Welcome to the true face of the Republican Party. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, has nominated A. L. “Buddy” Collins to the State Board of Education, a position considered to be rather cushy. Collins is an attorney and a long time member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board of Education. He is also known to be a very homophobic.
Collins has clashed repeatedly with the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network over the years. GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard stated “Buddy Collins has always been a retrograde voice, inimical to the interests of youth, on the school board. He has directly tried to block efforts to fully understand [students'] experiences in the service of making things better in schools in his district.”
The editor of Qnotes, Matt Comer, a former student in the Winston-Salem school district, stated that “Every time this issue [of LGBT bullying] came before the school board, Buddy Collins voted against it. Buddy Collins was a ringleader in making sure GLSEN had no access to the schools.”
Bullying was, apparently, a major problem at Cormer’s high school. He tried to start a gay-straight alliance there to combat it. Comer stated that “No one was doing anything. “The bullying was rampant, and it was not just from students. School officials were also engaging in anti-gay behavior and making anti-gay remarks. I heard many of those remarks myself. It was very frustrating for students because we felt like we had to do everything on our own, and the only support we had at the time was from [local LGBT groups].”
Comer went on to say “It was not just that teachers or coaches were making anti-gay comments, but school board members were making anti-gay comments too. So from the very top down, there was a very open, well-known and well-documented hostility toward LGBT people from the adults in our lives.”
According to both Comer and Byard, Collins was a huge part of this culture. Collins claimed back in 2002 that “I think it has everything to do with whether people who are gay and lesbian have some sort of special right that everybody else doesn’t. This request could have been made by people with overweight children or kids with glasses or any other thing that children pick on other children for.”
Collins will need to be approved by the state’s legislature, but that seems rather likely.
This is, of course, the face of the Republican Party even though they would rather people not know that.