Hating the Hate Crimes Bill

By David Waters A hate crimes bill has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate as early … Continued

By David Waters

A hate crimes bill has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate as early as this week. Conservative Christian leaders such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Donald Wildmon hate it.

In June, 60 religious conservatives signed a letter asking senators to filibuster the hate-crimes bill for fear it would “criminalize preaching the Gospel and put preachers in the cross-hairs.” Christian Right groups have been sounding the alarm ever since. “Hate Crimes Bill Threatens Free Speech,” warns the Christian Broadcasting Network. “Pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality,” intones Focus on the Family.

Even some conservative legislators agree: In an April speech on the floor of the House, Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said he feared the legislation “could have a chilling effect on the religious expression and religious freedom of millions of Americans.”

Do they have a point? Not really. As we saw and heard during the last election cycle (think Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee), existing hate-crime laws for acts “committed on the basis of the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin” haven’t kept pastors or anyone else from expressing their biblical views. Why would that change when “sexual orientation” is added to the list?

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act seeks to expand federal hate-crime statutes to include protections for homosexuals. Conservative Christian opponents claim the legislation would (1) make it a crime to denounce homosexuality from the pulpit, and (2) give legal protection to pedophiles.

But as Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, told God in Government blogger Jacqueline L. Salmon: “I don’t think this legislation would in any way infringe on the freedom of people to state their views about homosexuality.”

First, the hate crimes bill clearly doesn’t allow prosecution to begin until an actual crime — a violent act — has been committed. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bias or discrimination can only be considered when directly connected to a criminal act.

Second, the House version clearly states that “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by, the Constitution.”

Third, the Senate version includes two even more specific speech protections:

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

Finally, while the bill does not define “sexual orientation,” the plain meaning — which judges rely on — of “sexual orientation” does not include incest or pedophilia. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, explicitly states that sexual orientation “refers to erotic attraction to males, females or both.” It does not include any of the paraphilias such as pedophilia.”

No doubt some conservative Christian opposition to the hate crimes bill is based on opposition to homosexuality, which they don’t see as discrimination. “The homosexual activists’ mantra is no longer tolerance — it’s embrace and promote,” said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst at Focus on the Family Action. “Anything less will be silenced. Christians must speak up.”

As we saw and heard during the last election cycle (think Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee), existing hate-crime laws for acts “committed on the basis of the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin” haven’t kept pastors or anyone else from expressing their views. Why would that change when “sexual orientation” is added to the list?

Not all Christian leaders are opposed to the legislation. The Human Rights Campaign has a long list of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious organizations that support the new hate crimes bill.

http://www.hrc.org/documents/LLEHCPA_Coalition_Endorsement_Fact_Sheet_August_2007.doc

“God’s love calls us to stand up against hate in our society,” said Thomas Hart, director of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations. “When that hate manifests itself in violent action, particularly against groups of people, we should do all we can to stop it.”

There might be valid legal or even constitutional arguments against laws that penalize people for committing crimes because of their discriminatory views. But shouldn’t people of faith oppose hate in all its forms, whether spoken or acted upon?

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  • ccnl1

    The real crime is believing the bible is “god-inspired”!!!! Taking that “inspiration” out of the bible and bible-thumping evangelists would be out of a job. Praise the lord!!!!

  • DwightCollins

    In Canada they will arrest or fine a clergy who says something against gays…

  • lufrank1

    The History of Religion is a study of cruelty and hate; the inquisition, Muslims vs Christians, Christians and Muslims vs Jews, Bible toting KKK vs Blacks and Jews, Calvin burning non-Calvinists at the Stake, New England Puritans deliberately giving smallpox to Indians – - Tons of trees would be needed to provide paper for all the MISERY that Religion has wrought. Yet it still goes on as TV evangelists stupidly project a “GOD” of Punishment. Too bad that THEY can’t understand that worshiping the Monster they visualize is 180º from the “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself” lifestyle.

  • MoLove

    “No Mo, I don’t hate African Americans or anyone else. I don’t even believe you exist.” *********** BULL CRAP! If you don’t even believe we exist, then you wouldn’t have made the accusation. Maybe you wish African Americans didn’t exist, but too bad. So now you’re a psychic? I don’t think you or anyone else is qualified to predict which “group” of people will find themselves facing hate crime charges the most in the future. Again, I think it is sad that you feel the need to single out African Americans with regard to this law. It doesn’t matter what your race or sexual orientation is, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and should not have to fear being attacked, hurt, or even killed, simply because someone doesn’t agree with or like that you fall into a certain “group.” I’m positive that more than 20% of African Americans feel the same way and would not find themselves even coming close to participating in a hate crime.

  • kbwalker1

    In principal, I am opposed to “Hate Crimes” legislation; but as a practical solution to some social problems, I have to admit that it is an effective strategy. Studies show that atheists remain the most despised group in America, and I believe this is largely due to the ever-present and unrelenting propaganda by organized religion against any and all non-believers. In truth, atheists’ values are not much different from those of most other Americans; they just stem from a different world view. Unfortunately, certain religious groups (i.e., Christians) are extremely adept at portaying themselves as victims; and they continually seek government recognition, funding, and other support for the expansion of their respective organizations, while simultaneously striving to enact legislation directed against any who do not share their beliefs or stand in their way. We need a saner, rational (i.e., secular) world, where people are not afraid to directly admonish a president (George Bush) who says he does not think that atheists are real citizens of this country.

  • gasmonkey

    It’s funny how all these so-called “christians” know what God thinks about homosexuality. If you read the bible, Jesus never once addressed the topic. It’s nothing but their own hate and prejudice being put forth as “chrisitan views.”

  • Buddydog

    I have no patience for preachers who lie, as Dobson and Robertson apparently have no qualms about doing, but I do understand the general concern about hate crimes punishing thoughts or motivations, rather than actual crimes. But I ask myself; would the war crimes of the Nazis been as morally repugnant had they simply picked 6 million people completely at random and killed them? It would have seemed crazier; in fact, it would indicate that the Nazis were nothing more than a bunch of insane lunatics. Are their crimes worse because they specifically targeted one specific race for extermination? I think in the end, it does. There is no reason to tolerate hate. Hate has never been a productive force in our history, and it has done nothing to advance the moral or physical well-being of peoples. We do not need to tolerate it, and nor should we. Therefore, if someone commits a violent act against someone else, and it is proven that they did so because of their hatred, I see no problem with adding extra punishment to their sentence. This is far different than punishing thought; it’s punishing action, but putting it in context, which we already do. We already distinguish between causing an accidental death, or not intending to kill, from carefully plotting and executing a cold-blooded murder. In other words, we already consider context in punishment. This just adds a bit more context to the equation, and I have no problem with that.

  • bruce18

    But shouldn’t people of faith oppose hate in all its forms, whether spoken or acted upon? Isnt any crime motivated by hate? Why are some more “hateful” than others?

  • Chagasman

    The evangelicals hate the Hate Crimes bill because they want to be able to keep whipping up hatred against gays and encouraging violence against gays. They want to be able to claim innocence based on “free speech”. Well, just as it is illegal to cry “Fire” in a movie theater, it should also be illegal to cry “kill the homos!” in church.

