‘Hate Crime’ Bill Goes to Obama for Signature

imagesbannerscp_120x60Reprinted by permission of the Christian Post

By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Oct. 23 2009 09:10 AM EDT

After a decade-long struggle, Congress passed a bill Thursday evening that would make it a federal crime to attack someone based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

From the Folsom Stree Fair (Credit: Mark J Handel)
From the Folsom Street Fair (Credit: Mark J Handel)

The Senate – in a 68-29 vote, with most Republicans opposed – approved the measure that was attached to the $680 billion defense spending bill. It adds sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to the existing list of categories which include race, religion, color or national origin. The measure now heads to President Obama’s desk, who has vowed to sign it.

Though proponents of the bill celebrate its passage as a historic civil rights moment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement, conservatives and some Christian groups fear the measure will infringe on their right to freedom of speech.

Opponents of the bill, dubbed by some as the “thought crimes” legislation, argue that it is unnecessary because gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are already protected under existing state laws. They also say the bill could be used to prosecute Christian broadcasters and pastors who preach homosexuality as sin because they could be accused of inciting violence.

“This hates crimes provision is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, following the bill’s passage.

But Attorney General Eric Holder has asserted that the federal hate crimes law would only be used to prosecute violent acts based on prejudice, not speech or beliefs.

Capital Gay Pride parade in Albany, New York, USA in 2009 (Credit: Tim Schapker)
Capital Gay Pride parade in Albany, New York, USA in 2009 (Credit: Tim Schapker)

The hate crimes measure is named after Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped and beaten to death in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., a black man who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck in Texas in 1998.

“We look forward to President Obama signing it into law: our nation’s first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest group in the country advocating for LGBT rights.

Obama in a recent address to the Human Rights Campaign called for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which bans gays from openly serving in the military; the passage of the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act, which would extend family benefits to the partner of gay and lesbian federal workers; and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines legal marriage as between a man and a woman.

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19 Responses to “‘Hate Crime’ Bill Goes to Obama for Signature”

  1. Our country is on a disastrous path. We have been fighting this evil “hate crimes” legislation since they began pushing it. ALL crime is hateful, and all people get equal protection under the law, so this bill is completely unnecessary. This is truly a “thought crimes” bill, and it's despicable that it is attached to the defense spending bill. Opponents are absolutely right; the end purpose of this bill is to silence those who oppose homosexuality and related perversions. We're following the societal roads of Canada and the U.K. regarding “hate speech” laws.

    This bill is named after Matthew Shepard, and that is another part of the big lie. The media, and even those in Congress, steadfastly refuse to point out that Shepard's murder was NOT due to his homosexuality, but due to the perpetrators' desire to get money for their drugs.

    This bill is yet another outrage forced on our country by the fascists who have taken over the White House and Congress. By the way, before someone says “socialism and fascism are opposite as left and right,” let me point out that fascism does not necessarily mean rightwing authoritarianism (as in Italy in the 1920s). The left is quite capable of implementing a system of government of one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of the opposition, and the retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized government control; in fact, I would say the left is well on its way to accomplishing most of this as we speak.

    Gina Miller

  2. Gina, you said:

    “…the end purpose of this bill is to silence those who oppose homosexuality and related perversions.”

    That's quite a serious accusation, so I feel I should direct your attention to Section 4311 of the act: “Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech…including the exercise of religion…” If you would take the time to actually read the legislation for yourself, you'll learn that in no way, shape, or form does it restrict your First Amendment right to verbally bash gay people. So sleep soundly — you can keep referring to people like me as homo-perverts to your heart's content and without fear of legal consequences (just don't expect to make a lot of friends in the gay community if that's your idea of “spreading God's love”).

    Also, your mention of Canada and the United Kingdom shows that like other anti-gay fundamentalists who attempt to make the same argument, you conveniently forget that neither Canada nor the U.K. has anything resembling the level of free speech we enjoy here in the United States. Your comparison is nothing more than an irrational, dishonest scare tactic and is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    But if you insist that this act is designed to restrict your freedom of speech as a Christian, then I would ask you to please provide evidence for your claim.

