Is anti-gay bullying protected under freedom of religion? According to lawmakers in Michigan, it is. The Republican-controlled state Senate passed an “anti-bullying” bill Wednesday that would allow students, teachers, and other school employees to claim they are justified in harassing others because of “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”
The bill, which awaits approval in the GOP-dominated Michigan House of Representatives, is called “Matt’s Safe School Law” in honor of a bullied student who committed suicide, but the exemption in the text of the bill would actually do more to protect bullies than their victims. The ramifications for LGBT students are particularly frightening, since now the cruelty of those who bully them will be excused under the guise of religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong.