Conservative activist draws ire for comments on anti-bullying law

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Conservative activist David Fowler has made national news for his bigoted stance on homosexuality, but he’s not alone in his anti-GLBT attitudes.

Fowler, a former Republican state senator, is president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee. The group’s December newsletter said it wants "to make sure (the legislation) protects the religious liberty and free speech rights of students who want to express their views on homosexuality."

Fowler told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that "the purpose is to stop bullying, not create special classes of people who are more important than others."

The Free Press also reports that conservative lawmakers may attempt to adjust the bill to fit their anti-GLBT agenda:

The legislation did not move in the General Assembly last year as lawmakers battled over other gay-related legislation that drew national attention.

The Senate sponsor of changes to the bullying law, Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, is "reviewing the legislation" and will likely "narrow" the "very broad" current bill, a Tracy aide said Tuesday.

A selection of headlines across the country demonstrate skepticism and anger over these possible changes:

  • "Don’t Say ‘Gay’– But ‘Sodomite, Pervert’ Are Fine" – Huffington Post
  • "Bullying on Religious Grounds?" – Philadelphia Magazine
  • "Tennessee Bill Would Provide License to Bully" – Lez Get Real
  • "A Religious Exemption for Bullying in Tennessee Schools?" Out & About Newspaper