    And as a note to the site manager, people who dress in drag or parade themselves half-naked through the streets represent a very small part of the gay community. That would be like me posting a picture of protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church with their “God Hates Fags” signs and passing it off as a general representation of all Christians.

  3. While I would probably disagree with you on many things, you make some very good points. However, I have somewhat different problems with the idea of “hate crimes” laws than discussed here. First, it's not necessary. Crime is an action that calls for punishment; if it's punished properly, there is no point in punishing the motive. Second, in this case it sets up practicers of homosexual sex as being a specially protected class — something such people can hardly claim to deserve more than others. They have, and neither need nor merit any more than, the SAME protection that others have. While I would hardly claim that persecution of “gays” is nonexistent, neither is it as common as we're led to believe. (It's very telling that a fake case of it, Shepard's, has to be used as justification for “hate crimes” laws.) Frankly, it's currently more common for “gays” to commit crimes against Christians than it is for them to have *anyone* commit anything against them for being “gay.”

  4. Soccer, I know my assertion is quite a serious accusation, but if you don't realize that the desired end result that these maniacs in Obaminable's administration want is to silence those of us who disagree with their evil agenda, then there is nothing I can say to help you see. Like DCM and I said, this “hate crimes” legislation is unnecessary at best and downright evil at worst. The bill itself (S 909) has an introduction (Section 2: Findings) full of lies, claiming hate crimes are a real probelm and these victims need “special protection” because they can't move about freely for fear of attack. It makes other lying claims as well.

    Since there is no such epidemic problem of homosexuals being attacked in our country by those who abhor that deathstyle choice (the majority of abuse on homosexuals comes from fellow homosexuals), then what is the real reason for this bill? Of course, the crafters of this bill cannot come right out and say, “We ultimately desire, with this legislation, to silence Christians,” as they would have a very hard time getting that one to stand. You site what you say is from “Section 4311,” and I see that those words are found in Section 10 of the actual bill that passed, but another part of that same Section 10 states:

    “(1) RELEVANT EVIDENCE- Courts may consider relevant evidence of speech, beliefs, or expressive conduct to the extent that such evidence is offered to prove an element of a charged offense or is otherwise admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Nothing in this Act is intended to affect the existing rules of evidence.”

    Regardless of what you say, this legislation is the “foot in the door,” and my assertion of its sinister, desired end-result is not wrong.

    Gina Miller

  5. “Frankly, it's currently more common for 'gays' to commit crimes against Christians than it is for them to have *anyone* commit anything against them for being 'gay.'”

    I would very much like to see where you are getting that information, DCM. According to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics homepage (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2007/victims.htm), the breakdown of hate crimes against gays and lesbians and hate crimes against Christians in 2007 is as follows:

    – 1,512 people were victims of a hate crime based on their sexual orientation. Out of this number, 58.9% of the victims identified as gay, and 13.0% identified as lesbian.

    – 1,628 people were victims of a hate crime based on their religion. Out of this number, only 8.4% of the victims identified as Christian (this figure includes both Catholics and Protestants). The majority of anti-religious hate crime victims in 2007 were Jewish (69.2%).

    In other words, there were more anti-gay hate crime victims in 2007 than there were anti-Christian hate crime victims.

  6. Soccer, you are wasting your time trying to defend this evil legislation. There is no epidemic of crimes against homosexuals by non-homosexuals in our country. We are the most “tolerant” nation in the world, even though the majority of our country rightly views homosexuality as the abominable perversion that it is. You should take your deathstyle to Saudi Arabia and see how it works for you, or maybe go to Iran and try not to get yourself hung from a crane. You know we do not do that to homosexuals here in America.

