BETWEEN THE LINES — “Ultimately, the ACLU of Michigan Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Project plans to eliminate the constitutional amendment that currently bans same-sex marriage or similar unions in Michigan.
In the interim, they strive to work to amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protection against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based… on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression; push for the enactment of anti-bullying legislation that protects LGBT youth; advocate for the full legal rights of same-sex couples to parent; protect state laws that provide confidentiality of HIV status; and support policies to respect the relationships of LGBT seniors.”
Brandon’s characterization of the legislation is ridiculously wrong. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite of what he reports.
The bill’s language reaffirming First Amendment-guaranteed free speech rights was inserted specifically to ensure that students are not bullied, or accused of bullying, merely because they exercise their freedom to verbally make statements of religious or moral conviction.
It was likely in response to the Howell High student who last year was ejected from class — by a teacher wearing an anti-bullying t-shirt — because the student dared say that he does not accept homosexual behavior because it violates his religious convictions. The teacher was later reprimanded and suspended for a day for violating the student’s Constitutional rights.
Even Jay Kaplan of ACLU-Michigan agreed that the student’s comments were Constitutionally guaranteed, telling the Associated Press: “We believe, based on those statements — as offensive and upsetting as they were — they were protected speech.”
In other words, a student’s free speech rights cannot be legally censored or muzzled just because someone else who hears his opinion chooses to be offended or upset.
Further, the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2001 unanimously overturned a high school speech code that attempted to ban expressions of opinion just because others find the opinion offensive. Now Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote:
“No court or legislature has ever suggested that unwelcome speech directed at another’s ‘values’ may be prohibited under the rubric of anti-discrimination. By prohibiting disparaging speech directed at a person’s ‘values,’ the policy strikes at the heart of moral and political discourse — the lifeblood of constitutional self-government (and democratic education) and the core concern of the First Amendment. That speech about ‘values’ may offend is not cause for its prohibition.”
Please note that the bill’s language says that verbal “statements” of religious or moral conviction do not constitute bullying. Free speech protections do just that, protect free speech, not physical acts of bullying.
Click here to read the column
RECORD-EAGLE — “A campaign group that supports Traverse City’s non-discrimination ordinance raised about four times as much money as its opponents. (Homosexual activist group) Traverse City Equality generated more than $25,853 in campaign contributions in its effort to urge a ‘yes’ vote on the Nov. 8 city ballot Proposal 1. A ‘yes’ vote would keep intact a city ordinance that prohibits housing a…nd employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. …Its largest contributor, and the largest donor on either side of the issue, is Washington, D.C.-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. The fund gave $10,000 to Traverse City Equality.
The group No Special Rights Discrimination, which opposes the measure, raised $6,459 thus far, according to documents filed with the Grand Traverse County clerk.”
MIRS — “Anti-bullying legislation stalled in previous sessions as groups like the American Family Association of Michigan claimed it was a ‘Trojan horse’ for gay rights. …While SB 0137 was derided by Democrats and (homosexual activist group) Equality Michigan, AFAM applauded the bill.
‘This all-inclusive protection could have passed years ago had Democrats not insisted — as they still do today — on trying to use anti-bullying legislation as a Trojan Horse for specially protected group rights based on homosexual activity and other personal behavior or characteristics, an approach opposed not only by AFA-Michigan but by Bully Police USA,’ said AFAM President Gary Glenn.”
“Citizen of the Year” Award was presented to AFA-Michigan’s Gary Glenn on October 10th by Citizens for Community Values, an Indiana pro-family group headquartered in South Bend, Indiana. CCV’s annual awards banquet was held on the campus of Notre Dame University.
MICHIGAN MESSENGER — “At the heart of the argument is a belief by Democrats and most advocates that an enumerated bill â€” which specifically lists protected classes â€” would be more effective in addressing bullying. However, Republicans and their allies, including Gary Glenn at the American Family Association of Michigan, argue enumeration does not protect every student and that it is also part of the ‘homosexual agenda.'”
MLive.com column: “In earlier drafts, bills said schools need to include characteristics kids can’t be bullied over like race and sexual orientation. ‘Family’ advocates like Gary Glenn…screamed that this was just a ‘Trojan horse’ for gay rights.”
WXYZ-TV — “The staunchest opponent to (homosexual activists’ anti-bullying) bill isnâ€™t in the state legislature. Heâ€™s Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a conservative Christian group that has the ear of many Republican legislators. Glenn fears that if the bill becomes law, it could lead to same-sex marriage or adoption in Michigan. Mentioning gay students in a bullying bill, he says, promotes a ‘homosexual lifestyle.’
View the video-
INFOWARS — “Schools are being pressured to report such incidents to authorities and face punishments for not doing so under anti-bullying policies. This is a clear example of how hate crime laws have brazenly been hijacked by the state to get children institutionalized on criminal databases at an early age. This is about the state dictating what your child can think and say â€“ itâ€™s the thought police on steroids.”
BETWEEN THE LINES — “When pressed with these basic questions – uh, why do you care so much about this (very) particular issue at this particular moment? – Rep. Hooker just said it’s what the American Family Association of Michigan wanted him to do. …This bizarre buffoonery by Bible-thumping bigots has no place in a state full of intelligent, reasonable and caring citizens.”