VICTORY: Draconian language removed from bill in Mass. Senate. Would have criminalized criticism of homosexuality.
"Anti-bullying" bill now moves on to House - text is still troubling
POSTED: March 14, 2010
At the last minute a Senate committee removed draconian language that would criminalize criticism of homosexuality with fines and imprisonment from a bill, just before the Massachusetts Senate voted on it on Thursday. The language had been slipped into a school "anti-bullying" bill. This is a clear victory for the pro-family movement!
This would have been very extreme. (And apparently it was intended to target MassResistance in particular, given our outspokenness at the State House and online.) Similar laws have been used in Canada and other countries to snuff out free speech and religious expression regarding the homosexual movement, and severely prosecute offenders. This has been a goal of the homosexual movement in America. They will likely attempt this again -- and spread it to other states.
(The text of the new version of the bill is here.)
VIDEO: TV News Coverage - Brian Camenker of MassResistance is interviewed by New England Cable News at the State House just before the Senate vote. (They only used our comments about the "anti-bully" aspects of the bill.)
As we reported last week, the Education Committee chairmen consolidated 16 "anti-bullying" bills into one main bill, S2283. But they also had added this completely unrelated section that would apply to all Massachusetts citizens:
The section near the end of S2283 bill read:
"Whoever publishes any false material whether written, printed, electronic, televised, or broadcast with intent to maliciously promote hatred of any group of persons in the commonwealth because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, or disability shall be guilty of libel and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both."
As soon as we saw that language, MassResistance put out the word that we considered it extremely offensive and that we would fight it. (As we mentioned, the phrases "false material" and "hatred" can be very subjective. It's an open door to harassment of free speech and religious expression.)
We made sure there was a flood of phone calls and emails by activists to the Senate leadership and other legislators. And although the Boston Globe and Boston Herald declined to write about it (no surprise!) we made sure their State House reporters knew where we stood. We were even told that at least one liberal Senator intended to introduce an amendment to take the language out!
TV camera crews wait outside of the Senate chambers for the vote to take place.
Shortly before the Thursday vote the offensive language was removed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which re-wrote S2283 into a new bill, S2313. Last year MassResistance had met personally with the Senate Ways and Means Chairman and showed him the horrific homosexual activism that taxpayer funds were being used for in the schools. Soon afterwards the funding for the homosexual programs was eliminated from the budget. Obviously, they clearly understood the value of free speech in this regard -- and that it had nothing to do with "anti-bullying."
The new version, S2313 with amendments, is HERE.
Passed unanimously. Thursday afternoon "anti-bullying" bill S2313 was debated, amended, and passed unanimously by the Senate. It now goes to the House.
Interest across the country regarding freedom of speech
MassResistance was interviewed on two national radio networks, the Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, and other media regarding the freedoms of speech and religion that this bill would affect. It's been known for a long time that the homosexual movement wants to criminalize criticism of their activities, and Massachusetts is a likely place to start that. The question has been when and where.
WorldNetDaily article: "Jail for dissing 'gays' pulled after publicity--
Massachusetts plan would have allowed year behind bars"
Additional victory: homosexual programs excluded from anti-bullying bill!
This was a huge victory -- and a big loss for the homosexual lobby. (The MassResistance testimony at the public hearing obviously had an effect.)
All language that would require homosexual programs has been excluded from the bill. That had been the main objective of the homosexual and transgender lobby for this bill, and this was a clear defeat for them in that regard.
Using "anti-bullying" legislation as a vehicle to mandate homosexual and transgender programs in public schools has been a major goal of the homosexual movement around the country. MassResistance began tracking that earlier this year, and it became clear that Massachusetts was one of the main targets. At the public hearing for the "anti-bullying" bills held on November 17 it appeared that most of those testifying were homosexual and transgender activists.
But luckily at that same public hearing, MassResistance gave powerful testimony exposing that agenda which apparently resonated with several legislators.
Homosexual groups (and ADL) angry at outcome!
On the morning of the Senate vote, the homosexual newspaper Bay Windows essentially conceded defeat and complained bitterly that their objectives failed, despite their unending efforts to tie "bullying" and "homophobia" together. They wanted to weave this into what they call "enumerated categories" which would include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity and expression."
Here's what the Bay Windows article said:
While the Anti-Bullying Bill would, if passed, work to make schools safer, several LGBT advocacy organizations are disappointed in the lack of language specifically referring to "enumerated categories", said Arlene Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Coalition. . .
While several groups lobbied strongly for the addition of this language, it was not included the version of the bill released from the Education Committee. "Though we are disappointed by the absence of enumerated protections, MassEquality believes this is a meaningful bill that will give all students in the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment," Scott Gortikov, executive director of MassEquality, said . . .
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) struggled to convince the House of Representatives to add LGBT-inclusive language in the list of "victim-specific characteristics" that could be targets for bullying to their version of the Senate bill (HB 483) . . .
While the current version of S. 2283 aims to combat all types of bullying, many activists are concerned that LGBT-motivated bullying will be overlooked by school personnel -- with potentially tragic consequences.
The usual propaganda, but it didn't quite work this time thanks to citizens fighting back.
Huge PR campaign to pass bill
In previous years anti-bullying bills were never successful at getting out committee. But this year they had a new strategy.
The ultra-left Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was working closely with the homosexual groups in this effort. (The ADL has recently come under fire in the Jewish press and elsewhere for their obnoxious activities.) The ADL was also helping coordinate a massive PR campaign in the Boston media to pass the bill, which even began before the public hearing. It was pretty incredible. There was probably at least one newspaper article, radio spot, or TV spot every few days for the last three months. The left-wing media lapped it up and (naturally) declined to include any opposing views. But despite a wildly successful campaign to push the need for anti-bullying legislation, they couldn't persuade the public (or the left-wing Senate) that homosexual indoctrination in schools was the answer.
But the "anti-bullying" bill the Senate passed is still very troubling
The Senate's "anti-bullying bill", S2313, is still very troubling. The Legislature is attempting to solve the school bullying problems by adding layers of costly bureaucracy to schools, instituting mandatory reporting by all school staff, and imposing an annual stream of "training" in every grade and for every staff member.
And curiously, the Ways and Means Committee added amendments to the bill to rewrite the statutes regarding stalking and harassment pertaining to the general public, which only peripherally includes school bullying and was not part of the original language. Why was this necessary? We don't know.
Read complete text of bill S2313 with our analysis HERE
A lot of troubling issues.
Will this work? Is this the best solution or a quick reaction to an emotional media campaign? Or . . . is this something that's better handled by the Department of Education instead of politicians?
In any case, if this law ultimately gets passed, it won't be easily changed. So parents and schools had better be ready to live with it.
The Boston Globe was so excited they put it on the front page the next morning!