Yeah, I’m blogging about wingnuts and their freakish sexual authoritarian agenda again. Sue me.
I went to the Planned Parenthood luncheon today, where national PP President Cecile Richards was the keynote speaker. She was outstanding. She had us at times laughing, crying, and on our feet cheering. She’s also the daughter of the late, great Texas Governor Ann Richards, which many of us didn’t know before today. The best thing about the luncheon was how staunchly unapologetic Cecile and all the other presenters were about defending respectful comprehensive health care for women. The second best thing was learning from AZ Planned Parenthood President Brian Howard that the organization did a poll in Arizona to test public attitudes toward Planned Parenthood. The result was 16% of respondents expressing disapproval and 70% saying they approved of Planned Parenthood. Yay.
Much of the discussion between courses and speeches at our table was about the crazy Republicans in the Arizona Legislature. Senate Minority Leader David Schapira came to the luncheon a bit late and said he’d been at the press conference at the State Capitol this morning where Democratic leaders denounced Cathi Herrod and her Center for Arizona Policy group for killing an important piece of anti-bullying legislation before it could even get to a vote. The bill had bi-partisan support, but Cathi Herrod barged into the Legislature in a pursed-lipped fury and let it be known to Republican lawmakers that the bill better not see the light of day. She succeeded.
The anti-bullying bill did not mention specific LGBT concerns at all. It was about bullying in general because even though gay kids and kids who don’t present themselves in traditional gender modes bear a disproportionate share of bullying, it’s widespread across all kinds of kids. But Cathi Herrod wants to make sure that public schools are safe for bullies, so that LGBT kids or any who are “different” aren’t exposed to the subversive notion that they actually are okay and don’t deserve to be harassed. Herrod, of course, is a big supporter of vouchers for private religious schools, where evangelists would be unfettered in their ability to harass and browbeat gay students.
Similarly, the anti-contraception bill going forward in the AZ Legislature allows bosses to harass, yes harass, their female employees. Look, if your boss is at all interested in why you’re on birth control, your boss is a creep and a bully. This is someone with an unhealthy interest in your sex life, who thinks he should be able to demand to know why you’re taking contraception if you’re on his health insurance plan and to fire you if you’re getting it on your own. Arizona Republican legislators are trying to codify bullying and sexual harassment into law with this thing. And they’re basically outsourcing their desire to bully and control you to the private sector.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.