Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moral Conviction — Update

Following up on this story, the Michigan legislature has reconsidered the bill that would have exempted “moral conviction,” i.e. religious bigotry, from the anti-bullying law.

After hearing from outraged constituents who didn’t want their state sanctioning the bullying of gay students, from concerned leaders of Michigan’s large Muslim community–who worried that the bill would permit Christian students to target Muslim classmates–and religious leaders of all stripes who said, in effect, don’t do this on our account, the Michigan House of Representatives passed its own version of the anti-bullying bill without a religious exemption. The legislature will now set aside the Senate-passed bill and send the House version over to their Senate colleagues for approval.

The religious puritans in the legislature never considered that “moral conviction” goes way beyond using it as an excuse to gay-bash. It also covers different faiths. If they didn’t think about that, let them visit Belfast or Jerusalem.

It’s also ironic that they didn’t take into account that turnabout would have been fair play — gay kids could have banded together to bully straights. Hey, I’ve seen it happen.