Mike Harmon Wants To Let Religious KY Students “Condemn” LGBT Kids

A Kentucky House committee “overwhelmingly approved” HB 370, a measure that prohibits any bullying based on sexual orientation, race or religion. But religious Republican lawmaker Mike Harmon would like to add an amendment that would “allow students to condemn other student’s sexual preferences as long as that expression of a religious belief does not include physical harm.” He is also pushing an amendment that would it make it legal to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds.

This should go well.

First, let’s look at that word “condemn.” It’s a verb that means:

1. To express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.
2. To sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, esp. death: “the rebels had been condemned to death”.

So Harmon wants to give students the right to publicly express “complete disapproval” of LGBT kids—or does he want them to be able to sentence queer youth to an eternity burning in Hell’s lake of fire?

“If someone, just in conversation, said, ‘You know, I think homosexuality is a sin,’ well, we don’t want that child to be bullied because they have a certain moral or religious belief,” Harmon told WHAS 11 . “And we… certainly don’t want them to be labeled a bully just because they have that particular belief.”

Homophobes— the last great oppressed minority.

Furthermore, Harmon says Kentucky doesn’t need anti-bullying laws because schools already have guidelines against bullying.  (Of course his wording would religious bigots from being bullied for their hateful beliefs.)

Even though Harmon’s amendment is cynical poppycock, is he right that we don’t need additional legislation? It’s an important question to explore, especially since the this is the same line of reasoning used by the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

Equality groups say that without specific hate-crime laws and anti-bullying guidelines, police and school officials tend to overlook such attacks or spend resources merely on the symptom instead of the root cause. Hate-crime and anti-bullying laws require additional training—especially when dealing with attacks on LGBT youth, which often bring a unique set of circumstances.

Maybe we don’t actually need laws specifically forbidding such attacks, but rather just better LGBT-inclusive training for police officers and teachers. And maybe some duck-and-cover techniques for students.

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  • EdWoody

    It’s a moot question whether we need it or not. Not needing it is not an excuse for not having it. If the law protects us, why not have it, even if it duplicates the function of another law? I don’t see a problem there.

  • Josh Elder

    As a Kentuckian born and raised, I grew up in Georgetown, KY (home to the largest Toyota plant in the US) and came out when I was 14. It was the worst time in my life. I received death threats, as did my parents, kids egged my new car ($700 in damages), had a pickup truck of rednecks chase me from my bus stop to my home with bats yelling die faggot (which I filed a police report and with the school because legally I was still under the schools care) the police laughed and ignored it as did the school even after I pointed out the truck and all the students who did it. I had people use my sexuality against my father when he ran forcity council, kids would yell faggot inclass and teachers would ignore it, had kids cause hundreds in damages to my trumpet on multiple occasions, kids would throw clay, paper, rocks, books at me during class and teachers ignored it.
    Yes legislation is needed no matter what schools claim their policies are. Especially when their policy doesn’t include sexual orientation. I even had a sub bus driver call me a faggot and write me up saying I need to be in special Ed t fix my problem. If you arentfrom KY you don’t really have a place to say what’s needed and what’s not.

  • QJ201

    but will mainstream christians be allowed to tell fundamentalist kids they are going to hell for unchristian behavior? Fundies just hate that “love thy neighbor” BS.

  • Thomas Maguire

    YEAH, NO.

  • Mav

    I love it when the fundamentalist Christians play the victim card. “But you’re encroaching on our religious beliefs!”

    No, I’m encroaching on your ability to be an asshole in public. Whatever kind of judgemental asshole you are in private is no business of mine.

  • B

    One point regarding hate-crime laws: the hardest cases of assault to solve are those in which the victim is chosen at random, which is what typically happens in hate crimes. The assailant does not know the victim, can select a victim who is alone with no potential witnesses around, and there may be no physical evidence such as stolen property. When it is harder to apprehend and convict the perpetrator, a longer sentence is justified as a deterrent.

  • MikeE

    ah yes, the state who’s abbreviation is synonymous with lubricant jelly…

  • Ogre Magi

    I am sooooo sick of christians

  • tom

    I you can also condemn those who prefer someone outside of their race, those who have sex before marriage and those who commit adultry with this amendment. But condemning Xians beliefs should be made illegal. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that attacking atheists occurs regularly without as much as a blink of an eye from this congressman

  • Chad

    @Ogre Magi: I agree, I hate religion I hate christians, I noticed Mike Harmon’s proposal does not include “allow students to condemn other student’s RELIGIOUS preferences as long as that expression does not include physical harm.”

  • Trey

    Like what the hell? It really does make other people that are christians that dont hate like that look terrible. People like that shouldnt be able to even call them selves christians. Its just irritating that people like this are actually serving out government.

  • Shannon1981

    How about we change the wording to this: It should not be against school policy to condemn christianity if one believes it to be amoral or harmful. One should not be labeled a bully for saying so, so long as it does not cause physical harm.

    Bet they wouldn’t go for that. Hypocrites.

  • B

    It seems Harmon represents Boyle and Washington counties in Kentucky. For some
    info on these, check out,_Kentucky

    They seem like rural, relatively low income areas, with people gravitating towards religion to feel better about their humdrum lives.

    My guess: Harmon is grandstanding to please his constituents, and no doubt knows that there is zero chance of any of his garbage making it to a vote, much less passing.

  • Jim Hlavac

    @Josh Elder: I’m sorry you endured all that pain; I was so much more fortunate growing up on Long Island. I can’t answer the question posed by these people; other than I know it must cease. For we are we, and have nothing to do with heteros whatever it is they do.

  • Mike in London UK

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

    Unless you’re gay, then we can publicly condemn you for being what you are.

  • TMikel

    Oh for the days when Christians were given to the lions in Rome!

  • Carl

    As for the concealed weapons clause – he has a point. Who would call a kid “faggot” if they didn’t know if they’d have a gun or blade shoved in their face for doing so? Probably not his reasoning (he probably wants it in to ‘protect’ breeders from ‘gay advances’), but it could work.

  • Pete

    This is happening in a state named after a lube – KY ! People from KY (Like Sen Mitch McConnell and Sen Aqua Buddah Rand Paul should be known as “astro-gliders”. What is the real story about Mitch McConnell’s discharge from the military?

  • B

    No. 16 · TMikel wrote, “Oh for the days when Christians were given to the lions in Rome!”

    You could never do that today. The Fundamentalist Christians are so unappealing that they would give the lions bad cases of indigestion, and PETA would protest about cruelty to animals.

  • cary

    I completely agree with Josh Elder, who are we to say nay for that state if we do not live there. As an atheist I have been “condemned” as well. I do not believe that hate should be the answer to hate, I do not hate the Christians for their remarks, or the intolerant for their acts against the LGBT community, or against race. Instead I choose support, its easy to be outspoken in a time when everyone can voice an opinion on the internet, but instead of rooting for the cause I would much rather support my local community, or hell even perfect strangers on the street. I would sooner stop someone from gay bashing a perfect stranger in public than write this comment because at that moment I feel like I have contributed more. So I guess I know these comment boxes DO some good, but I urge people out there who just comment on here, next time you can stop someone from being bullied or called a fag, or just someone being an ass, say something let people know they are in the wrong because in the end they will always tell YOU that they think your an amoral piece of trash. If we can stick together then they can’t hurt us as much and this is coming from a straight man.

  • Mav

    So are LGBT students allowed to call fundamentalist Christian students bigoted morons in retaliation? They’re only expressing their non-religious beliefs concerning radical Christianity.

    Seems fair to me.

  • Crysta

    We should really throw one of their favorite ideals right back at em

    Tell em, to tell their kids to “grow some balls” and get over it!

    If we can take the hate, so can the religious retards.

  • Dave Head

    FREE SPEECH. Kentucky Constitution states,

    ” All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned: – The right of freely communicating their thoughts and opinions.”

  • Shannon1981

    Religious zealots need to all put their kids in Christian schools. Leave the public schools to the atheists and tolerant religious people. There, problem solved. Let the fundies have their space and delude themselves into thinking all 7 billion people on this planet will one day believe in their Jesus.

  • eyesiq

    separation of church and state.

    you want special protection for your religious beliefs? send your kid to a religious school, not a school that receives aid from the state.

Comments are closed.