  • ZZim

    ““Indicted”, Hohandy, I said “indicted”. ” Actually, ZZIM, you said “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans” – it was only when you were called on that lie that you conveniently changed your story. And still haven’t provdided any back up for your numbers that clearly go against the FBI statistics. And now you’re trying to qualify “hate crimes” with your own special little definitions. I can make stuff up too, you know. Posted by: hohandy1 | October 14, 2009 12:13 PM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=- I realized my initial use of the word “committed” instead of “indicted” was confusing. I realized my error and corrected it. When you criticized my use of the 80% figure, you quoted me using the word “indicted” because I had already chosen the more accurate term (without your help, which I appreciate anyway). Alternatively, I could have used the words “prosecuted” of “convicted” or “jailed”. The fact remains that if this law is implemented, a disproportionate percentage of those jailed for it will be African American. I suppose that could be an argument either for or against hate crime laws, depending on your point of view.

  • hohandy1

    “When you criticized my use of the 80% figure, you quoted me using the word “indicted” because I had already chosen the more accurate term (without your help, which I appreciate anyway). Alternatively, I could have used the words “prosecuted” of “convicted” or “jailed”.” There’s one recognized source for hate crimes statistics in the country – the FBI publishes it’s annual report. You keep citing statistics that are totally at odds with what the FBI says in it’s reports – yet when challenged on it you squiggle and squirm and backtrack and change your language – but yet never provide any basis for your claims. Since you’ve already shown yourself have only a passing acquaintance with actual facts on the ground, why should anyone believe a word you say if you can’t back up what you present as “fact” when challenged? “The fact remains that if this law is implemented, a disproportionate percentage of those jailed for it will be African American.” There’s ZZIM, substituting “opinion” for “fact” – you do know actual “fact” is don’t you ZZIM? Maybe that’s the problem…

  • tomteboda

    One need only read through the rabid comments on this page to realize that Christians are hated far, far more than the groups this bill would “protect”. Personal abuse of homosexuals among Christians is relatively rare, but personal abuse of Christians among leftists has been, and remains a constant presence.

  • hohandy1

    “When you criticized my use of the 80% figure, you quoted me using the word “indicted” because I had already chosen the more accurate term (without your help, which I appreciate anyway). oh – and ZZIM – I quoted at 9:20 what you actually wrote at 8:54 – no qualifiers, no special interpretation needed – what I quoted was exactly what you wrote: “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans”. Are you now going to deny writing that or that that isn’t what I quoted – because I quoted you saying that BEFORE you changed your argument to say “indicted” (which you didn’t say until 11:02 – well after you had been challenged on your original statement which you are now conveniently pretending that you never said and that was never challenged. Are you really that comfortable with lying a lot, ZZIM?

  • LeeH1

    So, why do you exclude incest and pedophilia? In the past, like homosexuality, they were illegal and immoral. In the future, like homosexuality has become, they may become legal and moral as well. The point of a hate crimes bill should not be to say who is covered, or more importantly, who is not covered. Thus, hate crimes against people suspected of incest or pedophilia would still be legal, if not moral. Even if they are trying to get their point across in a public forum, they can be persecuted and harmed. I’m not in favor of any law that says who is protected, and more importantly, who is not. This only opens hunting season on those not protected. Say everyone comes under this legal protection, or no one.

  • ZZim

    “No Mo, I don’t hate African Americans or anyone else. I don’t even believe you exist.” *********** BULL CRAP! If you don’t even believe we exist, then you wouldn’t have made the accusation. Maybe you wish African Americans didn’t exist, but too bad. So now you’re a psychic? I don’t think you or anyone else is qualified to predict which “group” of people will find themselves facing hate crime charges the most in the future. Again, I think it is sad that you feel the need to single out African Americans with regard to this law. It doesn’t matter what your race or sexual orientation is, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and should not have to fear being attacked, hurt, or even killed, simply because someone doesn’t agree with or like that you fall into a certain “group.” I’m positive that more than 20% of African Americans feel the same way and would not find themselves even coming close to participating in a hate crime. Posted by: MoLove | October 14, 2009 1:05 PM Report Offensive Comment =-=-=-=-=-=-===-=-=-=-==-=-==-=-=-==-=-=- No need to be psychic, these laws have been passed before. Every time one of these laws passes and gets put into effect, leaders of the African American community quickly rally against it. The reason they rally against it is because it is disproportionately applied against African Americans. This pits one Democratic Party constituency against another one. So the liberal-bashers should support this bill as a means of sowing dissension and rancor in the Liberal camp. Mo, race only exists to the extent that people believe it exists. For example, I don’t believe there are witches, yet most people on the planet do and they kill about 10,000 “witches” every year. I can talk about witches all I want without believing in them. Real world hatred and prejudice toward witches really exists, we need to be able to discuss it even if we don’t believe they exist. The issue is that African Americans, although members of the Liberal political coalition, are one of the most reactionary socially conservative demographics in the country. Recall the recent vote in California. Notice how Obama almost never says anything publicly about gay rights. It’s not that he doesn’t care, he just needs African American voters more than he needs gay voters. And they don’t cotton to the “gay agenda”.

  • Jerusalimight

    This bill, and in fact the whole so-called ‘gay’ movement, is a direct attack on people of faith. They will not be satisfied until they have banned the explicit Biblical prohibitions against their activity. It still won’t help. The Bible was already written down thousands of years ago, and they will never succeed in changing one single letter of it.

  • ZZim

    “When you criticized my use of the 80% figure, you quoted me using the word “indicted” because I had already chosen the more accurate term (without your help, which I appreciate anyway). oh – and ZZIM – I quoted at 9:20 what you actually wrote at 8:54 – no qualifiers, no special interpretation needed – what I quoted was exactly what you wrote: “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans”. Are you now going to deny writing that or that that isn’t what I quoted – because I quoted you saying that BEFORE you changed your argument to say “indicted” (which you didn’t say until 11:02 – well after you had been challenged on your original statement which you are now conveniently pretending that you never said and that was never challenged. Are you really that comfortable with lying a lot, ZZIM? Posted by: hohandy1 | October 14, 2009 1:39 PM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ah, I see it now, you are correct, it did take that sequence. Anyway, regardless of communications errors and whatnot, if this law passes, a disproportionate number of those jailed under it will be African American. These laws have been tried before and that has happened every time. Then African American politicians get involved and the law is either repealed or made powerless. Just watch and see.

  • hohandy1

    “if this law passes, a disproportionate number of those jailed under it will be African American. These laws have been tried before and that has happened every time. ” Every time ZZIM? One would think after being repeatedly challenged about the “facts” that one puts forth, that one would be a little more careful about what one posits as “fact” – if only to avoid being challenged again. “Every time”?? Stated as “fact”? And you have something to back this up, of course? Just based upon logic alone, maybe you can explain why expanding current laws to include other classifications that have nothing to do with race (last I checked gender and sexual orientation have nothing to do with race, right?) will affect African-Americans disproportionately? What does someone being an African-American have to do with criminal acts being committed against someone else because they are gay?

