By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.
RALEIGH — State Senators who a week ago may have been unsure of where their constituents stood on a controversial anti-bullying bill apparently got the message this week as they left the Capitol at the end of the session Friday without passing the so-called School Violence Prevention Act.
“This was a very difficult battle, but it had to be fought. The e-mails, phone calls, as well as other contacts to legislators helped make the difference. Moreover, I think it’s just as important to remember many were praying earnestly,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
Between the time the House turned down the Senate version of the bill — one that offered protection to all students — and the unveiling of a conference bill that promoted the homosexual agenda, lawmakers were inundated with hundreds of contacts from North Carolinians opposed to the pro-gay measure.
“We sent out alerts on the legislation both by mail and email, contacted churches, engaged our Advisory Board members, as well as recruited the assistance of our friends and allies from the American Family Association and people from across the Tar Heel State responded in a phenomenal way,” said Creech.
Introduced by Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), House Bill 1366 would have required public schools to adopt policies prohibiting bullying motivated by more than 15 characteristics including “gender identity or expression” and “sexual orientation,” two undefined traits that are not a part of any state law.
“It would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the same level with the enumerations of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, physical appearance, mental, physical or sensory disability — all immutable or unchangeable characteristics. Yet homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, cross dressing and other alternate sexual behaviors are not immutable, but changeable. It would be most egregious to affirm by state law that what is unnatural behavior is somehow unchangeably innate and normal,” Creech said.
The compromise bill replaced “gender identity or expression” with “masculinity and femininity,” but still belied supporters’ true goals — legitimizing sexually alternate behaviors in North Carolina law and then paving the way for homosexual ideology to be promoted in North Carolina public schools. Presenting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) students as victims is a key strategy of the gay rights movement.
By voting down the Senate version of the School Violence Prevention Act — which didn’t include the objectionable language — promoters of the Glazier bill showed that their aim was more about advancing the homosexual agenda than about protecting children, Creech said.
“That’s the sad part of this whole ordeal, we could have a strong law that would be consistent with the bullying policy approved by the North Carolina Board of Education in 2004 – one without enumerations that would best protect all students – but obviously that’s not what the homosexual forces wanted. They insisted on the objectionable language and that’s what led to the failure of the bill,” he said.
As legislators were bombarded with contacts opposing the homosexual-backed legislation, the State School Board Chairman told the media he also disagreed with a bill that included a laundry list of whom shouldn’t be bullied.
“Bullying is bullying. I don’t care who it’s against and under what circumstances,” Howard Lee told the Raleigh News and Observer.
He did not deny that bullying is a problem in the schools, but like many others in education, stressed the importance of putting the focus on stopping the bullying behavior rather than analyzing why a student may become a target.
Brenda High, founder and co-director of Bully Police U.S.A., told the North Carolina Family Policy Council earlier this year that the most effective anti-bullying policies are those that apply to all students and do not list subgroups.
“Adding the protective language for victims to a law, or what I call inclusive language, assumes that having the ‘wrong’ attitude about sexual orientation and gender identity will increase one’s likelihood of being a bully or harasser,” High said. “Bullies bully because they can and because they get away with it. All that needs to be done to stop bullying is to stop the behavior of these bullies. It’s as simple as that.”
Although both the House and the Senate had been expected to vote on Glazier’s bill this past week, by Friday it had been sent to the Senate Committee on Judiciary I and to the House Conference Committee to die.
Some media accounts imply that the Christian Action League’s opposition to HB 1366 was complicit with pro-bullying behavior against homosexuals. “Such implications are absolute nonsense,” said Rev. Creech. “We fully supported the Senate’s version of the legislation that would have covered all of the bullying scenarios, providing the paramount protection for every child. Unfortunately, the overburdening of the bill with language that was not only unnecessary, but also provided a premise for the propagation of something immoral is what really killed it,” he said.