Should Penalties for Bullying Depend on Sexual Orientation?
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, November 18, 2011
By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Good morning, Jim. This time LAST YEAR when the media, repeatedly, reported on sex trafficking, experienced political observers knew a bill would soon be introduced to fix the problem. But even the keenest observer didn’t expect sex trafficking legislation to wield such a back-handed blow against moral standards here in the Bible Belt, but it did.
The bill almost doubled the penalty for pimps and johns, but removed all charges for certain sex crimes committed by certain people, specifically “sex workers” under age 18. So they could be classified as victims, making ALL of them eligible for taxpayer-funded victim compensation, whether they are FORCED into sex trafficking or CHOSE/CHOOSE prostitution, pornography or sexual massage as professions. With the passage of that bill, no person under 18 involved in illicit sex acts in Georgia will be charged with a sexual offense, whether they chose the profession or were forced. Instead, as “victims,” they will be provided tax-funded health care, shelter, rehabilitation, education and other benefits, which is the goal of this legislation
THIS YEAR we’re being primed to change the Georgia bullying law, which has been debated and changed over and over through the years, to produce a good bullying law, currently in place. It covers everyone equally, using the same standard to punish all bullying. But certain groups are pushing to make bullying penalties more severe, if the sexual orientation of the victim and the bully are different.
This surfaced in the 1990s as a persistent “safe school” movement to classify as bullying negative comments or non-supportive attitudes toward sexual orientation. Meaning, bullying can be defined as differences of opinion about alternate lifestyles. In 2007 the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) extended its middle school “no name-calling week” curriculum to all K – 12 schools, in order to mold younger minds to their way of thinking. The federal government’s web site revealed its “GLSEN attitude” by linking the federal bullying site to sites about lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender individuals.
In recent weeks an Internet news article popped up, informing everyone that Cher claimed Dancing With the Stars judges bullied Chaz when they explained why she was voted off the show. Ironically, no other dismissed dancer charged judges with bullying. When laws prohibit negative comments that might offend someone, freedom of speech is gone. Actually, it’s almost come to that, though the Constitution does not protect anyone against being offended.
I’ve said all that to say this. Come January, expect pressure for Georgia’s bullying law to base penalties for bullying on sexual orientation. That’s the goal. In May, President Obama said, “We led a global campaign to ensure ‘sexual orientation’ was included in the … only UN resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people.” That’s precisely the goal behind this push for stronger bullying laws. They want to put “sexual orientation” in the bullying law to elevate alternate lifestyles to a civil rights status. That discriminates against heterosexuals! For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.