Okay, Kentucky isn’t willing to prohibit Bubba from beating the pea-snot out of his classmates because they’re gay, or disabled, or Jewish, or African-American. The Republicans who are willing to legislate every conceivable nook and cranny of a woman’s body are suddenly deeply concerned about unnecessary legislation:
Defeated largely along party lines by a vote of 13-10, Republicans successfully killed House Bill 336, which according to The Courier-Journal, “called for a prohibition on bullying and harassment in schools, including acts motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities and other distinguishing characteristics.” Republicans say that existing anti-bullying laws are sufficient to solve the problem, but Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, the sponsor of the bill, says the new language would create stronger protections because it specifically identifies students by group. This makes perfect sense. This way, teachers and school administrators could no longer get away with allowing bullies to have free reign over certain groups.
But Republicans don’t care. Democratic Rep. Marzian is outraged that the GOP could refuse to help kids who are different. “I’m astounded at the lack of compassion among Republicans who claim to care about people, but obviously they don’t,” she said. “It’s typical of their all talk and no action.”
And although Hopkinsville Representative John Tilley’s bill to extend domestic violence protection cleared house committee today. And of course, Republican state senator Tom Jensen said he wouldn’t even allow a vote on the bill. Why? Because, of course, there mustn’t be too many laws.
A measure to extend domestic violence protections to dating couples passed out of a House committee on Wednesday for the fourth time in four years. All but four states already have a similar law, but proposals in Kentucky have repeatedly died in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Tom Jensen, R-London, said Wednesday that he would not call a vote on House Bill 498 or a similar Senate bill, but he would be willing to consider the issue after the legislature adjourns in April.
Currently, civil domestic violence protections are only given if a couple has been married, has lived together or has a child together. Jensen said all domestic violence issues already are covered by the criminal code.
“If someone assaults me, then they will be arrested,” he said. “Under the criminal code, the judge can put conditions on their bond.”
Jensen also said it’s unfair to say the bill provides protections for “dating” couples because some dating couples — those who have lived together or had a child together — can already get civil domestic violence protections.
To kickstart the bill, supporters held a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda with the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville. Tilley is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which passed his bill shortly afterward.
Tilley called the measure a “vital piece of legislation” that would “cast a stronger safety net for all Kentuckians.”
Dating couples can already file criminal charges in cases of domestic violence. But allowing them to work through the civil court system could save the state as much as $85 million a year, Tilley said.
In addition, advocates say that civil protective orders can happen more quickly than orders procuded by criminal courts. For example, protective orders generally are served immediately, are often taken more seriously by police, and may last for an extended time.
House Bill 498 would define a dating relationship as one of “romantic or intimate nature” but does not include “casual acquaintanceship or business fraternization.” It was taken from the Texas statute and the federal definition, Tilley said.
Remember, these are the same Republicans who are willing to make new crimes of anything to appear tough on crime, but not when it is done to a non-white, non-straight male.
And their concern for not clogging up the books with too many of those pesky laws? Well, that’s a sometimes thang…in Arizona, the legislature is more than willing to pass a new law expressly doing away with protection that would keep a company from firing a woman for buying contraceptive health insurance coverage with her own money! And then, there’s Texas:
Finally, the entire orgy of misogynists gone wild is generating its backlash, not only with Limbaugh advertisers, but also with the Virginia senator whose fetal personhood bill was abandoned. That senator is reaping the snark whirlwind. Good luck to him on coming up with answers for all those questions.