  • Buddydog

    JERUSALIMIGHT joins the ranks of so-called “Christians” who feel no moral qualms against dishonesty or outright lying. It proves once again how easily the bible can be cherry-picked to suit one’s own ideology or biases. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the “gay movement” is not an “attack on people of faith” as JERUSALIMIGHT claims. Nor does any hate crimes legislation -none!- bar or in any way hinder free speech, including speech that is hateful. It only allows juries to view mitigating circumstances to put crimes into context, and make the punishments more or less sever if the context is appropriate. This is, as I’ve pointed out before, exactly what we do now. We tried a well-planned and executed murder differently than we do an inadvertent death through negligence, for instance. In both the result is the same – a crime resulting in death was committed – but the context allows the punishment to fit the crime. Consider, JERUSALIMIGHT, that there exists no Gay Bible or other treatise which specifically calls out Christians to be smited or killed. There is no Gay God which encourages its followers to rally against Christians, or calls them evil. There is no history of Christians being specifically excluded from social institutions (such as marriage). I realize that Christians have an over-developed persecution complex, but there is no effort out there to ban anything from the Bible. There is only one group out there trying to single out another for exclusion; and it ain’t the gays.

  • jackellisvb

    I live in Chicago – the city that led all American cities last year in total murders – we’re on track to be #1 again this year. But few if any of these murders qualify under the politically correct definitions of Federal Hate Crime laws, which Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. Harry Reid admit are not designed to protect all Americans, just select historical victim groups. This video shows AG Holder’s testimony presenting his idea that some groups in America are more equal than others.

  • boosterprez

    elgropo and battleground, whether or not you agree with increasing the penalty for a crime when certain thoughts are the motivator, you are completely wrong that the bill creates a protected class. If a group of women assaults you and shouts things about men being scum, the hate crime legislation applies. Same if non-whites attacked you for being white or homosexuals attacked you for being hetero. If the law is selectively enforced, that’s a different problem to take up. But the law is written to protect straight white men just as much as everyone else. Posted by: hbc1 | ________________________ So you are saying that everyone is equally protected? Then why the need for hate-crimes legislation? I’d argue that all crimes are committed on some level as a result of hate. Some hate is worse than others? There’s no way the hate-crimes legislation would be enforced if a black guy killed a white guy, but the other way around? Absolutely! It’s sickening to think that if a child gets murdered, the punishment of the offender might be less than if a gay gets killed. The punishment should be equal….murder should be colorblind. I’d say this is affirmative action sentencing guidelines…

  • MHawke

    Hate crime legislation should apply to all potential victims.

  • Alex511

    fr tomteboda: >One need only read through the rabid comments on this page to realize that Christians are hated far, far more than the groups this bill would “protect”. Personal abuse of homosexuals among Christians is relatively rare, but personal abuse of Christians among leftists has been, and remains a constant presence. That is COMPLETELY untrue. A so-called “Christian man” from the Ukraine punched and MURDERED a gay man July 1, 2007 in Sacramento CA, and then skipped the country, leaving his “wife” and small kids behind. His so-called “Christian friends” claimed that the gay man and his friends were to blame, when it was proven by witnesses that the Ukrainian MURDERER and his co-horts were to blame. These nutballs are the same who show up, uninvited, at local Pride events, dragging their small children along to hold up anti-gay signs, and scream and wail like banshees at us. The rabid, anti-gay “Christians” on this board are NOT “hated” by anyone, except, obviously, themselves. BTW. I am a gay Christian woman who married my WIFE last year, and our MARRIAGE is very solid.

  • slamming

    Liberal Basher: Yours is…much to your delight, I’m sure…one of the MOST HATEFUL, IGNORANT posts I’ve ever seen. Happy and contented people don’t spew the kind of venom that you do. What’s the matter…lose your job or something??? Well if you did, one way to improve yourself might be to go back to school and learn how to SPELL!!! And I’m PRETTY SURE THAT WHEN you DIE, NOT TOO MANY FOLKS WILL EVEN miss you!!!

  • ZZim

    What does someone being an African-American have to do with criminal acts being committed against someone else because they are gay? Posted by: hohandy1 | October 14, 2009 1:59 PM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= I don’t know. I’m not really sure why African Americans hate gays so much. I think it has to do with African Americans being one of the most culturally conservative demographics in the country. Just look at the recent gay marriage vote in California, African Americans came out in droves to vote for Obama, and while they were doing that, they voted massively against the gay marriage bill. It’s funny how big things can happen in politics that way. If Hillary had been running for President, it would be legal for gays to marry in California.

  • bpai_99

    The most bigoted, hateful people I have ever met are so-called “Christians,” so it is natural that their leaders would oppose hate crime legislation – it would restrict their freedom of speech and action against those they despise.

  • homer4

    After the fall of Communism in 1989, Religious Fundamentalisms directed their hatred towards homosexuals. For 20 years we have been told we are perverts, sinners, all of us are dying of AIDS, and other garbage from these supposedly pious people. In the meantime, their leaders get caught with prostitutes, embezzling money, tax cheating, and the like. Fundamentalists of all religion always have to have someone to focus hatred upon, if only to make themselves feel a tiny bit superior.

  • slamming

    …Some of the NICEST people I’ve ever known don’t go to church, are not judgmental, and I’m sure are more highly favored by God than those who DO GO to church, act pious, and are always judging someone else!!!

  • rclab

    Don’t you wonder what side Christ would adopt on this issue. I would hope he would have condemned any speech that was hateful or would promote a hateful attitude to others, and I don’t profess to be a Christian.

  • October10S

    JHTLAG1 wrote: Best example I can think of is Pearson’s $54M lawsuit against Korean dry cleaners. Part of this was motivated by “those people” taking money out of “our” community. Dig a little, and you’ll find out a little bit more of this undercurrent in the community. But, people don’t want to know, or it doesn’t fit their narrative of what a hate crime is. Hence, it would be nearly impossible to apply. ___________________________ Dude. Seriously?! You need to go back to Civics 101. Suing someone, no matter what your motiviation, is NOT a crime, let alone a hate crime. You could never get prosecuted for initiating a law suit. You are obviously a moron. The reason hate crime legislation was create is because hate crimes are intend to put fear into an entire community. You are sorely mistaken if you believe that hate crimes are prosecuted to dig deep into the psyche of a criminal, and then add to the punishment if and when they figure that out. The intent of the criminal to intimidate an entire group is FRONT AND CENTER when an offense is prosecuted as a hate crime. There is a material difference between beating up someone, and beating up someone, tying him to a post, and scrawling anti-gay epithets all over him. One crime, though heinous, is only directed at the individual. The other is directed at the whole gay community, and intended to drive gays away or to make them live in fear of their lives. Of course, some people are simply too stupid, too evil, or too ignorant to understand this distinction.

  • bpai_99

    The world is very simple when you are a member of the Christian Right in America: 1. You are on God’s side and all others are not. 2. You know God’s will and all others do not. 3. You will actively use the power of government to advance your vision of God’s kingdom on earth. 4. Anyone who opposes you or your goals is against God. 5. Anyone against God is an agent of Satan and as such does not deserve respect, consideration or even politeness. And you never make any deals with the devil. Look no further for the reason for the poisonous tone of the debate in American politics today – it’s been driven by the sanctimonious, morally smug and superior Christian Right. All hail the Christian State of America.

  • kengelhart

    “Pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality” Does this mean they intend to commit acts of violence?

  • jamshark70

    KEngelhart: “Does this mean they intend to commit acts of violence?” No, but some of them don’t mind it so much if other people do it for them. — Liberalbasher: I’ve seen a lot of conservatives who view everything through a sick, twisted lens of hatred. So, when somebody says to you, “I don’t like what you just said,” you hear, “I HATE YOU.” That’s simply incorrect. Much of what you read as liberal hate is something else entirely – you’re imagining it to be hate. For myself, I feel that conservatives’ self-righteousness and harsh judgment of others eats away at their souls and leaves them hollow, bitter and empty. I don’t need to hate conservatives, because they make themselves suffer more than enough without any help from me. I wish I could help, but piety is like a drug and the addict will not give it up just because I say “I wish you would stop.” If you want to believe that this means I hate you, you’re welcome to do so but in that case, you would be misreading my words.