    Perhaps, if you're a reading man, you might study Hitler's rise and fall. Pay close attention to the “Brown Shirts,” and their role in his administration. They were a troop of homosexual thugs. They did a lot of Hitler's dirty work, but when they outlived their “usefullness,” they were summarily slaughtered in what is historically called the “Night of the Long Knives.” Learn from history, and maybe you will wake up to reality.

    Gina Miller

  7. Gina,

    The Federal Rules of Evidence simply distinguish what can and cannot be considered admissible evidence in a judicial proceeding.

    If childish name-calling and paranoia are the best evidence you can provide for your claim, then no, I'm not convinced. Nor would any rational person.

    By the way, I was citing from H.R. 2647: The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Division E – Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Section 4711: Construction and Application (I mistyped that as Sec. 4311 in my original post, sorry).

  8. You're right, Gina. Why bother trying to have a rational conversation with someone when she is going to flatly ignore any evidence I provide? Have a good night.

  9. Childish name-calling and paranoia to prove my claim? The only thing that will actually prove my claim is time. Time will pass as the left's evil agenda unfolds. Tom Tancredo agrees with me and many others: “Hate Crimes Law, Another Attack on Free Speech,” http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageI… . Some people do not have the foresight to see the logical end of certain events. Even those on the left may not fully understand the ultimate purpose for actions taken by their “leaders.” The left lies to everyone. Even the working title of the bill with Shepard's name in it is a lie. Shepard was not killed because he was a homosexual. What – they didn't mention that little inconvenient fact on MSNBC or ABC or in Congress?

    No, I'm not paranoid (and, I don't recall having called you any name besides “Soccer”). I'm a realist, and I know how evil the left is, how twisted their motivations are, and how they hate people, yes, even their most rabid supporters. Hate crimes legislation is pure wickedness. Murder and various other assaults are ALREADY ILLEGAL when perpetrated against ANYONE in our country. Again, I ask, what is the ulitmate purpose of hate crimes legislation? Only a person who does not have ears to hear, eyes to see, or a mind that can understand, would not see the real reason for this vile legislation.

  10. Oh, surely hate crimes legislation would NEVER be used to curtail free speech! Right. We've been following the path of socialist Europe, and we're hot on their heels.

    Think this couldn't happen here in America? “Grandmother who objected to gay march is accused of hate crime:” http://tinyurl.com/ygngton

  11. Soccerphoenix I believe you are very intelligent and well-informed, but simply disingenuous on this subject. You know very well that the statistics that you cite are heavily skewed in favor of gay and lesbian interests by government bureaucrats either indebted to or fearful of homosexual activists.

    DCM wrote “it's currently more common for 'gays' to commit crimes against Christians than it is for them to have *anyone* commit anything against them for being 'gay.'” And that is unarguably true in the sense of attacks on Christians for their beliefs.

    The FBI statistics only take into account crimes that were reported, prosecuted and convicted. Homosexuals are much more likely to claim persecution and crimes against them for there lifestyle. Proscecutors are much more likely to pursue complaints raised by homosexuals and courts are much more likely to convict. All this adds up to grossly inflated statistics that make it look as though homosexuals are victims of anti-homosexaul perpetrators on a near-daily basis. That is simply untrue, and you know it.

    Much more often, homosexuals are lauded and glorified and given every social advantage apparently just being sodomites. Just that comment would get many people fired or at least sentenced to several days of “sensitivity training” were there employer to know of it. Have you ever heard of a homosexual being fired for anti-Christain comments? Or sensitivity training to help them learn to be more tolerant of the Christian point of view? Ridiculous, isn't it?

    Many of the attacks and disgusting displays aimed at Christians and other Bible-believing religious groups are never reported or are dismissed by the government run media and the legal system. Remember the violent demonstrations by gays following the passage of Prop 8? How many arrests, prosecutions and convictions came from those well-documented events? Don't bother looking it up, Soccerphoenix. None!

