In Michele Bachmann's universe, bullying gay kids is a matter of states' rights. And that's all she has to say about it, thank you very much.
Alex Limon says he came to a Michele Bachmann rally here for one reason: To ask the Republican presidential candidate what she intends to do about school bullying in her district that reportedly targets gays.
He got to ask his question, but he didn't get a lengthy answer.
"That's not a federal issue," Bachmann said, before moving on to the shake the hand of the next person waiting to speak to her.
Her implication: homophobia is not a universal wrong, and states should determine just how far a student can go in harassing a gay peer. In her own district, there seems to be plenty of leeway:
Limon's question grew out of a recent New York Times report about a Minnesota school system that's largely located in Bachmann's congressional district that's become a flashpoint for a controversy about how to discuss homosexuality with students.
The paper reported that there have been a spate of suicides in the school district and that the Justice Department is investigating anti-gay bullying in the system.
You can see why she doesn't want the feds involved: they're already involved in her district, and they're liable to cause her hassle.
UPDATE: Bachmann's flippant little statement comes a day after the mother of a gay teen who committed suicide in her district met with campaign staffers and appealed for Bachmann's signature on an anti-bullying petition. The campaign later said she "will respond to the petition after she has had an opportunity to review it." You know, it's tough to come out against bullying. There are so many angles to consider.