Monday, January 25, 2010

South Carolina: One Giant Step Backwards

During the 2009 session of the South Carolina General Assembly, Republican Representative Joan Brady introduced a Dating Violence Bill that would require the State Department of Education to develop a model dating violence policy in collaboration with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

This new policy would aid school districts in developing policies for reporting, and responding to, incidents of dating violence for grades 6-12. The Bill would require that school districts include dating violence education in its health education curriculum, and that the Department of Education review and approve grade level topics relating to dating violence and healthy relationships.

The General Assembly recognized that when a student is a victim of dating violence, that student's academic life suffers, and his or her safety at school is jeopardized, and so every school district should have a policy in place. The bill specifically stated that all students have a right to work and study in a safe, supportive environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, and violence.

A companion bill to Representative Brady's proposal was then introduced in the Senate by Senator Phil Leventis and included the same gender neutrality as the original bill. Dating violence was defined as a pattern of behavior where one person uses threats of, or actually uses, physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control his or her dating partner. A dating partner was defined as a person, regardless of gender, involved in an intimate, affectionate relationship with another, whether casual, serious, or long term.

Wordy, but you get the meaning.

The bill passed the first reading in the House intact, though, near the end of the session last May, as the second reading neared, Repugnant Representative Greg Delleney proposed an amendment that redefined the “dating partner” as a person involved in a heterosexual dating relationship only. Shockingly, that amendment was approved. The rationale behind the amendment was that Delleney, an old school Southern fucktard, asshat moron, did not want this bill to give the schools the opportunity to discuss homosexuality—even though there was nothing in the bill that indicated that this would occur.

No, don't discuss homosexuality, and make the bill specifically preclude anyone who might be gay, and in a relationship, from being protected against violence. That, of course, is the South Carolina holier-than-thou bullshit Christian thing to do. You think being gay is a sin, then its okay for gay kids to be verbally, emotionally, and physically abused at school.

Still, when news of Delleny's wishing to basically allow violence against gay students to continue, South Carolina Equality members mobilized, contracting contact their Representatives and asking that they vote No on this bill during its third reading and send it back to committee to have the discriminatory and unnecessary amendment removed. The bill did not receive a third reading during the 2009 session, though it will be brought up again this month. If it passes, it goes to the Senate where South Carolina Equality is committed to working with its allies in the Senate to stop the bill until the offensive amendment is removed.

I get it that South Carolina is a deeply religious state, and people use their religion to inform their every decision, from voting decisions to how drunk they'll get after Church this Sunday, but to allow violence against anyone to continue unchecked simply because you don't like their sexual orientation, and it doesn't fit into your limited world view, is unconscionable.

And decidedly un-Christian.


Wonder Man said...

This is a mess, oh SC!

Old Midhurstian said...

What an unholy mess! Pun intended.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting that friends and family are just jumping for joy, and folks with any sense are just simply ashamed. Between this and the Lt Govenors comparison between folks who receive aid with food to "feeding stray animals". I've an ex from South Carolina and am certain that he's not proud of this evil posing as virtue. For Shame asshat's you represent your state. Stop embarrassing it's citizens with your nonsensical willful ignorance. Evil going around in "holy drag" yet again.

Dean Grey said...


I guess they think gay students don't date!




sigh Bob!
Politics continue to annoy me somehow...& the worst are those hypocrites so called "Christians"!
I'm a Christian & believe in LOVE over ignorance/fear!

Kyle said...

Why am I not surprised? Oh yes, now I remember, I grew up in the south. This most certainly is every conservatives policy. In their minds it is perfectly fine to be violent toward someone who is gay.