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Senate passes amendment withholding money
June 14, 2001 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Senate passes amendment withholding money from schools that deny use of their facilities to the Boy Scouts on the grounds of their exclusion of homosexuals. Says Jesse Helms, sponsor of the amendment to Bush's education bill, this is meant to combat "the organized lesbians and homosexuals in this country of ours." Is this justified in light of the Supreme Court's ruling that the Scouts have the right to exclude whomever they wish, or just flat out anti-homosexual?
posted by zempf (34 comments total)

 
Any chance it's both?
posted by jfuller at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2001


Any chance it's both?

No, I don't think it is. The Boy Scouts are allowed to discriminate because they are a private organization and can write their own rules on entrance requirements. The schools, however, are supposed to be open to all. By allowing the Boy Scouts to use their facilities, they are violating their own policies. The Boy Scouts can go find a school that doesn't care about their twisted morality. Young gay boys and gay men who want to be scoutmasters can't go find an alternate Boy Scouts, because there isn't one.
posted by starvingartist at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2001


Well, I can see how you'd be able to justify this with the Supreme's ruling, however I'd love to see Mr. Helms' stance on this if a group of the North Carolina Satanists Association wanted to convene after school somewhere. I have a feeling this was less an attempt to uphold the freedom of groups to assemble in schools than an attempt to get back at those nasty homosexuals that Mr. Helms seems to have somewhat of a dislike for.
posted by zempf at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2001


Since when have the Boy Scouts become a group that is so critical to a persons development that the government can withhold funds from schools based on this? I agree they should have the right to exclude them, however shouldn't schools have the right to exclude the Boy Scouts?
posted by magellan at 1:03 PM on June 14, 2001


Helms is a bigot, tried and true. There is nothing in the Constitution that says homosexuality is wrong. The majority of anti-homosexuality thinking seems to come from religion, and I don't care that the Puritans "founded" this country, we are not ruled by religion. That's why we have separation of church and state. "Created equal" always comes down to "created equal... as long as you're like me", and it pisses me off to no end. The decent people who understand this never seem to get elected. It's always the ignorant bigots.
posted by starvingartist at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2001


> The schools, however, are supposed to be open to all.

Not all school functions are open to all people. The first grade, for example, typically discriminates on the basis of age. Exclusion is the essence of diversity. (Hums "you can't have one without the ... O-ther...")
posted by jfuller at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2001


somehow, i don't see this fitting in with the whole 'local control over schools' angle that so many GOPers crow about.
posted by tolkhan at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2001


Can't the Senate pass an amendment declaring Jesse Helms dead for the purpose of passing legislation?
posted by holgate at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2001


I think Bill Hicks was right. When Jesse dies, we're going to find a collection of bloody little shoes in his attic, along with books written on human skin. The man is so comfortable sucking Big Tobacco's cock, what does he care what other people do with theirs?
posted by Ezrael at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2001


"Says Jesse Helms, sponsor of the amendment to Bush's education bill, this is meant to combat "the organized lesbians and homosexuals in this country of ours."

yeah! about time to! those uppity american gays are destroying our planet!

they... umm... uhh....

what *are* they doing that's damaging our country?

and who get's to deny the senate money for denying money to schools that deny time to organizations that deny stuff for homosexuals.

god. i feel like i'm in a dr. suess book.
posted by jcterminal at 1:50 PM on June 14, 2001


zempf: He does make an exception for gay tobacco farmers.
posted by raysmj at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2001


So where was this new liberal Senate we were supposed to get when Jeffords defected? I'm still waiting.
posted by solistrato at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2001


Some days I feel like I'm in bizzarro world.
posted by bshort at 2:34 PM on June 14, 2001


So where was this new liberal Senate we were supposed to get when Jeffords defected?

Look, it's this simple. If you're a senator who might have a tough re-election fight, who do you want to vote for, the Boy Scouts, or queers? The Republicans have used homosexuality as a wedge issue for years, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Is it hypocritical? Sure. It may even be unconstitutional, and perhaps the Supremes will strike it down. But it's pretty good politics in terms of firming up his base.
posted by anapestic at 3:05 PM on June 14, 2001


Zell bloody Miller. Of whom my girlfriend said, after meeting him, "how did such a hick get to be Governor?"