  • katavo

    This is largely a matter of survival for these christianists. Remember that for them christianity is a protection racket. You must fear hell, you must fear their loving god, and you must fear the gays. And they will protect you from these fears. Hell is sort of real, even their god is only sort of real to many of them – but hey, guess what? Gays are real, and they’re right here. I’ve seen them myself. On television, on the sidewalks, in taxies … holy crap, right out in public! If the sheep start losing their fear, the christianist’s ability to extort fear from them will diminish to the point where they are no longer needed. A matter of survival.

  • ZZim

    “Pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality” Does this mean they intend to commit acts of violence? Posted by: kengelhart | October 14, 2009 3:28 PM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- No, it means they intend to continue “preaching the biblical view of homosexuality”. Their fear is that the law will be abused by gay activists to punish or restrict “preaching the biblical view of homosexuality”. I think it’s a legitimate fear, given the attitudes of posters on this board like the guy above you who said “The most bigoted, hateful people I have ever met are so-called ‘Christians’ ”. People with that sort of hatred toward Christians are very likely to support restrictions on and punishments for “preaching the biblical view of homosexuality”. It’s a legitimate fear, I can see why they’re scared.

  • Hillman1

    “Personal abuse of homosexuals among Christians is relatively rare, but personal abuse of Christians among leftists has been, and remains a constant presence.” Nearly every instance of violence toward gays in the US comes from someone’s misguided sense of religious acceptance of their violence. How many gays are bashed violently each year by Christians? How many are denied housing, denied jobs? I’d say it’s FAR more than Christians have suffered at the hand of gays. And, lest we forget, it’s not gays out there demanding that Christians be denied the 1000 benefits and stability of marriage. Yet, Christians won’t extend gays that same courtesy.

  • Hillman1

    “Their fear is that the law will be abused by gay activists to punish or restrict “preaching the biblical view of homosexuality”.” What absolute blather. Current hate crimes laws protect blacks and minorities. Plenty of churches in the US preach against basic equality for blacks and women. Can you cite me even ONE example of those churches being charged under hate crime laws?

  • jamshark70

    Bloglady = Spambot. Take your pollution somewhere else. — The worry is about a causal link between preaching hatred for gays and people who heard that preaching then going out and committing violent acts. I’m not sure it’s a 100% certain causal chain but in some cases, I think causality could be established.

  • ZZim

    Not my job to justify other peoples’ fears, Hillman. If there are organizations dedicated to shutting you up and shutting you down, then you have a pretty good justification to fear them if they have momentum enough to pass new laws in Congress. The bill in question is pretty good evidence of legislative momentum. If the religious right were passing pet laws through Congress, the gay activists (as well as other Liberal interest groups) would be in a fear frenzy, too. That’s how these things go. Do you recall the hysterics from the Left over the last 8 years? Just more of the same only from the Right this time.

  • elgropo1

    A crime is a crime is a crime. “Hate” legislation does nothing except deputize the Thought Police. The other ominous development is the creep of the Feds into state jurisdiction. And what about equal protection under the law? Homosexuals and other “protected groups” have in effect become more equal than straight white males. Does no one really hate my kind? Oops, forgot–I’m The Oppressor. Where is it we are constantly reminded that good intentions lead?

  • willemkraal

    OH JEZUS MARIA PLEEZE THOSE FUNDIES ARE SO NUTTY AND THEY PROOF THAT RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES!

  • battleground51

    This is a ploy by liberals to give SPECIAL rights and consideration to another one of their pet groups. The homosexuals are not excluded from protection under American law. The problem is that they want Americans to be forced to like them and their peculiar “lifestyle” or go to prison. They want “sacred cow” status. That is very unAmerican and very biased. It will lead to aggressive persecution of anyone who is deemed hostile to homosexual deviancy by word or deed. And there will be more dumbing down of deviancy until it’s anything goes and there are absolutely no moral standards at all. History tells of the hell on earth that this has caused for past civilizations. Just look what happened when the Catholic church decided to open the doors to homosexual priests. Alterboys were being molested wholesale and the priesthood became the gayhood. It almost wrecked the church and it is paying billions in legal settlements to men who had their lives ruined by the gay priests. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  • bdunn1

    Let’s let rich, old, angry, narrow-minded white men tell us how to live our lives.

  • fmschiav

    I think Battleground51′s tirade sounded better in the original German.

  • bobbarnes

    Yet again, the “my christian beliefs should dictate how others should live” group has spoken. Two other groups that believe the Bible should dictate law, the Nazis and the Klan.

  • hbc1

    elgropo and battleground, whether or not you agree with increasing the penalty for a crime when certain thoughts are the motivator, you are completely wrong that the bill creates a protected class. If a group of women assaults you and shouts things about men being scum, the hate crime legislation applies. Same if non-whites attacked you for being white or homosexuals attacked you for being hetero. If the law is selectively enforced, that’s a different problem to take up. But the law is written to protect straight white men just as much as everyone else.

  • bobbarnes

    BTW, Battleground51′s post is evidence of why this hate crimes bill is sorely needed.

  • LeszX

    I do not understand how Mr. Waters expects us to believe that the Constitution will protect our rights of free expression, when such plainly unconstitutional measures such as the “Hate Crimes Bill” can be passed into law. Any “Hate Crimes” law already infringes on constitutional rights since it mandates unequal treatment under the law based a person’s beliefs. Corrupt prosecutors will have no difficulty finding some tangential factor that will make any public protest or statement into a “Hate Crime”. Traditionally, possible hatred of a victim based on race or religion – and even sexual orientation – has always been considered relevant in criminal cases as contributing to motivation for committing the crime. To make hatred itself an element of an additional crime is only to invite prosecutorial abuse. Murder is already a crime. One has to ask what possible motive the proponents of expanding “Hate Crime” legislation might have – if not to silence politically incorrect speech.

  • Chops2

    Battleground 51: “Just look what happened when the Catholic church decided to open the doors to homosexual priests. Alterboys were being molested wholesale and the priesthood became the gayhood.” R u seriously suggesting that there was no sexual abuse of young boys in the catholic church b4 homosexual priests were allowed into the fold? R u retarded? U ignore hundreds of years of history and abuse. That is clearly the most disingenuous, ill informed comment ever.

  • edallan

    What is it about Christian fundamentalists that impels them to tell lies far more frequently than normal people? There comes a point when making statements that are not true moves beyond being the result of lack of knowledge or ignorance or casual bigotry, any or all of which are understandable though regrettable, to being the result of intentional LIES. Except for the newly literate, that point has long since been reached

  • Hillman1

    “Homosexuals and other “protected groups” have in effect become more equal than straight white males.” That’s simply not true. If you were attacked because you were straight you’d be covered under hate crimes (being straight is a sexual orientation). If you were attacked for being white you’d be covered (being white is a race classification). If you were attacked for being male you’d be covered (being male is a gender). Crimes against you are rare. One could argue that the most likely instance would be if you were attacked in an urban area because you are white…. So claiming that gays or others are seeking inequality under the law in their favor just isn’t true.

