U.S. House Passes “Hate” Crime Bill

Here is the latest news from the Phoenix-based Alliance Defnese Fund:

U.S. House Creates Special Legal Status for Gay People

Despite intense opposition from family advocates – including more than 5,000 e-mails from CitizenLink readers – the U.S. House voted 249-175 today to create a new class of crimes based on the traits of the victim, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Eighteen Republicans voted for the bill, while 17 Democrats voted against it. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., introduced a similar bill in the Senate on Tuesday.

Under the “hate-crimes” legislation, pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality. Similar laws have been used to prosecute religious speech in the U.S. and abroad.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hosted a special meeting last night to highlight the dangers and concerns related to the bill.

“Under this legislation, justice will no longer be equal,” he said before the meeting. “Instead, justice will depend on the … protected status of the victim, setting up different penalties for the same crime.

“I support continuing the American tradition of equal justice under the law, and I oppose this unconstitutional ‘thought crimes’ bill.”

Let’s get something straight (excuse the pun). I don’t have a problem or hate people who happen to engage in homo/bi/trans-sexual activities. Yes, I know plenty of people who have engaged in all kinds of behaviors that my beliefs and values consider wrong or sinful. I love them all the same and can do so with God’s grace. Besides, God does not see one sin greater than another.

What I do have a problem with is “the state” granting legal status and protection of homosexual behaviour – especially at the expense of an individual’s conscience and faith.

What is the difference in someone demanding that Congress protect their hygenic orientation or dietary orientation or any other behavioral-orientation?

As someone who believes in the rule of law and justice, I was always under the assumption that most crimes are an act of hate. Why are some crimes more hateful than others?

If this bill is signed into law, will the homosexual community demand that all religious institutions that believe homosexuality as a “sin” be required to redact all those passages from their scriptures?

What exactly does the homosexual community want that they don’t already have that using the power of federal law will give them at the expense of someone’s beliefs and values?

I agree. “Hate” is not a family value and believing that something is wrong or immoral is not “hate.” So what is the purpose of outlawing beliefs and values that homosexuality is wrong? Is someone beats up someone who just so happens to practice homosexuality, why can’t they be prosecuted under the full extent of the law for assault and battery? Why the added emphasis?

How will this be enforced?

 

 


Comments

  1. To no avail for a long time I’ve warned gay activists of the far greater danger to gay people of these laws, not families. The idea of a “class of crime” including homosexuals (or anyone who might look or think like one) as victims automatically sets them up to be differentiated as a “class of people” later on by hostile heterosexuals. As in: “put The Gays on the bus to the incinerator.”

    As soon as you legally designate a group as a class to “protect” them, you have then made it possible to separately treat that legal class in all kinds of unforeseen ways.
    Your argument has merit about this being a stupid bill with unintended consequences but your dire consequences of pages being ripped out of Bibles is a stretch, in real life my scenario is not. Families aren’t going to be zapped from earth because of these laws but perhaps this model citizen could be imprisoned for some twisted malfraction of who knows what, that somebody didn’t like, in future interpretations?

    If I were in the position of a crime victim I do expect my case to get the same treatment as everyone else and the last thing I want it on is some special track. When the process is said and done I want it done right by the same system as everyone else so no one could say I got special treatment. It’s a matter of real pride.

    If some homosexuals feel a need for a feel-good local ordinance type thing, that’s fine with me but it’s not for a Federal law. This is a lose-lose both sides issue since both sides are intransigent and don’t even hear each other which only helps the bill. To express these views to either side is to be eaten alive.

  2. Iris Lynch says

    I agree with all that is written here PLUS what if someone gets into some silly confrontation with a person and they were UNAWARE of their sexual orientation? A thousand years ago, I tried to set up a co-worker with a date for my daughter. He was bright, personable etc. and, as it turned out, homosexual. Who knew?

    All in all, every new law under this administration will be directly aimed at conservatives and their values and many naive liberals will also be caught in their net.

  3. I never understand how creating an inequality made things equal.

    Crimes shouldn’t be judged by their victims but rather the action of the crime. Isn’t the fact that you are considering the sexual preference of the victim in determining a penalty discriminating? Doesn’t everyone want to be treated equal?

    Disturbing.

