Under the Dome

Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

Could a bill banning bullying against gays and lesbians lead to same-sex marriage?

Yes, according to two N.C. Roman Catholic bishops who have urged their followers in two mass emails this past week to oppose Senate Bill 526, otherwise known as the School Violence Protection Act, Yonat Shimron reports.

While the two bishops say they oppose bullying period, they cannot support a bill that singles out "gender identity and sexual orientation."

Msgr. Michael Clay, the legislative lobbyist for the Diocese of Raleigh, said three states — Iowa, California and Connecticut — have used similar anti-gay bullying laws as part of their "findings of fact," in building a case for same-sex marriage.

"It could be a precursor of actions by our legislature and/or our courts to mandate same-sex marriage," said Clay. "It's more than speculative. This is a result that happens."

Clay said both Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh and Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte believe bullying is wrong and would gladly support a bill without the offending language.

"We're urging people to support the bill and take out the differentiating language," he said.

Other groups, including the Christian Action League and the N.C. Family Policy Council, also oppose the bill, saying it would introduce special legal protections for gays and lesbians.

Update: But not all religious groups agreed with what they said was an exaggerated emphasis on same-sex marriage.

"This is not a theoretical political issue," said the Rev. Jack McKinney, co-pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. "This is about real kids suffering real pain and too many of them hurting themselves. For it to be used as a political football is a tragedy."


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Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

When I was coming up it was mostly the fat guys who got bullied. And those who wore glasses. And those who did not belong to the country club (I came up before private schools.) And those guys who made good grades got bullied. And those who cried a lot got bullied. And then that guy who wore "pegged" pants got bullied right much. In my day there were quite a few reasons to get bullied. None of the reasons were good but that did not stop the bullying. But then again we did not have a law against it. I'm sure that would have stopped it. LOL

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

I'm not real sure the North Carolina legislature will be able to stop bullying, with or without a law. The bullies have been bullying since Adam ate the apple. And probably even before. I may be one of the few but I like who I like......regardless of who the General Assembly tells me to like.

When the General Assembly is able to change human nature, then, my friends, we are on to something.

Bishops are shameful

If Bishops want to inject their religious-based bigotry into public policy, then they need to be prepared to be censured for their bigoted views. Their homophobic anti-gay agenda is simply despicable. What kind of Bishop thinks it is okay to beat gays to death just because they are gay? The santimony and hypocrisy is outrageous. This is just more proof that there is too much religion foisted upon the rest of us by self-proclaimed Christians who use the Bible to justify their bigotry.

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

These are two parts from this bill:

Nothing in this act shall be construed to create any classification, protected class, suspect category, or preference beyond those existing in present statute or case law."

Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

If a student is harassed because they support Miss Prejean's position on marriage, would they be covered by this bill? The first bill quote above has me really interested in the lawyer speak of this bill. I would sure love to use a bill like this on the college campus known as UNC-Chapell Hill. Intolerance of any kind like the people attacking Miss Prejean and former rep. Tancredo are just as bad and need to be recognized as that by people on the left who have left posts here.
There is after all only ONE unprotected class left in this country. can anyone here name it? We ALL should have zero tolerance for any kind of bullying. Yet someone here blamed a family group using it as a political football. I do recall the other side using it as a political football as well when it failed last time.

How about we take politics out of the equation on both sides and just do what is right.

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

"What would Jesus do?"

The pompous posturing of these bishops is just one more example of "Christians" being un-Christ like.

Navkor, mjfigs, and James_Protzman all make excellent points. We need to flood the legislature with these points to counteract the campaign of exclusion and discrimination waged by the bishops.

That's what I meant

but you know how I like to pray with birds.

Freudian homonym mistake?

I think you mean "exercised."

— RTB 

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

Bullying, Hate crimes...who cares what their personal life is like. Its is wrong. Gays, non gays, legals, illegals, blacks, whites...all HUMAN BEINGS. We forget that main aspect.

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

"The result of a well intentioned bill such as this one is that when certain groups are elevated into being more equal than others, it is just plain wrong. The bullying bill should be for everyone."

But everyone IS included in this bill. Like all non-discrimination laws, the new law pertains to bullying on the basis of sexual orientation. EVERYONE has a sexual orientation- gay, straight, bisexual, asexual- all are equally protected, even if all aren't equally bullied. I would understand your concern if the law protected only LGBT students, but it doesn't.

Also keep in mind that the law pertains to real and PERCEIVED orientations- the two kids who recently committed suicide were bullied because they were perceived to be gay, not actually gay as far as we know.

Furthermore, the law also pertains to race, gender and disability status. Where's the commentary about those issues? Teachers should step in if an african-american student is bullied, but can turn away if the student is gay (because many teachers do just that)?

In response to the Bishops- findings of fact are like throwing spaghetti at a wall- they include anything even remotely related to the case in question. The findings of fact mentioned in this article also refer to religious liberty laws- are these bishops opposed to THOSE too?

It saddens me to see Christians

get exorcised this way in the pursuit of such a hateful agenda. The NC Family Policy Council wants nothing less than to marginalize gays, ensuring that they are forever treated as second-class citizens. Through their selective reading of the Bible and their blind hypocrisy, they are violating every tenet in the teachings of Christ that I know of. Every. Single. One.

I'm not a person who normally prays, but I'm praying for them and the so-called Christian Action League. I pray that they look to their god for guidance and abandon their horrific campaign of hate and discrimination.

These are the very same evangelical Christians who support torture, of course. And why not? When you accept a god who would torture non-believers for all eternity, you are either insane or deluded or both.

It makes me sick to my stomach.

Re: Bishops: Bullying bill sets precedent

Yes, bullying is wrong, no matter who you are or how you define yourself. The result of a well intentioned bill such as this one is that when certain groups are elevated into being more equal than others, it is just plain wrong. The bullying bill should be for everyone.

Re: Bishops: Bullying led me to God

What gender are Roman Catholic bishops anyway?

It seems like they're opposing a bill to protect future recruits.

I'm sorry, but these tools are jerks. God bless.

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