Wednesday, February 24, 2010

South Carolina dating bill excluding gays sent back to subcommittee

Gays and lesbians and their allies in South Carolina won something of a victory today against a bill which excluded them:
South Carolina lawmakers put on hold Wednesday a youth dating violence that would exclude gay youths, but vowed to continue working on the measure in subcommittee.

The Senate Education Committee voted Wednesday morning to send the bill back to subcommittee, following a second failed attempt by Sen. Phil Leventis to delete the passage concerning sexual orientation.

The bill, introduced in the House last year by Rep. Joan Brady, would require the state Department of Education to develop a dating violence policy recognizing threats, physical or emotional abuse, or stalking occurring on school property, and referring the students to counseling.

. . . House Rep. Greg Delleney amended the bill in 2009 to define "dating partners" to apply only to heterosexual couples. The exclusion of same-sex relationships has drawn much criticism, with gay rights advocates saying the measure further discriminates against students who are already vulnerable to bullying, depression and self-doubt.

Rep. Delleney said he fears including gay teens in the bill's protection would lead to teaching in middle and high schools about same-sex relationships.

"The problem is, the language lessens one group of people over another, and that's wrong," Sen. Joel Lourie said on Wednesday

Although details are sketchy right now, from what I understand members of the SC Pride Movement, SC Equality, and Palmetto AIDS Life Support came out in full force at the meeting.

What happens next is anyone's guess, but for those keeping score, that's two victories for South Carolina's gay community against this exclusionary bill.

Last year when the bill was introduced, the community raised enough fuss to get it tabled.

Related post:

Will the South Carolina Legislature abandon gay teens?

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Liberty Counsel finally speaks on Lisa Miller case and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Don't Lie, Don't Misinform - Media Matters joins effort to demand the truth be told about Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Myths and falsehoods on Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Speaking of which, Media Matters also turned out this excellent report on the falsehoods regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Liberty Counsel Finally Breaks Its Silence On Lisa Miller, Loses Similar Fight In California - It's a miracle. Now put Mat Staver on a lie detector.

NARTH misuses suicide statistics to undermine "partnership privileges" for gay men - And should we be surprised?

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Not another homophobic beauty queen!

As Carrie Prejean fades from the public view, the gay community has to deal with yet another loudmouth beauty queen from California.

And if you ask me, she makes Prejean look like Mother Teresa:

Carrie Prejean isn't the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage.

Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials.

"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white . . . "

"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."

It's interesting how the Fox News article tries to sugarcoat Ashley's comments and underplay that part about Leviticus. Although the irony is that if she truly followed Leviticus, she wouldn' be half bare assed on a stage seeking a beauty crown.

The article goes on to say that she is echoing the comments which got Prejean in trouble and this is no true. God forbid that I look like I'm defending Prejean, but she never said a word about gays and death.

Of course there is an upside to this. Having learned their lesson with the Prejean affair, I don't think anyone is going to be anointing Ashley as the newest victim of political correctness. Although from reading the article, Ashley comes across as someone who wouldn't even say the word "doodie" for fear that it's profanity. She is a perfect religious right spokesperson.

But let's be real. Her comments are so damn mean. I'm almost want to see the religious right try to defend her nonsense.

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