  • [email protected]

    There should not be Hate Crime(s) laws of any kind, whether Federal or State. We need to be concerned with actions as opposed to thought(s) or motivation(s). If a defendant’s thought(s) and/or motivation(s) are essential to proving the crime, such thoughts and/or motivations should never result in an enhanced sentence.

  • Hillman1

    “Traditionally, possible hatred of a victim based on race or religion – and even sexual orientation – has always been considered relevant in criminal cases as contributing to motivation for committing the crime.” Actually, no. In most instances it is not. I’m of mixed opinions on hate crimes. I think they are misunderstood, they really aren’t needed if police, prosecutors, judges, and juries do their job. But that’s a big if. There are countless cases of local police and prosecutors ignoring crimes against gays, against women, against minorities BECAUSE of who the victim is. Is this the right tool to combat that? I’m not sure. But so far no one has come up with a better one.

  • Hillman1

    “One has to ask what possible motive the proponents of expanding “Hate Crime” legislation might have – if not to silence politically incorrect speech.” The motive? The same motive that civil rights legislation at the federal level had in the 60s – to force redneck losers in rural areas to actually enforce the law equally. Gays, women, and minorities often get ignored by police and prosecutors at the local level. Federal legislation is designed to let local police and prosecutors know that they can not get away with that. I used to live in redneck Virginia. I personally saw several instances where local cops would refuse to prosecute physical violence against gays, saying the gay person ‘egged it on’ by appearing ‘too gay in public’ . It’s that sort of stupidity that hate crimes are designed to fight. Again, I’m not completely in favor of hate crime legislation. I have my doubts. But it is designed to fix a very real problem – the ignoring or downplaying of crimes when the victims are a group that may be unpopular.

  • uh_huhh

    These groups don’t hate the hate crimes bill, what they hate are gay people. Their arguments about free speech and pedophilia don’t make sense because those arguments are made up. They are designed to cover the only thing really motivating these critics: intense anti-gay bigotry. These are the same people who demanded that the government do nothing about HIV in the 1980s because they were positively giddy that gay men were dying.

  • edallan

    LesZX writes: Murder is already a crime. One has to ask what possible motive the proponents of expanding “Hate Crime” legislation might have – if not to silence politically incorrect speech. – - – - – - So LesZX seems to consider lynchings to be crimes directed only at the specific individuals strung up, swastikas painted onto synagogues simply trivial acts of vandalism, and cross-burnings barely malicious mischief, not even that if done on someone’s own property? Once again, the crime of a hate crime consists of an action, not simply a “belief.”

  • mradams

    I really wish the “preachers” or Republican women mentioned in this article would not refer to themselves as “Christians.” There is only love in Christ. Sadly, the Hate Crimes Bill cannot stop these people from hating us, but hopefully it can prevent them from acting on it and harming innocent people. Again, since there is no hatred and brutality in Christ, they should truthfully refer to themselves as Biblicans, rather than “Christ”ians.

  • mradams

    Oh, and in answer to some of the commentors, Constitutional Rights ARE special rights — and we want ours.

  • coloradodog

    Hillman1 wrote: “Personal abuse of homosexuals among Christians is relatively rare, but personal abuse of Christians among leftists has been, and remains a constant presence.” ____________________________________ Your crock runneth over

  • coloradodog

    Again, if you liberals all die today. it’s not soon enough Posted by: LiberalBasher _________________________________— Case in point why we need hate crime laws. May God bless all you “Christian” Huckabees with gay children or grandchildren like he did Lord Cheney. What would your Bible tell you to do then?

  • hohandy1

    why am I not surprised about religious leaders blatantly lying to protect what they see as their perogatives and privleges? Shouldn’t they forfeit any claim to moral influence as soon as they start being dishonest? They should be called out for bearing false witness.

  • Hillman1

    I agree with HoHandy. Some of these claims by right wing politicians and religious leaders aren’t simply disagreeing with the legislation. They are tellling outright lies about it. Claiming that it will lead to incest and pedophilia being protected is an absolute outright lie. Claiming that you can’t preach your hatred of homosexuality is an absolute lie. And lying is a sin. Odd how these protectors of our morals have no problem with lying.

  • jhtlag1

    I have to laugh at those that believe that if someone was screaming at you for being a white man while attacking you you’d be covered by “hate crime” laws. The reason is that these laws can be applied very subjectively. A gay person gets assaulted? The question of hate crime would be almost assumed from the beginning, not so for a non-traditional hate crime such as against a white maie. Best example I can think of is Pearson’s $54M lawsuit against Korean dry cleaners. Part of this was motivated by “those people” taking money out of “our” community. Dig a little, and you’ll find out a little bit more of this undercurrent in the community. But, people don’t want to know, or it doesn’t fit their narrative of what a hate crime is. Hence, it would be nearly impossible to apply. Hate crime laws are double jeopardy. The motive for a crime should have been taken into consideration in traditional hearings. Now what do you do? How do you apportion the attacker’s animosity across the two potential court cases? This legislation just makes justice fuzzier, the opposite of its intent.

  • Errol1

    A lot of the actions mentioned above terrorize whole minority groups (think cross burnings, lynchings, randomly beating up Gays, etc.). A person killed in a robbery is a death of one person, a person killed is a hate crime is a violent act against a whole minority group. To end this is one BIG reason we need anti-hate legislation.

  • srb2

    I don’t care about gays and I don’t care about religion. I do care about a more oppressive government and this steaming bag of ‘it’ will move that part along — without producing anything of value. And the part of the bill where the Congress tries to tell us what is and isn’t “constitutional” is fairly laughable: I’m pretty sure that’s why we have the U.S. Supreme Court. …but the jackboots in our government will prevail here. When the right-wing jackboots aren’t in power and eating away at freedom, the left-wing jackboots are in power and eating away at freedom. The bottom line is that the right and the left are both equally dangerous to our freedom. And with a government as powerful as our federal government has become, the far left and the far right keep looking more and more like the Brown Shirts that need to be swept from our midst.

  • Hillman1

    “I have to laugh at those that believe that if someone was screaming at you for being a white man while attacking you you’d be covered by “hate crime” laws.” Laugh all you’d like. Doesn’t make it less true. Particularly since whites will be a minority in the US in a few years. As for the pants lawsuit, by most accounts the litigant was nuts. I’m not saying there wasn’t a race factor, but he was nuts as well. But I do agree with you about the general idea. Particularly here in DC there is a lot of hatred of whites. And that is no more right than hatred of blacks or others. Oddly, though, it seems to be tolerated a lot more.

  • ZZim

    This is a ploy by liberals to give SPECIAL rights and consideration to another one of their pet groups. The homosexuals are not excluded from protection under American law. The problem is that they want Americans to be forced to like them and their peculiar “lifestyle” or go to prison. They want “sacred cow” status. That is very unAmerican and very biased. It will lead to aggressive persecution of anyone who is deemed hostile to homosexual deviancy by word or deed. Posted by: battleground51 | October 14, 2009 6:27 AM Report Offensive Comment =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Battleground, settle down. You are certainly correct in your presumption that liberals intend to abuse this law in order to punish conservatives for conservative speech. However, hate crime laws are a two-edged sword. Once both sides of the issue manage to abuse it, it will be muzzled. Also, if you are concerned about the “liberals” gaining power over this, you are mistaken. Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans, they will disproportionately suffer from the effects of this bill. That will lead to fractures in the liberal coalition and weaken liberalism in general. So relax, let them shoot themselves in the foot.

