After Rep. Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge) proposed stronger language in the anti-bullying bill, the Louisiana House committee voted 10-5 to strip the bill of those changes.
According to the Times-Picayune, Smith wanted to name the types of reasons kids bully other kids:
Smith proposed several tweaks and additions, but the most pertinent passage extended the definition to acts “a reasonable person under the circumstances would perceive as being motivated by an actually or perceived characteristic, including but not limited to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, exceptionalities, physical disability, intellectual disability, developmental disability, mental illness or emotional health disorder, language ability, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, gender identity, gender expression, political ideas or affiliations, socioeconomic status or association with others identified by such characteristics.”
That’s alotta language! But it’s good to cover all your bases, isn’t it? Not according to Bayou State Republicans:
Opponents, lead by the conservative Louisiana Family Forum and aides to Gov. Bobby Jindal, argued that the measure went too far by listing perceived or actual characteristics that should not subject a student to bullying.
The committee voted 10-5 to strip the bill of those key changes, which included sexual orientation. Smith shelved the measure, saying the action gutted its intent.
Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills, who said he’s an ordained minister, told lawmakers: “You could make a criminal bully out of a child who holds an orthodox view of Christianity.”
In other words: if an orthodox Christian causes a gay teen to commit suicide by abusing the LGBT youth, verbally or phsyically, that’s okay.