East Lansing’s Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D) made an emotional speech to her colleagues regarding her feelings for Michigan’s “Matt’s Safe School Law.” The law, named after a gay Michigan teen who took his own life in 2002, effectively permits the harassment of individuals as long as that harassment is borne of a “religious or moral” conviction. The obvious example here is the antagonization of gay young people by those who purport to believe that homosexuality is wrong on religious or moral grounds.
In her address to her colleagues, Whitmer called the passage of this law her “lowest point, personally,” and chided Republicans for, as she saw it, injecting politics into the passage of “Matt’s Safe School Law:”
You may be able to pat yourselves on the backs today and say that you did something. But in actuality, you’re explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying. Your exceptions have swallowed the rule.
As passed today, bullying kids is ok if a student, parent, teacher or school employee can come up with a moral or religious reason for doing it. But bullying is not ok. We should be passing public policy that protects kids — all kids — from bullies. All bullies.
“So this might solve a political problem that the Republicans have,” she continued, “but be clear: You are papering over the problem that is a reality faced by hundreds of kids in Michigan schools every day.”
Have a look at Whitmer’s speech, via Senate TV:
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