  • Toosoonoldtoolatesmart

    The Hate Crimes bill should go a long way toward stemming the tide of Islamic terrorism against non-believers.

  • hohandy1

    “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans” Wow ZZIM – make up numbers much? Do you always just make up lies when discussing things as your assertion isn’t based upon anything resembling fact. The FBI puts out a report that details statistics of hate crimes each year – for 2007, the latest year available, more than 3 times the number of hate crimes were committed by whites than blacks. Of course, since you obviously have other information that you’re purporting to be “fact”, maybe you should contact the FBI and let them know that you have better numbers than they do – I’m sure they would appreciate it.

  • EarlC

    What a bunch of rubbish. Preachers who actually preach the Bible will have not trouble. Those who go off on tangents and insert their own biases may be in trouble. The problem with those like Robertson and Dobson is that they think that their interpretation of Scripture is inerrant. If they just stick to the Word of God as translated in most texts, they will be fine. Actually, they can decide to follow the teachings of Jesus and they will be better yet.

  • coloradodog

    “Christians For Hate Crimes” – how typical

  • MoLove

    “80% of hate crimes committed by African Americans”…wow sounds like hate to me. ZZIM, do you hate African Americans? It’s so funny how people like you like to blame African Americans for everything bad in this country. So now we’re the ones committing all of the hate crimes? It saddens me as an African American to know that you believe that. If you read any of the blogs on this website–it doesn’t matter what the subject is–it almost always evolves into a conversation about race with black people being the bad guys. I bet if there are any statistics out there counting those groups that are attacked because of hate, African Americans would be at the top of the list. Many of the struggles African Americans face today are because of hatred against the race. Furthermore, its a sad fact, but many of the crimes being committed by African Americans are against other African Americans.

  • jhtlag1

    I’m baffled by the tone of the argument while it seems to support my arguments. Yes, Pearson was nuts. Isn’t that what racists are, nuts? They have an obsession; Heck, De La Beckwith could have stayed out of prison if he’d just shut up, but he was obsessed, kept going after it after the fact. Almost, kind of in a way he wanted to go to prison. Any your second point, “Oddly, it is tolerated more” Nothing odd about it. Wasn’t that my point? the idea that anyone taking a hate crime against say, a white male seriously would be laughable? Just an ambiguous, fuzzy idea that doesn’t serve the rule of law well.

  • rockcreek2

    This bill is long overdue and absolutely necessary, as much as it was to protect the original victims. They do hate us. Gays are assulted and killed just for being here, and these fundamentalist leaders know they sow the seeds of hate in their sermons. These ministers are anything but ‘Christian’, they are political leaders wishing to destroy the freedom of America, all the while waiting for the destruction of the world after their ‘rapture’. I find it incredible that seemingly normal people would believe in ‘hell’ on everyone but themselves. Hating the sin and not the sinner is simply a lie and a type of hypocritical passive/aggressive behavior used by those who ‘pray for us’.

  • coloradodog

    Speaking of hate crimes, Mormon Utah has had plenty – especially against gays. Not only in the streets but from the Church who drove their young members to suicide when their families disowned them and by electroshock torture of gays (even at BYU) to “cure” them. Elder Dallin H. Oaks had the ingenious gall to pronounce, “The anti-Mormon backlash after California voters overturned gay marriage last fall is similar to the intimidation of Southern blacks during the civil rights movement” Blacks were not allowed to hold the Mormon priesthood until 1981 (only after other universities boycotted BYU in the NCAA playoffs). For Mormons to compare the backlash against their huge multi-state PAC for Proposition 8 in California to the struggle of blacks is a stretch at best, if no down right delusional dishonesty. Michael Otterson who conjured up this Rovian style propaganda for Oaks should resign in disgrace for his incompetency. Oaks suggested that atheists and others are seeking to intimidate people of faith and silence their voices in the public square, forgetting that just a month ago, Mormon thug security guards intimidated a gay couple in Main Street Square in Salt Lake City. Growing up in Utah, I not only say Catholics getting beaten up for being Catholics but gays being beaten up for being gay and even a gay friend blow his brains our because his loving family and Church disowned him. We need Federal hate crime laws, if nothing else, to apply in the Mormon theocracy in the State of Utah.

  • ccnl1

    Again, some reality about homosexuality: Hmmm, the NT says nothing about gay sex? Au Contraire!!! Thou shalt Not Commit Adultery and Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Wife/Husband/Partner with the corollary of Thou Shalt Not Fornicate pertain not only to heterosexual couples but also homosexual couples. This probably is no concern to non-Christians or non-Jews but it should be a major concern to those religious types that believe in the teachings of the OT, NT, the Commandments and all of its corollaries. So we have a Christian God who supposedly created all of us to include homosexuals. Said God is therefore responsible for the defective gene/mind-set that causes homosexuality. One might conclude from this that the Christian God would therefore approve same-sex unions since that is the only sin-free state where any type of couple-sex can be performed.

  • solsticebelle

    Organized religion is the ultimate hate crime.

  • rockcreek2

    CCNL1: To clear up something, To ‘fornicate’ in the original text meant to have sexual relations under the arbors, a reference to prositution.

  • bobbarnes

    CCNL1, NO SALE. That is just plain stretching it, are you that desperate? Jesus said nothing about homosexuality but he did abhorred divorce. We all notice where you put your energy, anything anti-gay, right?

  • mike85

    Constitutional guarantees in the bill are not enough. In the past nine months we have all seen how the Obama Administration totally ignores the constitution and simply does what it wants.

  • ZZim

    “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans” Wow ZZIM – make up numbers much? Do you always just make up lies when discussing things as your assertion isn’t based upon anything resembling fact. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Whenever hate crime laws have been put into place – and they have been tried before – 80% of those indicted for hate crimes are African-American. It’s a repeating pattern. That’s why prominent African-American politicians have almost always opposed these sorts of laws. Personally, I have no problem with hate crime laws. It’s a useful tool for law enforcement authorities to super-charge a defendant’s prospective jail time and keep them off the streets for as long as possible.

  • JohninMpls

    The hate crimes legislation would protect you, as well. If you are the victim of a violent crime due to your race (white), your sexual orientation (straight), or your sex (male), it could be prosecuted as a hate crime. No specific group is called out in the legislation. This is equal protection. —– Homosexuals and other “protected groups” have in effect become more equal than straight white males. Does no one really hate my kind?

  • ZZim

    Organized religion is the ultimate hate crime. Posted by: solsticebelle | October 14, 2009 10:49 AM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- And crap like this is why leaders of organized religions are opposed to these laws. Because bigots like Solticebelle will try to abuse these laws in order to attack freedom of religion. However, Solsticebelle and her friends will start screaming bloody murder when someone turns the tables and uses hate crime laws to persecute the Liberals right back. I’m looking forward to watching these fireworks. Please pass the hate crime laws.

  • edbyronadams

    I am opposed to hate crimes legislation because I think it is more divisive than uniting. Who gets placed in the special classes of double protection is entirely political and arbitrary divisions of the polis by legislative means is flat wrong. That said, this legislation does not affect speech but acts. It should have no effect on free expression. That evil of suppressing speech remains the province of college campuses only at this date.