(Jean Carnahan was the other "yea" from the Democrat side.)
posted by holgate at 3:07 PM on June 14, 2001


Well, I can see how you'd be able to justify this with the Supreme's ruling, however I'd love to see Mr. Helms' stance on this if a group of the North Carolina Satanists Association wanted to convene after school somewhere.

If a school allows after-school clubs, it's not allowed to discriminate based on the beliefs of those after-school clubs (within behavioral limits, of course, which is why you're not allowed to have the Lincoln High Doobie Smookers Club as an official activity). If there are Christian clubs operating on a recognized basis, they'd have to allow the Satanist Club on a similar basis. Schools in Utah have been known to ban all official student clubs lest Gay-Straight Alliances be started.

This isn't the same as the Boy Scout issue, which about a non-school organization using school facilities for meetings, but it's related.
posted by snarkout at 3:10 PM on June 14, 2001


How does he feel about disorganised homosexuals?


"Oh no, it's Pride and I can't find anything to wear and my sock drawer is all jumbled up and my wardrobe's a mess!"


Sorry.
posted by Grangousier at 3:12 PM on June 14, 2001



what *are* they doing that's damaging our country?

You know what, jcterminal, I like you. You're not like the other people, here, on this weblog.

Oh, don't go get me wrong. They're fine people, they're good Americans. But they don't know what the queers are doing to the soil.
posted by webmutant at 3:39 PM on June 14, 2001


And you can bet there'll be plenty of parades and assemblies of all colors, creeds and sizes in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area when Jesse's gone. There's good reason to believe the old man won't be running again in 2002.

Then again, Strom Thurmond is still going at 90-something, right? Sometimes I wonder how long Southern Blowhards can last...
posted by salsamander at 3:47 PM on June 14, 2001


hmm. I wish I could afford to expatriate.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2001


Lost in this screeching mob of Helms-hyperhate is the more important underlying point: Once again, an old liberal procedural trick has finally turned around and bitten them on the ass. This all goes back to the 1980s, when the Democratic-controlled House starting running rampant over states' rights, by introducing legislation that said "Either you do what we tell you, or we'll start cutting you out of your shares of tax money." For example, the law that required all states to lower the drinking age to 18 against their will, or else lose huge percentages of absolutely vital highway maintenance funds. What's good for the goose is apparantly not much appreciated by the gander when the tables are turned, is it? (Ugh, mixed metaphor.) The amazing thing is that it took Republicans so long to get the guts to use this tactic themselves. Maybe if they do this a little more, eventually the Dems will agree to drop the tactic permanently and restore the proper balance between federal and state governments.

So where was this new liberal Senate we were supposed to get when Jeffords defected? I'm still waiting.

You got suckered in by false liberal media reports. The Senate does not operate under the same rules as the House. Each individual senator has the power to introduce, amend and filibuster legislation almost as much as s/he wants. The majority party has some power over regulating the calendar, they get the prestige of committee chairmanships and such, and of course they're required to actually appear to be proactive instead of reactive (good luck, Daschle! "No no no" won't cut it any more). But as we have just seen here, in the Senate it's the votes that count! If a senator can muster up the votes for something, he's going to get it passed. So you've got 49 Republicans, 1 wimpy "independent", and 50 Democrats, a number of whom are pretty conservative themselves. This means the Senate remains conservative.

("Sucking Big Tobacco's cock?" Truly a nadir in MeFi discussion history.)
posted by aaron at 8:59 PM on June 14, 2001



For example, the law that required all states to lower the drinking age to 18 against their will, or else lose huge percentages of absolutely vital highway maintenance funds.

Reagan, who was president at the time, and a republican, was one of the people who allowed the 18 year drinking age lever to pass. So I guess the republicans have had there hands as dirtied by the tactic as the democrats.
posted by drezdn at 10:23 PM on June 14, 2001


When someone tacks an amendment onto an unrelated but incredibly important and high-profile piece of legislation, the president can't simply veto the entire bill because of the one bad provision. Otherwise he opens himself up to millions of dollars of lying TV ads the next time around claiming something like, "The President vetoed the Free Medicine for Sick Kids Act. Do you want to reelect this MONSTER?!"

