Congratulations to Gene Mills, Executive Director of the Louisiana Family Forum, for his courageous decision to publicly admit that he can easily control the Louisiana legislature.
Last week, the Louisiana legislature debated the merits of a relatively innocuous school bullying bill.
In short, the bill said (paraphrasing here): Kids, don’t bully people. Don’t bully other kids because they’re different. Don’t bully them because they’re physically or mentally challenged. Don’t bully them because they’re overweight. Don’t bully them because you think they may be gay. Bullying is bad. Be civilized and respectful. It’s a public classroom.
Austin Badon’s HB 112 was endorsed and supported by the Louisiana Association of Educators. After all, it’s common sense.
But don’t tell that to Gene Mills. Under his leadership, the so-called Louisiana “Family” Forum has had very little to do with promoting families and much more to do with fighting gay and lesbian Louisianans. At times, the LFF appears to be nothing more than an organization that implicitly endorses discrimination and bigotry.
In addition to the Louisiana Association of Educators, HB 112 was also supported by at least two Louisiana-based gay rights organizations– notably, the Forum for Equality. These organizations rallied hard for the legislation. They handed out petitions and solicited endorsements. More than likely, they believed the bill was innocuous enough to pass. There’s not a lobby for bigoted school bullies, right? From Gannett columnist Mike Hasten:
What should have been a debate over what we could do in House Bill 112 to protect our children became a homophobic witch hunt.
At the core of it was Gene Mills, the director of a conservative religious group called the Louisiana Family Forum. Mills regularly injects his opinion into state government, so much so that one senator asked last year in debate of a seemingly innocuous bill, “How does the Family Forum stand on this?”
The senator said that since he had not received information from Family Forum, the bill should be shelved until he heard from Mills. The Senate agreed. The next week, the bill sailed through, seemingly with Mills’ blessings.
Do any of you ever remember voting for Gene Mills for a statewide office?
Even Mills seems to know that the joke’s on us. Mills, who probably speaks about homosexuality more than the vast majority of gay and lesbian Americans, singled out the support of gay rights groups in order to paint HB 112 as a “homosexual bullying bill.” How Christlike. Quoting:
After the bill was defeated, Mills told a reporter that the reaction to his message “was the kind of thing that was amusing. All I did was drop a floor note.”
If all Mills has to do is drop a floor note. then please allow me:
Dear Honorable Representatives and Senators:
Gene Mills knows that he owns you.