I like Lady Gaga. Her music performances and videos are entertaining, even to this decrepit old man (as my daughter calls me). However, I love the fact that Lady Gaga has taken up the cause of bullying. She has publicly requested a meeting with President Obama to discuss ways to increase public awareness of the constant and often ignored problem of bullying of LGBT youth, and seek ways that government can help deal with the problem. Specifically, she would lkike to see legislation passed designating bullying of LGBT youth a hate crime, in the wake of the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer. From the Guardian:

Lady Gaga has announced she is to meet Barack Obama to discuss new legislation to counteract bullying. Following the recent suicide of a 14-year-old fan, Jamey Rodemeyer, a victim of bullies, the singer called on American lawmakers to make bullying illegal. Bullying, she tweeted, is a “hate crime”. […]

Jamey Rodemeyer, from Buffalo, New York, killed himself last weekend. Although Rodemeyer had participated in the It Gets Better campaign, offering his support to gay teenagers, he was the victim of bullying at his own school. On his blog, he wrote: “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens.”

As news emerged of Rodemeyer’s death, Gaga expressed sorrow and frustration. “The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying, and yelling,” she wrote earlier this week. “I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someone’s life.” That anger turned into resolve: “Bullying must become be illegal,” she tweeted. “It is a hate crime.”

The Obama administration has yet to confirm that it has agreed to meet with her, but in my opinion it would be a wise decision. It’s not likely he’s going to win votes from homophobes in any event, and I suspect Lady Gaga has a higher popularity rating among young people than he does right now. You know, the same young people who helped get him elected in 2008? Might be a good idea to meet with a pop icon who is well known for her support of LGBT issues and is also simply — well known.

Besides it would make the Tea Party Jihadists angry as sin (pun intended), since many of them support bullying of LGBT youth such as The California Christian Coalition, for one example:

At the California Republican Party convention held in Los Angeles last weekend, a number of social conservative groups purchased sponsorship tables. The Christian Coalition of California, a state chapter of the national organization founded by Pat Robertson, handed out pamphlets and urged attendees to continue to highlight the supposed dangers of what they called the “gay lifestyle.”

ThinkProgress spoke to Robert Newman, the head of the California Christian Coalition, who said his group would be mobilizing its members to repeal the gay education law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) earlier this year. Newman said the law, which “adds sexual orientation to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction, and instructional materials,” is unnecessary and encourages sexually transmitted diseases. The law also compels school districts to teach LGBT history alongside history of other California ethnic and minority groups.

Asked about the epidemic of gay suicides, Newman dismissed the issue, saying, “I hardly think bullying is a real issue in schools.” He reasoned that some level of bullying is “part of the maturational process” and that the law should be repealed because “there’s no reason to have a special bill for say three percent of the population, period.”

Personally, I’d put Lady Gaga’s moral values up against Mr. Newman’s anytime. He comes from the same crowd that cheered people dying from lack of health insurance and booed a combat soldier in Iraq simply because he was gay. So, President Obama, if you can have a beer summit, why not a Gaga summit?

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