In a remarkable act of cynicism and moral bankruptcy, Iowa legislators are considering removing LGBT students from the protection of a Safe School law. So it would be illegal to bully students unless they are gay. Then it would be OK.

Reps. Shultz & Windschitl Introduce H.F. 2291 to Exclude Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Students from Safe Schools Law

… House Representatives Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig and Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, co-sponsored legislation introduced today which seeks to exclude LGBT students from the 2007 Iowa Safe Schools Law.

The law protects ALL students from harassment and bullying in Iowa’s schools.

“When our state is facing record budget deficits and unemployment, House Republicans feel their time is best spent picking on Iowa’s LGBT youth,” said Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director of Iowa Pride Network. “There is no better example as to why we have this law, so youth in Iowa don’t grow up to be like these bigots.”

H.F. 2291 has been referred to the House Education Committee. Iowa Pride Network will continue to monitor this legislation to ensure all of Iowa’s students are safe and protected from harassment and bullying.

Details here

Hat tip: Drugmonkey.

Comments

  1. #1 nankay
    February 10, 2010

    On a better note, both Iowa Houses rejected efforts to introduce a resolution to ammend the Iowa Constitution to specifically recognize marriage between one man and one woman thereby repealing same-sex marriage. The Republicans were trying to do an “end-run” around House rules by pulling the resolutions out of committee so they could be placed on the debate calendar. These folks just keep trying even though a recent poll indicated 62% of Iowans don’t think the issue of gay marriage is worthy of the legislators’ time.

  2. #2 Uncle Glenny
    February 10, 2010

    c. “Trait or characteristic of the student” includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.

    This bill strikes sexual orientation and gender identity from the definition of the term “trait or characteristic of the student” used for purposes of protecting students in public and nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.

    Hey, special rights! It’s so nice to be singled out!

  3. #3 Kate from Iowa
    February 10, 2010

    These people suck.

  4. #4 SQB
    February 10, 2010

    … includes but is not limited to …

    While ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘sexual identity’ should be on the list, removing them should have no effect at all, since it’s just a list of examples. Then again, IANAL.

  5. #5 Uncle Glenny
    February 10, 2010

    SQB,

    IANAL either, and neither am I familiar with how (anti)discrimination law plays out. However,

    First, “… includes but is not limited to …” – how does this fit in with established case law? Is it unreasonably vague? Can it be said to include red hair? Pedophilic tendencies? With the history of treatment of the non-heteronormative socially and legally (and that history is ongoing), it makes a very strong point for those classes to be enumerated. The fact that someone deems it important (even if only for quixotic grandstanding, I don’t know) to strike those classes itself indicates the importance of their inclusion.

    Second, I’ve often wondered whether the enumeration of classes in laws like this implicitly weakens protection for those not enumerated. Consider an ex-post-facto justification of firing a gay person because the law permits it – after all it specifically mentions race etc., but not sexual orientation. But see above.

  6. #6 Ginger Snap
    February 10, 2010

    As long as the soulless red haired people are kept out from under the protective umbrella of the state, I’m happy.

  7. #7 itzac
    February 10, 2010

    So here’s a thought. Rather than have a law about who you can or can’t beat up in school, why not just teach kids not to be dickwads?

    I mean, I get that kids can be complete assholes, but how badly are teachers and parents failing if bullying needs to be specifically addressed in state law?

  8. #8 daedalus2u
    February 10, 2010

    To me, this seems like a clear violation of the 14th Amendment. People cannot be excluded from protection by law.

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

  9. #9 DuWayne
    February 10, 2010

    Not that this isn’t completely fucking ridiculous, but why is there even a list in the first place? Why not just define bullying and ignore what kids might be getting bullied for?

    I mean seriously, bullying is bullying. Does it really matter why someone is bullying another child?

  10. #10 rob
    February 10, 2010

    unbelievable.

  11. #11 eigenvector
    February 10, 2010

    I Owe the World an Apology (IOWA)

  12. #12 Jared
    February 10, 2010

    Because, DuWayne, they see bullying as a possible way to pressure students into behaving as they see fit, thus suppressing the exposure of their own kids to homosexual individuals. It’s kind of a “well, that’s ok, because I don’t want my kids exposed to those people”

    Although it does sound awfully similar to the way racial assaults and discrimination were rationalized…

  13. #13 nankay
    February 10, 2010

    Schultz told NBC affiliate WHO-TV that the rationale behind the move is to force a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, since the Iowa Supreme Court pointed to laws like Iowa’s Safe Schools Law in making its April decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

  14. #14 Uncle Glenny
    February 10, 2010

    What Jared said.

    I wonder if the existing law covers perceived status? (The bit I quoted is the fragment from the proposed bill, not the existing law which I didn’t look up.)

  15. #15 aratina cage
    February 10, 2010

    I Owe the World an Apology (IOWA) -eigenvector

    Totally unfair. Iowa is one of the few states where same-sex marriage is a right and the conservatives can’t do anything about it other than throwing shit like this at gays until 2014. The bigoted architects of this bill are the ones who deserve the scorn.

  16. #16 rob
    February 11, 2010

    eigenvector reminded me of:

    Idiots Out Walking Around

    also totally unfair, except, perhaps for Reps. Shultz & Windschitl.

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