  • ZZim

    “80% of hate crimes committed by African Americans”…wow sounds like hate to me. ZZIM, do you hate African Americans? It’s so funny how people like you like to blame African Americans for everything bad in this country. So now we’re the ones committing all of the hate crimes? It saddens me as an African American to know that you believe that. Posted by: MoLove | October 14, 2009 10:25 AM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- No Mo, I don’t hate African Americans or anyone else. I don’t even believe you exist. Race is a superstition like “the Earth is flat” or “the Moon is made of cheese”. It’s unfortunate, Mo, but the vast majority of the criminals who find themselves facing hate crime charges over the next few years will be African-American. This has been the pattern every time one of these laws has been passed. It’s also the main reason cited when one gets repealed.

  • hohandy1

    “Whenever hate crime laws have been put into place – and they have been tried before – 80% of those indicted for hate crimes are African-American.” C’mon ZZIM – you’re making stuff up out of thin air. if you’re going to present “facts” the least you can do is tell the truth. The FBI statistics show that the number of hate crimes committed by whites is 3X that of blacks, yet you continue with the made-up lies even when you’re are called on it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • ZZim

    Homosexuals and other “protected groups” have in effect become more equal than straight white males. Does no one really hate my kind? Posted by: JohninMpls | October 14, 2009 11:06 AM Report Offensive Comment =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John quit your whining. You don’t need special protection. You are a member of the richest and most powerful demographic on the frakking planet.

  • chatard

    Yes! We certainly DO think the Very Right Reverend Al Sharpton and the Most Pious Reverend Jesse Jackson should be arrested for hating Rush Limbaugh. Let’s see- who else hates Rush Limbaugh?

  • chatard

    Oh, yeah, and by the way- Maureen Dowd ATTACKED Sarah Palin while hating her. Off with her air head!

  • chatard

    And lest we forget, David Letterman HATES his wife AND Sarah Palin’s teenaged daughter.

  • Dungarees

    If an act is a crime, isn’t there inherently some hatred or motive? If so, can’t it be sufficient that if you do certain acts, it’s a crime. Regardless of whether it’s against a person of a different persuasion, regardless of what that persuasion is? Why is a crime by a black against a black, a white against a white, a blue against a blue (to use the color in Peter, Paul and the late Mary’s song – I’m in love with a Big Blue Frog), any less a crime or a less punishable crime than a crime by a black against a white, by a blue against a black, or by white against a blue? Make the law simple and easy to understand. If an act is illegal, it’s illegal. If there’s differing levels of criminality, such as the various differences when one person kills another (manslaughter, murder, involuntary manslaughter, etc.), then fine. But there shouldn’t be excessive shading of the crimes or additives to criminal acts. Either you did something illegal, or you didn’t. Clear and simple. Easy to understand by the layman and by potential jurists. [email protected]

  • chatard

    Don’t you just HATE it?

  • chatard

    I HATE evil.

  • ccnl1

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The real crime is believing the bible is “god-inspired”!!!! Taking that “inspiration” out of the bible and bible-thumping priests, rabbis and evangelists would be out of a job. Praise the lord!!!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • conrad031

    Finally, while the bill does not define “sexual orientation,” the plain meaning —————————– What a COS!

  • chatard

    I HATE to say this, but David Waters has posted another column attacking Christians. Wonder if he HATES them?

  • Alex511

    fr battleground51: >… SPECIAL rights and consideration to another one of their pet groups. The homosexuals are not excluded from protection under American law. The problem is that they want Americans to be forced to like them and their peculiar “lifestyle” or go to prison. They want “sacred cow” status. That is very unAmerican and very biased. It will lead to aggressive persecution of anyone who is deemed hostile to homosexual deviancy by word or deed…. Completely UNTRUE. GLBTs only want EQUAL rights, not “special” ones. Quit listening to dobdork, robber$on and hagee, and get the REAL facts from http://www.pflag.org.

  • ZZim

    “Whenever hate crime laws have been put into place – and they have been tried before – 80% of those indicted for hate crimes are African-American.” C’mon ZZIM – you’re making stuff up out of thin air. if you’re going to present “facts” the least you can do is tell the truth. The FBI statistics show that the number of hate crimes committed by whites is 3X that of blacks, yet you continue with the made-up lies even when you’re are called on it. You should be ashamed of yourself. Posted by: hohandy1 | October 14, 2009 11:18 AM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=- “Indicted”, Hohandy, I said “indicted”. When it comes to expression of group hatred, straight white males do it more than anyone else, true, primarily because there are more of them. The vast majority of these hate crimes are property crimes or verbal abuse. When it comes to vicious crimes motivated by racial hatred or homophobia that are likely to be prosecutable under hate crime laws, these crimes are more likely to be perpetrated by African-Americans. Most of these incidents are against minority immigrants or minority homosexuals. They get little or no media play because they don’t fit anyone’s political agenda, especially hate crimes against minority homosexuals.

  • chatard

    So according to the supposed defender of the First Amendment, nothing in The Act would prohibit a citizen from stating that he HATES those who falsely pretend to protect the First Amendment. He is entirely free to so state. However, should the citizen subsequently get into an agument with the false First Amendment supporter over a card game and smack him upside the head, nothing in The Act would prevent a prosecutor from going back in time and extracting the defendant’s statement that he HATES phony First Amendment supporters and charging him with a HATE crime, now would it? Gosh, I HATE to see my taxes go up to build more prisons for all the HATE CRIMES offenders.

  • jamshark70

    Chatard seems to be another of those partisans (of whatever stripe: liberal, conservative, Christian, atheist, whatever) who cannot tell the difference between CRITICISM and HATRED. Free speech means that somebody is going to disagree with you sometime, somewhere. If you consider that to be hatred, you are going to be one sorry, miserable dude. “Oh, oh, everybody hates me.” I think that what most people call “Christian” in this country has almost nothing do with the real meaning of Christianity, and I deplore the self-righteousness, self-superiority and judgmentalism in which people indulge in Jesus’ name. But I do NOT hate Christianity. If I hate anything, I hate the corruption of the religion brought about by those barely literate hate-mongers with back-alley Divinity degrees and just enough charisma to hoodwink their flock.

  • PolishBear1

    People err when assuming that expanding the hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation (meaning Gay AND Straight, by the way) will “criminalize” a person’’s thoughts. The current hate crimes law has been on the books since 1969, and NEVER over the past 40 years has someone been prosecuted for expressing prejudice against members of a race or a religious group. Christian pastors have been invoking Scripture against non-Christians for as long as there have been Christians, and the hate crimes statute has never been used against them. But there is a BIG difference between expressing personal prejudice against a group, and being motivated by that prejudice to attack someone’s person or property. I don’t care if Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Sean Hannity or Lou Sheldon hurl their anti-Gay invective until the cows come home; but if someone uses Scripture as a justification for beating up someone who is Gay, that’s a different story. Likewise when it comes to delineating between different crimes against property: There’s a big moral and ethical difference between someone who spraypaints a “tag” on a highway overpass, and someone who spraypaints swastikas on the front of a synagogue. Until conservatives mount a concerted effort to repeal the federal hate crimes statute that has been in effect for past 40 years, I’ll continue to see their arguments against the legislation now being considered as pretty disingenuous.

  • chatard

    Oh, shoot! I just said I HATE to pay taxes! Now if sometime down the road I don’t pay my taxes, which is a crime, I will be charged with a HATE crime! Sometime I just HATE myself.

