Profiling a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after years of alleged anti-gay taunts at school, CNN’s Anderson Cooper covered opposition to bullying legislation in Kentucky by highlighting state Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Danville, who believes homosexuality is a sin.
Earlier this year, state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, introduced a bill that would prohibit bullying because of a student’s race, religion or sexual orientation.
The measure passed by an overwhelming majority in a House committee, but it stalled when Harmon filed a number of amendments, including a provision that allows students to express their religious beliefs against homosexuality as long as their actions do not include physical harm or destruction of property.
“If someone, just in conversation, said, ‘You know, I think homosexuality is a sin,’ well, we don’t want that child to be bullied because they have a certain moral or religious belief,” Harmon told WHAS-11 in March. “And we don’t want them, certainly don’t want them to be labeled a bully just because they have that particular belief.”
Gay rights advocates locally and nationally condemned the move, but Harmon’s amendments did effectively kill the bill and it was recommitted to the House Appropriations and Revenue committee until the next legislative session.
Cooper briefly mentioned Harmon among many other opponents to such legislation, who argue it is unnecessary and pushes a gay agenda.
Harmon made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary on a ticket with Louisville businessman Phil Moffett.