Michigan has finally passed anti-bullying legislation called Matt’s Safe School Law, named for a boy who committed suicide after anti-gay hazing. So why does the boy’s father, Kevin Epling, not support the legislation? Simple: Republicans introduced a provision that allows bullying in the case of religious or moral viewpoints. It also doesn’t mention anything about bullying for sexual orientation or gender identity.
All the Democrats voted against it, and Senator Gretchen Whitmore‘s outrage is a sight to behold:
“You may be able to pat yourselves on the back today and say that you did something, but in actuality you are explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying,” said Senator Whitmer. “As passed today, bullying kids is okay if a student, parent, teacher or school employee can come up with a moral or religious reason for doing it.”
Want to get away with bullying your gay classmate into committing suicide? Don’t just call him a fag. Instead, tell him that God hates fags like him! Don’t tell your atheist neighbor that she’s a worthless bitch. Tell her that your priest says she’s morally bankrupt and will rot in hell for all of eternity. That way you’re covered.
Says Kevin Eppling:
I am ashamed that this could be Michigan’s bill on anti-bullying when in fact it is a ‘bullying is OK in Michigan law.’
What a fine legacy Michigan Republicans have left for Matt Eppling.