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People Apparently Don’t Die From Anti-Gay Bullying

People Apparently Don’t Die From Anti-Gay Bullying


As the Obama administration has worked to use current federal law to protect LGBT students, some conservative rights groups are protesting saying the issue doesn’t warrant federal action.

Conservative groups are griping that the Obama administration has in some cases been using Title IX, a law banning sex discrimination, to apply to discrimination against students who don’t conform to gender stereotypes and on that basis has cited Title IX in, for instance, the Anoka-Hennepin federal investigation.

Conservative commentators believe this is a step too far for the federal government and, what is more, they apparently think it’s an overreaction.

Reports TPM:

“I should say upfront I’m against bullying,” Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity, who testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights against DOJ’s interpretation of the law, told TPM.

“I think that bullying on the basis of sexual orientation is clearly not an area in which there is federal authority,” Clegg said. “The legal question aside, I also thing as a policy matter, this is not an issue in which the federal government’s involvement is going to help.”

Using Title IX in cases involving gay kids has actually been going on since 1999 and the Wagner v. Fayetteville Public Schools case, with plenty more examples after that including Ray v. Antioch Unified School District, 2000; Montgomery v. Independent School District No. 709, 2000; and Henkle v. Gregory, 2001. Title IX has also been interpreted to specifically cover gender expression since the 2005 case Theno v. Tonganoxie. That the Obama admin is now more vigorously enforcing this standard may be new but that doesn’t mean it is beyond the administration’s power. Regardless, Clegg continues (emphasis added):

Clegg believes that schools have the responsibility to protect their students from bullying but that the issue is better handled on the local and state level.

“You’d think that the gay community of all communities would understand that it’s not a good idea for the government to make up a law when it wants to go after an unpopular group or when it wants to score political points,” Clegg said.

This is not a situation in which, if the federal government doesn’t go in, nobody can do anything and people are going to die or anything like that,” Clegg said. “There are state and local governments in addition to the schools that can get involved. I don’t find this to be a really difficult issue.”

Remember how in the Anoka-Hennepin school district at least nine kids took their own lives due to bullying? How six students then had to take the District to court and a federal investigation had to be conducted before the District would retire its gay gag rule on not discussing homosexuality and actually affirm that it would protect LGBT students from bullying?

And remember how for the past couple of years there’s been several waves of suicides across America where we’d wake up day after day to find yet another life lost due to harassment and torment in schools?

And remember how recently a Ohio teen was beaten in the classroom for being gender nonconforming and the school administration asked how they could change him to make it stop rather than actually protect his right to self expression?

But no. None of that must have happened because it’s not as if “people are going to die or anything like that” if the government doesn’t step in.


Related Reading:

Seth Walsh’s Mom Speaks Out About Her Son’s Anti-LGBT Bullying Related Death

Bullied Gay Teen Who Attempted Suicide Dies in Hospital

Ellen DeGeneres has an Important Message for LGBT Youth


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Image used under the Stock.xchng photo license with thanks to duchesssa.

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1:28PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Roger Clegg should never go to Sweden. In Swedish slang his last name means "stupid and mean". Just a suggestion, Mr. Clegg, so you don't get bullied.

6:49PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

Sad very sad! How many more kids have to die before It stops!

10:15AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

It's continually amazing to me that people are fighting for the right to discriminate against, be unkind to, insult, and publicly discredit other people only because of their gender or sexual orientation (and sometimes their race or religion). Is the freedom to not have to treat all people with basic respect so precious? What would really happen in the world if, whatever our own feelings and beliefs about things, we treated everyone with dignity and compassion?

9:40AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Clegg said it right here; that government should not make up laws to go after unpopular groups or to score political points. But that is EXACTLY what Republicans are doing with abortion laws and contraception laws and defunding Planned Parenthood.

5:22AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

People who bully others are scared little people that need help.They do this to bring attentions to them selfes . The school systom needs to see this and get them help.

4:57AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

More compassionate conservatism. So true Christians are supposed to lack empathy? Compassion? Why?

3:15AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

All bullying is serious

7:41PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

I realize that I might be totally alone in this...but to my way of thinking, death is preferable to suffering.

6:49PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

If Roger Clegg is going to lie, couldn't he at least try to make it a plausible lie?
Or does he think we are all as stupid and/or misinformed as he is?

4:08PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

These folks want it both ways; they want the feds in women's bodies, but cry foul when people want protection. That's because they are bullies themselves.

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