Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Written by Walter Pierce
Much, but not enough, has been written about the Louisiana Family Forum’s latest push back against the radical gay agenda. By radical gay agenda I mean gay people having the same rights and civil protections as everyone else. Because they’re like everyone else, except they’re not wrecking the institution of marriage like us straight people have been doing since Bible days, although I’m sure if more states gave gays the right to marry they could finally make a worthy contribution.
At this writing, House Bill 1101 by Rep. John Schroder of Covington is in the House Education Committee while Senate Bill 217 by Sen. A.G. Crowe of Slidell is before the full Senate.
Crowe and Schroder will tell you their bills aren’t about gay people. Let’s be nice and call the lawmakers mendacious. Or delusional. Anything with LFF’s imprimatur on it is about gays. And creationism. And a bucolic white America of God-fearing nuclear families, chirping birds, packed pews and moral conviction that never actually existed in an abundance uniform enough to say that’s who we were and look at what we’re becoming.
Crowe’s bill is ostensibly about barring government entities in Louisiana from setting their own rules about the anti-discrimination policies of companies with which they contract; because state contract law only enumerates race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex and disability as worthy of protection. Sexual orientation, special needs and a host of other characteristics are not, according to the great state of Louisiana, worthy of equal protection.
But the state Department of Education’s charter application form includes sexual orientation as a protected characteristic. Crowe’s bill would undo that. In fact, it appears to prevent any governmental body — a city council, a school board, a housing authority — from insisting that entities with which it does business don’t discriminate against gays. That may float buoyantly in Ouachita Parish where the hoodie problem is not of the Trayvon Martin variety. Not so much in Orleans.
Anything with LFF’s imprimatur on it is about gays. And creationism.
Crowe’s bill is really about allowing private, state-funded charter schools, which will likely proliferate exponentially in coming years, to tell gay students they’re not welcome.
Crowe insists the law has nothing to do with that, a position echoed by state Superintendent John White. But as The Times-Picayune’s Stephanie Grace pointed out last week, the charter school aspect is virtually all that was discussed during a Senate committee hearing on the bill a couple of weeks ago. An LSU law professor speaking in support of the bill acknowledged as much. A board member for a New Orleans parochial charter testified for the bill, essentially saying that discriminating against gays is a religious prerogative.
Crowe was present and could have easily clarified his bill’s intent. He didn’t. It’s about the gay kids.
Schroder’s bill, meanwhile, is superficially an anti-bullying bill, but it parrots so-called “license to bully” bills that thankfully failed in other states this year. The pernicious dagger sheathed in Schroder’s bill is a caveat giving an exemption for acts that would otherwise be considered bullying as long as they’re motivated by “religious, philosophical or political views.”
Rather than give charter schools and homophobes — and the children of homophobes — tacit permission via this legislative winking and nodding to discriminate and bully, why not fully enumerate in state law characteristics including sexual orientation that should be protected from discrimination and bullying? There are bills in both chambers of the Legislature that would do exactly that — bills that will likely fail under pressure from the LFF, because this is about the radical gay agenda, that bogeyman in garish, rainbow-striped hot pants trotted out by the religious right to cool the loins of godly men and shrivel the wombs of righteous women. Crowe and Schroder are legislating at the bidding of the LFF, the most virulently anti-equality group in Louisiana and one with close ties to the Family Research Council, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
There’s nothing insidious about the gay agenda. Gay people can no more recruit converts than Marcus Bachmann can pray away the gay. News flash: Gays — to riff on Lady Gaga — are born that way. They can’t make more gays, but they can use legal mechanisms at their disposal to promote and institutionalize tolerance.
With a phalanx of widely publicized anti-gay politicians who turned out to be closeted homosexuals lining up behind them, Crowe and Schroder might have more in common than just being lawmakers from St. Tammany Parish.
A nationwide search is under way to fill the vacancy of Lafayette Regional Airport Director Greg Roberts following his resignation over an incident in which he allegedly pointed a fake gun at an engineer during a meeting in June, and a replacement is expected by January.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.