Stopping bullying leads to gay marriage!

The North Carolina legislature just passed some anti-bullying legislation that, horror of horrors, explicitly mentions that gay teens may be bullied for their sexuality and that this should be prevented (as well as mentioning a number of other categories at risk for bullying):

State senators resisted pressure from conservative groups to
narrowly approve an anti-bullying measure that recognizes gay students
as potential targets for harassment.

The proposal would require
school employees who witness harassment or bullying, or have reliable
information about such incidents, to report them to school authorities.
The measure identifies more than a dozen reasons children are harassed,
including for their race, religion or disability. But references to
"gender identity" and "sexual orientation" drew the most heat.

Well, isn't it nice to know that the Catholic Church in North Carolina has tried to stop this legislation.  Heaven forbid some gay kids are protected from bullying.  

Two Roman Catholic bishops urged their followers to oppose the bill, saying it could lead to same-sex marriage.

Okay, in fairness they don't want kids bullied, but they are afraid that this will somehow lead to gay marriage in North Carolina.  Please!  The Diocsese of Raleigh explains themselves on their website, and let's just say I'm far from convinced:

We agree that bullying or harassment based on
gender identity and sexual orientation is reprehensible and should not
be tolerated. However, there is also a highly problematic consequence
to the inclusion of these two specific differentiating characteristics
should it become law. In three states that have a law similar to SB526,
the law was used as part of a lawsuit to persuade a judge or court to
mandate same-sex marriage. We believe the passage of SB526 into law
could be the precursor of actions by our legislature and/or our courts
to mandate same-sex marriage in our state because it has occurred
already in three other states. This would be contrary to our
fundamental teaching and understanding of marriage.

Got that?  In these other states, similar legislation was included in the legal briefs arguing for gay marriage.  No evidence whatsoever this had any bearing on what these courts decided, simply the fact that it was included in a legal argument.  It is just a huge leap of logic and (legal reasoning) to suggest that this would be the crack in the door allowing for gay marriage in NC.  And you know what, even if it was, I think that in the present economy the Catholic church has a lot more important things to be worrying about.  Jesus didn't have a lot to say about gays, but he sure had a lot to say about social justice.



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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