Surprise, politics is complicated.
posted by aaron at 10:34 PM on June 14, 2001


You want nadir, aaron? Let's look at Jesse's history. Here Jesse gives good head in order to get funding for The Helms Center which mainly exists to get Jesse Money.

Here we see who Jesse's top contributors have been between 1995 and 2000. Recognize anyone?

Here, Jesse takes it on the face for big tobacco. It's kind of graphic, so you may not want to look.

You want to talk to me about the nadir of MetaFilter discussion? The fact that any human being in the entire world would stand up and defend this censorious, bigoted, bloated whore for companies whose main product makes death happen, who need to recruit new bodies in order to make up for all the people they kill every single year, who deliberately addict people to a product they know is deadly...well, that, to me, is the nadir of any discourse.

Yes, I hate Jesse Helms. And I'm proud of it.
posted by Ezrael at 11:17 PM on June 14, 2001


This is why we should have kept the line-item veto. Yes, even with Shrub in the White House. Tacking things on bills as aaron said is a scummy thing both parties do to make the President in question look like an a-hole.

BTW, Jesse Helms is an a-hole.
posted by owillis at 11:48 PM on June 14, 2001


This is why we should have kept the line-item veto. Yes, even with Shrub in the White House. Tacking things on bills as aaron said is a scummy thing both parties do to make the President in question look like an a-hole.

The line item veto is a great idea, but it is obviously unconstitutional without an amendment. The Supreme Court was completely right on that one.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:01 AM on June 15, 2001


Yeah, they definitely interpreted existing law on that case. But I would like to see an amendment come up making it law.
posted by owillis at 12:27 AM on June 15, 2001


Completely agree with the legislative principle here. The amount of things that get tacked onto Criminal Justice Bills in the UK would frankly stagger those used to the separation of powers. Especially when they're guillotined through "as if they have been examined in the Commons" by the huge Labour majority. (Democracy first, please.)

And Jesse Helms isn't dead yet because he sold his soul to Philip Morris.
posted by holgate at 5:32 AM on June 15, 2001


The line item veto is a great idea, but it is obviously unconstitutional without an amendment. The Supreme Court was completely right on that one.

Not only that, the line-item veto was only for specific financial bills. I was really excited about the line-item until I heard what little power it really had.
posted by starvingartist at 5:50 AM on June 15, 2001


What I don't understand is that if the Boy Scouts (fnar fnar) are a private organisation then surely they have no right to demand resources from publicly funded institutions.

Which part am I getting wrong.
Help me out here guys.
posted by fullerine at 7:00 AM on June 15, 2001


You want to talk to me about the nadir of MetaFilter discussion? The fact that any human being in the entire world would stand up and defend this censorious, bigoted, bloated whore ...is the nadir of any discourse

So having an opinion and stating that opinion is the "nadir of any discourse?" Wow, Ez, you really take the cake on that one. I guess you're still pretty angry and I'm sure glad you're not the one in charge around here.
posted by mikewas at 8:49 AM on June 15, 2001


What I don't understand is that if the Boy Scouts (fnar fnar) are a private organisation then surely they have no right to demand resources from publicly funded institutions.

That's like saying that since I am a private individual I have no right to attend a public school. The public is all of us private folk, collectively.
posted by kindall at 8:58 AM on June 15, 2001


Well, except for gay people, of course...
posted by turaho at 10:45 AM on June 15, 2001


As well you should be, Mike. Matt does a much better job dealing with this site than I ever would. I am indeed angry. I'm angry at the people I've loved who were stolen from me by Mr. Helms' favorite charity. I'm angry that I can post practical essays here and have them be ignored, yet when I post a ten line tidbit about Helms' homophobia and his willingness to debase himself for money and preach hate (and a more ugly hatemonger the Senate hasn't seen since McCarthy...even Thurmond looks sort of moderate next to him) then people bother to respond. I'm basically angry, you bet, although not as much as before. Before, I would have written pages on how pissed I was. Now, I realize how useless it is, how little people listen, and how I'd ultimately preaching to the choir. Either you think Helms is indirectly responsible for people dying every day, or you don't. (And the indirectness is pretty damn narrow.)

Yeah, it's a good thing I'm not in charge. I'd lose what little equanimity the past few years have bestowed on me.
posted by Ezrael at 12:33 AM on June 16, 2001


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