  • jerkboy1

    Hate IS a Christian value. That’s why the Bible is being re-written as we speak. It’s all about feeling superior. The Bible has become nothing more than a phallic symbol.

  • hohandy1

    ““Indicted”, Hohandy, I said “indicted”. ” Actually, ZZIM, you said “Since 80% of hate crimes are committed by African-Americans” – it was only when you were called on that lie that you conveniently changed your story. And still haven’t provdided any back up for your numbers that clearly go against the FBI statistics. And now you’re trying to qualify “hate crimes” with your own special little definitions. I can make stuff up too, you know.

  • Alex511

    fr polishbear1: >… don’t care if Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Sean Hannity or Lou Sheldon hurl their anti-Gay invective until the cows come home; but if someone uses Scripture as a justification for beating up someone who is Gay, that’s a different story…. “dr” dobdork is the epitomy of hatred towards GLBTs. Watch the excellent “For the Bible tells me So” documentary and see how he treated a family with a gay son who just wanted to give him a letter. dobdork wouldn’t even set his big hairy toe outside of his “fortress” and had the family unlawfully ARRESTED for it.

  • hohandy1

    “So, point being ZZIM was correct.” Since ZZIM maintains that blacks commit 80% of the hate crimes, the numbers you post shows that ZZIM is completely wrong and just making stuff up. So, my question to you, is – are you really that stupid or do you just act like that on internet? You ever notice there seems to be a complete correlation between idiocy and bigotry and hate? We seem to have that illustrated in spades right here.

  • DCFem

    Why even bother arguing? Hate filled people are going to believe what they are going to believe regardless of facts, reason or logic. The only way to deal with them is to ignore them and continue on with the good work of ending domestic terrorism. Because that is exactly what murders like Matthew Shephard’s and James Byrd’s murders were — domestic terrorism to frighten members of specific groups.

  • michaelbindner

    Violent hate crimes are meant to send a message to a class of people. Killing a civil rights leader is a message for blacks to stay in line. (Didn’t work). That kind of message is terrorism and must not be considered free speech. It is not different than the Taliban throwing acid in the face of a woman seeking education or al Queda crashing a plane into the towers. Of course, we know how some conservative pastors reacted to that event as well. This bill is passing, so gay bashers beware. If you hurt someone to send a message, you are going away for a long time. Only knuckle dragging authoritarians oppose such provisions. Conservatives can whine all they want, they will still lose this one. It would be nice if they did it with some dignity.

  • Chops2

    You can not talk sense to fundamentalists, they r so ingrained in their bigotry. If the hate crime bill included those who commit a crime against a Protestant they would love it, but gays, hell no, smite em!!!

  • michaelbindner

    Liberalbasher. Please hate me, it makes me feel superior to you. However, if you actually follow up your authoritarian threats with violence, you will be prosecuted – although I don’t think political beliefs are covered under the statute (and I’m not gay, so the change in law has no effect on this).

  • Paganplace

    Criminal law has *always* taken motive into account: this is nothing new. Hate crimes are intended to attack entire population groups, …hate crimes protections protect all races, creeds, and orientations, including the ones that usually do the attacking. To say they create special rights or ‘Thought Police’ is simply more intellectual dishonesty from the Right. Untrue, even if they say it over and over. Even if you’d rather believe them.

  • EdgewoodVA

    Battleground5 says: “Just look what happened when the Catholic Church decided to open the doors to homosexual priests.” Since WHEN did the Catholic Church LET homosexual priests in?? I’d like to see the Papal decree that invites–much less welcomes–homosexuals into ANY position within the church for any other purpose besides conversion and condemnation. And as for your paranoia regarding the “Hate Police,” I’m curious to know about the last time they pulled you over to issue a ticket or knocked upon your door demanding that you let them in. Take comfort: if Obama really is the manifestation of Hitler that fools like you claim he is, then this sort of legislation might actually protect (what I assume is) your pasty white a**! After all, how many loons are out there right now rallying for the next presidential assassination? I don’t see any of them being ‘cuffed and hauled away…

  • EdgewoodVA

    Jerusaemight says: “[Gays] will not be satisfied until they have banned the explicit Biblical prohibitions against their activity. It still won’t help. The Bible was already written down thousands of years ago, and they will never succeed in changing one single letter of it. ” Of course they won’t change it–the Conservative Bible Project has taken on that task themselves!

  • gwirishgurl37

    Why would educated public officials and ministers think that speaking or preaching that homosexuality is wrong would be against the law? The law specifically says “crime,” as in violent or harmful acts rooted in hate. Maybe these people need to go back to grade school and learn about the first amendment. all Americans (including Gays) have freedom of religion, of speech, and to peaceably assemble. So, unless they are planning to go out and bash in the heads of homosexuals for their lifestyle, this law does not infringe upon their rights.

  • ccnl1

    From Wikipedia: “Biology and sexual orientation is research into possible biological influences on the development of human sexual orientation. No simple cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated, and there is no scientific consensus as to whether the contributing factors are primarily biological or environmental. Many think both play complex roles.[1][2] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have both stated that sexual orientation probably has multiple causes.[3][4] Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of a heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual orientation. These include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. Conclusive proof of a biological cause of sexual orientation would have significant political and cultural implications. [5]“

  • ccnl1

    Gay Reality 101 Hmmm lets see, in gay sexual activity, who plays the guy and who plays the gal? Who is on top and who is on the bottom? A coin flip? To say the least, an unusual situation. Then there are those “made in China” toys/strap-ons. Lets hope the FDA has checked them for lead and other toxic components. And do said “toys” come with sanitizers and/or sterilization instructions. Lots and lots of “gays” doing their hot and heavy things on Internet tube sites but nothing about coin flipping, who is on first, and sanitizers sites?? There must be some “Gaying It For Dummies” books out there somewhere. Hmmm, I wonder if said books/sites have to have FDA and CDC approval?? Is said activity wrong and worthy of a trip to hell? Of course not but to the general heterosexual population it is yucky, unusual and not normal to them. With that mind set, approval by the majority is not always sanctioned in law. The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay sexual activities, married or not, to be “yucky” and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community. ” And after all of this rhetoric, gay “marriages” simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still “yucky” acts caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure?? Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research?? ” Impressive list of gay people who did not let their yucky defect get in the way of being a contribution to society. Unfortunately, they were not able to contribute to the evolutionary process of DNA improvement via procreation. And one will never know whether they would have achieved even greater achievements without said defect. From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly as alluded to in the following synopsis: continued below:

  • braxton1218

    Please tell me why do we need something called hate crimes as isn’t there laws for assaulting or killing anyone. Are we as human beings treated the same in crimes of hate. Also, I guess those in the pulpit could never, ever mention Romans 1 or they would be put in jail for bias instead of having the right to freedom of speech. This country is getting too politically correct. First, we are told they want equal rights and now we’re creating a separate bill…WHAT HYPOCRISY…..the norm for this tolerant intolerant society.

  • Alex511

    fr braxton1218: >…First, we are told they want equal rights and now we’re creating a separate bill…WHAT HYPOCRISY…..the norm for this tolerant intolerant society…. Nope, completely untrue. All we want are fully EQUAL rights under the law, and no, we do NOT “already have equal rights”.

  • Alex511

    fr braxton1218: >…Are we as human beings treated the same in crimes of hate…. NO. We are NOT, and that’s what glbts and our supporters are fighting to attain.——–