As Appeared in The June 2009 Middle American News
Homosexual victims of violence would gain new federal protections under a revived and expanded “hate crimes” bill passed on April 29 by the U.S. House of Representatives on a 249-175 vote. The legislation— attacked by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, as “dividing America” by singling out a special group for protection— provides a financial bonanza to state and local authorities, with grants for investigation and prosecution of “hate crimes.”
The bill, which adds protections based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability, is now pending before the U.S. Senate. The change is a radical and unwise one. Current law only permits federal prosecutions against crimes based on race, religion, color or national origin – and only when victims are engaged in federally protected activity such as voting.
President Barack Obama crows that “we’ve begun the work off remaking America” – and no doubt that’s why he supports this legislation which essentially makes it illegal to think certain things. If someone kills or rapes somebody, he should be prosecuted for murder or rape. What that person may have been thinking in the commission of such a crime is irrelevant.
The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a homosexual who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998. The homosexual rights lobby used this case to launch a national public relations campaign to establish new “hate crimes”— yet ironically the Shepard case serves to underscore why this “hate crimes” bill is unnecessary. Shepard’s attackers were successfully prosecuted without homosexuals being designated as a protected class.
Proponents seek to add “gender identity” to current law because they claim these crimes have rising in recent years. But the FBI reports that such attacks have remained constant – between 7,000 and 9,000 a year nationwide— since 1992. By the way, there are many cases of homosexuals attacking, abusing and killing straight males, especially young boys, but the gay rights lobby and their media allies could care less about that,
Republicans in the House did an admirable job of fighting back, but they couldn’t bring enough Democrats over to their side to block the bill. (House GOP leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the bill makes him “want to throw up.”)
Perhaps a recent Washington Times editorial puts this legislative fight in proper perspective:
“ (T)he motivation isn’t about punishing crime as much as it is about controlling certain thoughts and views. Once homosexuals become a special class protected by hate-crime legislation, the back door is open to prosecuting those who speak out against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. (The) House vote was really about creating thought crimes to further the liberal agenda.”