Posted By Bobby Eberle On July 16, 2009 at 6:57 am
As the Senate debates the final provisions of a $680 billion defense bill, Democrats are trying to poison the water by adding a hate crimes bill to the package. It's quite obvious that hate crimes legislation and a defense authorization bill have nothing in common and should not be voted on together.
In addition, where is it written that one group, one gender, one class of people are more special and worthy of more protection than another group? Only in left-wing America. Equal protection under the law? Not any more.
The federal hate crimes bill which is sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has been attached as an amendment by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to the defense appropriations bill. As noted in The Boston Globe, "Most Republicans oppose the legislation, saying it infringes on states' rights or could lead to the criminalization of religious expressions of opposition to homosexuality."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, has called for a vote, requiring 60 supporters, to move forward on the hate crimes measure. That vote could come as early as today, but timing for a final vote on the amendment was uncertain.
Current hate crimes law applies to acts of violence motivated by prejudice against a person's race, color, national origin, or religion. That would expand under the legislation to include crimes targeting people because of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Sen. John McCain spoke out against the move on Wednesday, saying, "Those of us who oppose this legislation -- and it is important legislation -- will be faced with a dilemma of choosing between a bill which can harm, in my view, the United States of America and its judicial system and a bill defending the nation. I don't think that's fair to any member of this body."
One of the main controversies (outside of the fact that the entire premise of "hate" crimes is wrong) is that the new legislation would cover sexual orientation. Religious groups, which teach that homosexuality is wrong, are obviously concerned on what this bill would do to their ability to promote their teachings.
According to a story in the Associated Press:
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other supporters also stressed that religious leaders or others who voice objections to homosexuality could not be held liable. The bill "does not criminalize speech or hateful thoughts," he said. "It seeks only to punish action, violent action, that undermines the core values of our nation."
So, what happens if some nut-job sits in a church sermon and then goes out and kills someone based on what he heard in church? Without ANY form of hate crimes legislation, that person would be tried for murder. But now, since those on the left feel that a murder charge doesn't send the right message, the criminal would be charged with a hate crime. But then the guy states that he did it because of what he learned in church.... that he was following God's will. Now what?
The bill is bad, and it has no place being attached to the defense bill. If you'd like to contact your senators, just use the link below (link here). No one deserves special treatment or favored treatment. This is America where we should all be treated equally.
Thank you! I've been saying this for years! Some crimes are perhaps more "hateful" than others because of the circumstances, but does this mean that it's really worse? Calling a crime a "hate" crime doesn't change the facts of the case at all. Everyone is special to someone. A person who is dead, isn't anymore dead because they are gay, or elderly, or black, or the method of their death. Dead is dead.
However, the circumstances can increase the penalty. The punishment for committing a hate crime shouldn't be determined until the facts are presented and a person convicted. Once convicted, that's the time to add on the "hate" aspect, and load 'em up, I say. Bury them under the jail, lock 'em up and throw away the key, whatever will keep them out of society is fine by me.
But first, I want them to have a trial that they can't appeal. What I'm saying is, I don't want anyone to go to trial and be given the opportunity later to say that they were convicted because of public sentiment, that they were made notorious or didn't have a fair trial because of the publicity of a "hate" crime.
If they had an unfortunate upbringing and just weren't taught how to treat other people with the respect they deserve as fellow human beings, then society has yet another problem, which can't be legislated, no matter how much Liberals would like to legislate us into robotic beings with the same thoughts as every other person in the world. Liberals seem to want us to "be on a level playing ground" but then want to elevate certain groups to another status. You can't have it both ways.
Either we're all equal under the law or we're not.