Thursday, March 07, 2013

TN Lawmakers Attack Vanderbilt University, Again

Religious zealots in the Tennessee State Legislature aim to force Vanderbilt University to allow university sponsored clubs to practice bigotry. Unless Vandy complies with their wishes, the proposed bill would retaliate by transforming Vandy police into security guards.    

They don't call Tennessee lawmakers the worst in the nation for no reason.  Indeed, Tennessee legislators are so practiced at the art of repressive lawmaking that it can be quite difficult to keep up with their many offenses against we the people. 

This latest is the effort of a couple of lawmaking religious zealots -- state Rep. Mark Pody and state Sen. Mae Beavers -- to force Vanderbilt University to embrace discrimination against gays (and whoever else Christian students happen to feel like shunning).
In other words, the lawmakers are intent upon protecting the right of religious groups to practice bigotry:  

A pair of Middle Tennessee lawmakers said they will press ahead with a bill that would strip the Vanderbilt University Police Department of state recognition unless the school abandons its “all-comers” policy. That policy requires university-sponsored clubs to follow its rules against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The bill would defy the wishes of Gov. Bill Haslam, who vetoed a measure last year that attacked the all-comers rule from a different angle...
  “I just find it unbelievable,” said August Washington, chief of the Vanderbilt University Police Department.

Senate Bill 1241/House Bill 1150, sponsored by state Rep. Mark Pody and state Sen. Mae Beavers, would take police powers away from any university that has adopted policies that “discriminate” against religious student organizations. Seventeen universities in Tennessee have their own police departments.
THINK PROGRESS: Tennessee Bill Would Eliminate Campus Police If Universities Don’t Allow Christian Clubs To Discriminate