  4. “I never understand how creating an inequality made things equal.”

    Hey, Keith – I understand the dilemma!

    Read (or reread) Animal Farm… that should help with the concept.

    Then go back and reread 1984; you’ll see how doublespeak works. Bonus points if you can elucidate the application here…

  5. I don’t really agree with hate crimes legislation but then again I am not in fear of being severely beaten because I am heterosexual.

    Having said that, the claims made in this articles are absurd. First of all, this bill, Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (also know as the Matthew Shepard Act), extends hate crimes law to people who are victims of crimes due to “perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” It will allow the feds to step in to prosecute if it appears local authorities are not prosecuting such crimes because of the status of the victim, which is often the case. It also provides resources to local law enforcement to investigate crimes.

    Of course, the issue here is that there needs to be a criminal act committed against someone already. The act states the offenses under which it can be applied “willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person.” Also,life imprisonment if “(I) death results from the offense; or (II) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.”

    Claims that passages will be torn out of bibles or people who insult a gay person will be thrown in jail are simply fear-mongering silliness. This applies to grievous bodily harm, kidnapping or murder.

    One more note, in the case of murder, the punishment typically does consider aspects of the crime such as how the victim was chosen. For instance, the punishments are typically more severe if the victim is a police officer, a witness in a court case, a child, or was meant to conceal another crime.

    The problem this is seeking to address is widespread evidence that when the are victims of violent crimes are gay or disabled, law enforcement treats the victims unequally by not adequately investigating the crimes.

  6. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    Did liberals stop and ask why this legislation is necessary? They never think anything through. They simply respond to “feel good” legislation put forward by some politician seeking to look good in the public eye.

    Is kidnapping, assault, murder, et. al any different when it is committed because the person was gay? No, the crime is the same, and the person should be punished accordingly.

    If some of you believe the crime is fundamentally different and that we should label gays as a protected class, why not do the same with other groups? Pardon these examples, but what if I like assaulting eldelry people? what if I despise and harass obese people? Should those be protected classes as well? Where does it end?

    Like I said…liberals love the “feel good” legislation. Most voters are too dumb or too short sighted to think the consequences through. All this legislation is meant to do is create a chilling effect on free speech for religious groups that don’t accept homosexuality. If you don’t believe that, look at the Catholic adoption center in Boston that was closed down after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. In the U.K. over half of Catholic adoption agencies are forced to serve gay couples.

  7. Conservative does not mean Republican,
    The fundamental issue here and what this bill seems to want to address is that local law enforcement is not investigating a prosecuting crimes against gays and people with disabilities. What do you suggest as a solution to the problem of these people being treated as second-class citizens by the justice system?

  8. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    todd,

    If that is truly the problem, local law enforcement needs to be held accountable for not investigating or prosecuting criminal activity. If the acts perpetrated against these classes of people are truly criminal, then the perpetrators should be punished according to the law. The solution is not to create more laws, it is to hold enforcers of that law accountable.

  9. Conservative does not mean Republican,
    I actually agree with you that the best way to deal with this would be to hold public officials who are derelict in their duty accountable and this is why see many hate crimes legislation as being a failure since it skirts the more deeper issue. I think this is largely because of the power of endorsements and such by police and prosecutors. The large part of this bill was actually directed to fund more local law enforcement of these crimes – this is largely a carrot vs. stick approach.

  10. Veritas Vincit says

    Does this unzip a Pandora’s Box of reverse discrimination and potential shake-downs?

    I mean, if someone applies for a job and doesn’t get it; or if a member of a protected class believes themselves to be slighted by an employee of the (you name it)… what happens?

    There is a bunch of room for abuse here and, its all pretty much to the advantage of what, about 3% of the population?

  11. Veritas Vincit – none of those crimes are covered in this legislation.

  12. BTW, I think it is worth noting that this bill does not create a special class of citizens as people are claiming. It does make harsher penalties for people who murder, kidnap or sexually torture someone because of their sexual orientation. This could as well be used in cases in which a heterosexual was the victim and targeted because he/she was heterosexual.

  13. Kenny Jacobs says

    todd, you’ve done a good job providing a succinct overview of the law. One wonders if the folks here at SA support removing “Religion” from the list of those already protected by the Hate Crimes Law.

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