Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Homophobes within Michigan's Government

To say that I'm a fan of Jack Lessenberry is an understatement. If the world operated according to Liberal Lucy, Jack would be running for high office in 2008. I often read his columns and find myself saying "Why isn't he in the government? The folks in Lansing could take a page or two from his book." He's just that good.

This week's Metro Times column just goes to further solidify my faith in the Gospel of Jack Lessenberry. Bully for Nobody is a brilliantly sharpened jab at the thinly-veiled homophobes in the State's Legislature.

If you haven't heard of the anti-bullying bill that's in the House right now, you probably haven't seen much of the news the last month or so. Bullying = a bad thing, right? Generally if you have your wits about you, you'd agree. So what's the hold up on the bill? Well for starters, two very conservative state representatives - Jack Hoogendyke and John Moolenaar.
Hoogendyk and Moolenaar, you see, are bigots who are supporting the agenda of hate fostered by homophobes everywhere. They would deny this, but they would be lying. Currently, there is a badly needed anti-bullying bill before the Michigan Legislature (House Bill 4162) which would, among other things, protect students from bullying "based on a pupil's actual or perceived religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, height, weight, gender identity, socioeconomic status or any other distinguishing characteristic."

Anybody who has ever been bullied unmercifully knows what a terrible experience it can be. I got my share of it; I was younger, smaller and fatter than most of the other kids in my working-class elementary school. Even worse, I was a "brain," and had the athletic ability of a salamander.

Lessenberry's rapier wit only gets sharper as the post goes on. I promise not to give away all the goodies of the post, because you'd only be shorting yourself if you don't read the whole thing. I will share this final bit from his piece, because Lessenberry hits it right on the head.
I am baffled that anyone should care very much about what other people do sexually. And I have to wonder whether some people who feel so threatened are really showing us something about their own psychology.

In any event — any legislator who doesn't support protecting anybody and everybody from being bullied is promoting fascism, pure and simple.

Not only does Jack tell it like it is, he reminds us all of the incredible need for us to continue to engage our government in our needs and wishes. In honor of Safe School Lobbying Day, contact your state representative, and tell them to support Bill 4162.

Then when you're done, make a regular habit of reading Jack's blog, catching his regular column in the Metro Times, and listening to his podcasts from Michigan Public Radio. Michigan needs more Jack Lessenberrys.

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