Teen Dating Violence: No Protection For Gays In South Carolina
The “gay-agenda”. You hear that a lot. A gay-agenda, loosely defined, translates as the belief by some Conservative sections of society that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are attempting to indoctrinate the American people into accepting homosexuality.
If you follow gay-rights topics, you’ll probably hear it on a daily basis. However, I didn’t expect to hear it as part of a discussion on helping parents recognize if their sons and daughters are being subjected to violence by the people they’re dating, but in South Carolina yesterday, Wednesday 13th of May, a bill to formalize policies on teen dating violence that would also aid in teaching parents to recognize the warning signs and seek help if they suspect abuse, drew criticism and sparked debate in the House as to whether gay relationships should be included, or if it is pushing the “gay-agenda” in schools.
The Dating Violence bill would require schools in South Carolina to create a specific policy that would address teenage dating violence and would mean that annual reports would have to be compiled on the subject, as well as new sections being drawn up and added to the school district’s handbook and website, outlining those aforementioned policies as well stipulating rules and codes of conduct to make it expressly clear that this kind of violent interaction would not be tolerated.
Unfortunately, the bill that was introduced by Representative Joan Brady, (R-Richland), was subjected to an amendment by Representative Greg Delleney (R-Chester) who wanted the bill to completely exclude homosexual relationships and instead focus solely on violence in heterosexual teen relationships. The amendment was successful.
Rep. Delleney had this to say about the amendment, “I don’t want the Department of Education or school districts to teach children in grades six through twelve about (same-sex) relationships.” — TheState.com
Others disliking the bill said it was a backhanded way of pushing the gay agenda into schools and would have a normalizing effect. Joan Brady, the original sponsor of the bill, was fine with the amendment, though she did reiterate that she wanted to protect all students, before going on to say, “The predominant occurrence of teen dating violence occurs in girl-boy relationships.”
This is a misnomer; if a predominance of heterosexual relationships are surveyed, the instances of violence in homosexual relationships will look relatively small because the number of relationships is, in comparison, smaller. But taken on its own merit, proportionally, the statistics are roughly always the same, meaning that homosexual teens are just as likely to be abused by their partners.
Add to this the fact that teenagers may not yet have come-out to their parents, there is additional leverage for a controlling partner to further secure their hold on their victims. To not cater for this as part of this bill is a startling thing. The word bigotry is banded around a lot when it comes to people opposing homosexuality, as is the term homophobia. I’m not going to use those words.
Instead, I am going to say that by not including LGBTs in this bill, the words that are being said is that, because objectors do not want homosexuality broached in schools, they are willing to forfeit the well-being of LGBT students in violent and abusive relationships so that they can be seen to be actively resisting the condoning of homosexual people.
This is wrong, and it sends the message to already vulnerable gay youths that society does not care about their welfare as much as it cares about heterosexual teenagers.
Some may say that gay, lesbian and transgender relationships will be covered in the handbook by the catch-all heterocentric approach, but this ignores the very important fact that there are specific issues for young gays and lesbians that are quite separate from those faced in heterosexual relationship, never mind the issues faced by young transgender students.
Overall, this is the equivalent of South Carolina closing its eyes and pretending that, by not naming it, violence in homosexual relationships, and homosexuals themselves, will simply disappear. It will not, they will not, and to pretend otherwise is offensive, but more importantly, it could be dangerous, and the real people that loose out here, are the children of South Carolina.