Bill creates special classes of protection for homosexuals in public schools
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH – The State Senate gave its stamp of approval Wednesday to a bill that may have pro-homosexual forces at least tentatively checking off step one on their plan to bring same-sex marriage to North Carolina.
If the School Violence Prevention Act passes the House, it will be the first time that “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” are recognized as protected classifications under North Carolina law. Though Senate Bill 526 deals with bullying in schools, it was similar policies in California, Connecticut and Iowa that were referenced by courts instituting same-sex marriage.
“The idea that we create special classifications may have other unintended consequences with reference to other statutes,” warned Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) during debate on the bill Tuesday when it passed second reading. Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie) echoed the concern.
“When we start passing legislation to create special classes, it will affect a lot more issues than just bullying,” he said.
The final vote on Wednesday was 26 to 22. The House is expected to take up the measure later this session.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) insisted that the School Violence Prevention Act was simply to protect students – especially those perceived by the bill’s backers as the most vulnerable – and would not give any group a special legal status. Unlike House Bill 776, which simply and directly addresses bullying against all students, Senate Bill 526 warns against actions of bullying being motivated by “any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.”
Sen. Boseman said that some 23 school systems across the state already have similar enumerative bullying policies in effect and admitted that all school districts are free to make their own policies as general or specific as they like, but still insisted that a statewide statute was needed.
“Here again, folks, we are trying to make policy for the school systems, who all have a policy manual, who all have a policy on bullying, who all have the ability right now to make a policy as restrictive as this one or not,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Montgomery), who also pointed out the futility of trying to make a specific list of characteristics that shouldn’t be used as grounds for harassment. “We could enumerate fat people, redheaded people, people who wear glasses. Folks you cannot enumerate every class…. This is best left for those elected school boards at home.”
Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) offered an amendment to remove the list of potential motivations for bullying and reminded fellow Senators that they had approved in August 2007 just such a bill, very similar to H 776, which would prohibit all bullying without the pro-homosexual language or any special classifications.
“This was and is a good way to deal with this issue,” he said. However, Sen. Boseman countered with a substitute amendment that made a minor change in the language requiring reporting of bullying incidents and her amendment passed, 26 to 22.
“No one wants any child to be bullied,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. “But adding this list is akin to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ where ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ Like it or not this bill creates special classes and is another step forward in the affirmation of same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage. It’s not about children, but part of a well-crafted, ingenious agenda designed to provoke sympathy for the Sodomite way of life.”