often not even then?

      1. I too can’t quite grasp where religion, which is all too often at odds with logic, can provide a ‘logical’ basis for morality. People who don’t believe in supernatural beings are perfectly capable of formulating and promoting morals.

    2. I agree all should have the basic human right to believe whatever they will. I also agree we should concentrate on stopping people acting out their beliefs in a way that harms others.

      So the easiest solution is: NO RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OR PROSELYTIZING OR PREACHING IN SCHOOL.

      Let school be a neutral, religion-free zone as it has to cater to a wide variety of beliefs, lifestyles, cultures etc. Kids should begin to learn early on how to live in such a world where you keep your beliefs to yourself unless otherwise asked about them and allow others to be themselves even if it conflicts with your personal religious beliefs.

      Anyone who cannot do this has no place in modern society and should go isolate themselves in a commune or live like the Amish or LDS Polygamy cults. Or form their own schools lthe the Muslims do and pay for it privately.

    3. the non religious don’t need an external basis for diferentiating between right and wrong.

    4. The saying goes “your right to swing your fist finishes where my nose starts.” Hyperbole I know. But I would say that someone’s right to believe what they want only extends as far as themselves and there is no just cause in law to allow that belief to extend to other who do not share it or do not believe in it. As the late George Carlin said “Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.”

  18. i guess it’s time that we fight back like in the middle east, we r nothing but subhumans 2 them. if not then we r 2 blame 4 letting them do this 2 us.

  19. As any school governor or teacher will attest to, the majority of bullying is homophobic. This law would not only give a licence to bully as already stated but undermines the right of every child to an education in the a safe environment.

    One of the great things about the UK is that as a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights this type of law would be challenged. An independent judiciary is vital when legislatures fail to protect minority groups…

    Amazing speech by Senator Whitmer! Thank you Senator, if only we had more brave people like you who can speak out on this matters

  20. Bloody christians. Nice job winning a mandate for your kids to abuse others. The Senator is right, the law would not have done a thing. And really, how sick and sadistic does a religion have to be to…… Oh. Never mind. It’s christianity. How silly of me to forget it’s blood spattered and psychopathic history of oppression and murder.

  21. I’m from Michigan and pandering to the bible-bangers is a way of life in that Rethuglican hellhole. There should not be ANY loophole in this law. You bully someone, you get your @$$ kicked legally. I am sick to death of Xtians thinking that they should have the right to discriminate and bully because their “religion tells them to”. Too damn bad. Their right to worship and believe stops at being able to discriminate against me or trying to bully me.

  22. Jock S. Trap 11 Nov 2011, 11:06am

    Good one Gretchen Whitmer and typical of the Republicans. So shameful that they openly allow bullying and all it’s effects on others without a care in the word. How very christian…. Not!

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