Bil Browning

Michigan Bullying Bill Won't Have Religious Loopholes

Filed By Bil Browning | November 16, 2011 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-bullying, Equality Michigan, Michigan, religious loopholes, Rick Jones, state senator

We were due for some good news and here it is. Michigan's proposed bullying bill will not include loopholes to allow religious bullies to intimidate LGBT students or those from other religions.

Republican State Senator Rick Jones attached an amendment to give a pass for "sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction" Thumbnail image for michigan.gifin the Senate version of the anti-bullying legislation. The House version didn't include the provision.

Jones on Monday (Nov. 14) said he would drop his amendment and vote for the House version after critics said the language could allow gay, Muslim or other minority students to face harassment.

"We are grateful that this legislation moves forward without the license to bully based on an outrageous religious exception, but that said, it won't be effective," said Michael Gregor, a spokesman for Equality Michigan, a gay rights group in Detroit that wants vulnerable groups enumerated in the anti-bullying bill.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed that enumerations would strengthen the bill but said Muslims were still "relieved" that the Senate bill is likely dead.

Can we start every morning more like this?

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Annette Gross Annette Gross | November 16, 2011 9:05 AM

This IS great news! When I first heard about the original wording, I almost choked! I wish these people would turn it around and think about what it would be like if the shoe were on the other foot. What chutzpah!