    The following is a list of articles on the homosexual assault on Christians gleaned from a couple of minutes of a Google search:

    http://americansfortruth.com/issues/gay-activis

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Persecution/Default.a

    http://www.christianadc.org/

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?i

    http://www.afajournal.org/2006/february/206GayW

    http://www.stoptheaclu.com/2008/11/20/gay-activ

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/articl

    http://jameshartlinereport.blogspot.com/2009/07

    The homosexaul war on Christians might not often make it into the statistics of the bureaucracy, but is none-the-less intense, coordinated and unrelenting and far exceeds any alleged “hate crimes” against homosexuals.

  12. “You know very well that the statistics that you cite are heavily skewed in favor of gay and lesbian interests by government bureaucrats either indebted to or fearful of homosexual activists.”

    No, actually I don't know. Would you mind showing me some evidence?

  13. dr theo You said that statistics can't be considered valid because they are heavily skewed by government beaurocrats in favor of gays and lesbians. Are you saying that the FBI report cited earlier is skewed and if so are you saying the FBI has a pro-Gay agenda ? Also could you list a few of these of beaurocrats that are doing all this obscuring. Where is the proof behind the statement.

    I also looked at your references and noticed the examples of gays intimidating or harming Christians was all anecdotal. No numbers or stats at all.Being a man of science, you are aware of the pitfalls of anecdotal comments I don't see how either side can claim that more harmful acts are being perpetrated on them with such scanty information( although the FBI did at least have stats) and the fact that both sides frequently don't report such instances.

    No matter, I love how Americans fight for their beliefs and freedoms no matter what side they sit on.Extremists from both sides have acted egregiously.

  14. Just have a look at some of the links I've provided and the fact that it is
    virtually unheard of for a homosexual activist to be charged with, much less
    convicted, of any actions against Christians, even though they are quite
    common.

    Therefore, the stats that you cite from the government are unreliable and
    simply more proof that the homosexual mafia has taken control of government,
    business, education, etc. Hate crimes legislation is yet another attempt
    to silence Americans who hold to a point of view espoused by virtually every
    major religion since the beginning of man.

  15. I'm afraid this is the end of our conversation, Dr. Theo. I'm sorry but I simply can't take anyone seriously if he uses the phrase “homosexual mafia.”

  16. dr theo You said that statistics can't be considered valid because they are heavily skewed by government beaurocrats in favor of gays and lesbians. Are you saying that the FBI report cited earlier is skewed and if so are you saying the FBI has a pro-Gay agenda ? Also could you list a few of these of beaurocrats that are doing all this obscuring. Where is the proof behind the statement.

    I also looked at your references and noticed the examples of gays intimidating or harming Christians was all anecdotal. No numbers or stats at all.Being a man of science, you are aware of the pitfalls of anecdotal comments I don't see how either side can claim that more harmful acts are being perpetrated on them with such scanty information( although the FBI did at least have stats) and the fact that both sides frequently don't report such instances.

    No matter, I love how Americans fight for their beliefs and freedoms no matter what side they sit on.Extremists from both sides have acted egregiously.

  17. Just have a look at some of the links I've provided and the fact that it is
    virtually unheard of for a homosexual activist to be charged with, much less
    convicted, of any actions against Christians, even though they are quite
    common.

    Therefore, the stats that you cite from the government are unreliable and
    simply more proof that the homosexual mafia has taken control of government,
    business, education, etc. Hate crimes legislation is yet another attempt
    to silence Americans who hold to a point of view espoused by virtually every
    major religion since the beginning of man.

  18. I'm afraid this is the end of our conversation, Dr. Theo. I'm sorry but I simply can't take anyone seriously if he uses the phrase “homosexual mafia.”

  19. It is very hard to complie statistics when authorities refuse to acknowledge the reports. All that there is are anecdotal reports. I ask again, with all the violent gay protests after the Prop 8 decision, much of which was recorded on video, how many arrests were there? How many formally charged? Convicted? None of these events were entered into the statistics as attacks on Christians, but attacks they most certainly were. Anecdotal evidence is not rejected a priori in science. Anecdotal reports of serious birth defects related to Rubella Measles lead to policy changes before any cuasitive link was firmly established.