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BREAKING NEWS: GOP HOUSE PASSES ANTI-HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:38 pm - September 14, 2005.
Filed under: Gay Politics

While the hate-filled Gay Lefties are consumed with their own bile… .the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives just passed anti-hate crimes legislation.

When the Democrats controlled the US House for FORTY years, this never happened.

Developing….

UPDATE: Log Cabin Republicans release statement. Meanwhile today, the Human Rights Campaign blames Bush…. for something about abortion I’m sure. Here’s LCR’s release, and yes… the HRC release, too…. after the jump.

Log Cabin Republicans Praise House of Representatives for Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation
30 Republicans Vote to Extend Protections to LGBT Americans

(Washington, DC)—The Log Cabin Republicans praise the United States House of Representatives for passage of hate crimes legislation. “Today the United States House has courageously stood up for basic fairness for LGBT Americans,” said Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron. “This is a tremendous day for our entire LGBT community.”

The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, more commonly known as hate crimes legislation, expands the definition of “hate crime” to include incidence of violence motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim.

The bill, sponsored by John Conyers (D-MI), was proposed as an amendment to the Child Safety Protection Act, sponsored by Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL).

“Today, thanks to the courageous votes of 223 men and women, the United States House has sent a strong message that LGBT Americans are a valued part of our great country. They should be free to live their lives without fear of violence,” continued Barron.

The vote in the House was a historic one, with 223 members voting for the legislation and 199 voting against it. Thirty Republicans joined one independent and 194 Democrats in supporting hate crimes legislation.

============

Link to HRC news release

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005

HISTORIC HOUSE HATE CRIMES VOTE BOLSTERS TOOLS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

‘Hate crimes send a message of fear and Congress answered with a powerful law enforcement tool,’ said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act by an overwhelming 223 to 199 bipartisan vote, taking a historic step toward giving law enforcement the tools they need to enforce and prosecute hate crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. The measure was passed as an amendment to H.R. 3132, the “Children’s Safety Act.”

“Hate crimes send a message of fear and Congress answered with a powerful law enforcement tool,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We must ensure that some of the most heinous crimes are fully prosecuted and enforced. Members of the House, Democrats and Republicans alike, historically signaled today that local law enforcement officials deserve the tools this bill would provide toward fighting the scourge of hate crimes.”

“Every American child deserves the strongest protections from some of this country’s most horrifying crimes,” said Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard and HRC board member. “The House of Representatives answered our call today by passing a bill that would give law enforcement officials important crime-fighting tools. This makes families stronger. It makes America stronger.”

Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.; John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.; Christopher Shays, R-Conn.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; are the lead sponsors of the original bill, which would add actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to federal hate crime laws. It would give grants to the states to help prosecute these crimes and allow federal assistance in cases where needed to fully prosecute hate crimes.

The measure enjoys strong bipartisan support and is endorsed by more than 175 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, including: the National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and many others.

Poll after poll continues to show that the American public supports hate crimes legislation inclusive of sexual orientation, including a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in November 2001 showing that 73 percent of Americans supporting hate crimes legislation that includes sexual orientation and a Lake Snell Perry & Associates poll in August 2002 showing that 68 percent of likely voters support hate crimes laws for transgender Americans.

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26 Comments

  1. Huh?

    Is there even a federal hate crimes statute for “other” hate crimes? I thought those were all state laws.

    Need more details!

    (Bizarre that they would pass this, but not ENDA or ending DADT.)

    Comment by Clint — September 14, 2005 @ 3:56 pm - September 14, 2005

  2. Bruce I see your point……although, personally, I can’t get on board with this one because I think “hate crimes legislation” of any kind is wrong. (Attempting to punish thoughts…..Orwellian thought control.)

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 4:02 pm - September 14, 2005

  3. This is clearly an attempt by the Republican majority to take emphasis away from hate-crimes against blacks.
    F*cking racist Republicans!

    Comment by njz — September 14, 2005 @ 4:13 pm - September 14, 2005

  4. (joking aside, joe is spot-on)

    Comment by njz — September 14, 2005 @ 4:16 pm - September 14, 2005

  5. I’m not sure I’m in favor of the legislation either…. I hate the idea of “special rights” and infringing on “thought.” But there was a point to be made here… 🙂

    Comment by GayPatriot — September 14, 2005 @ 4:24 pm - September 14, 2005

  6. Hmm…Lets see.
    192 Democrats and 30 Republicans in Favor.
    194 Republicans and 5 Democrats Opposed.

    The Republican Leadership Refused to Allow this for a Vote.
    Democrat John Conyers forced a vote by attaching it as an amendment.

    There is lots to debate here, but don’t try and portray Republicans as the heroes. Thank God for those Republicans who voted in favor of it. But, the Republican Leadership (as you imply) deserves no credit.

    Comment by Gregg — September 14, 2005 @ 4:38 pm - September 14, 2005

  7. Joe, GP, I’m not sure I’m in favor of hate crimes legislation either. But I don’t view it as Orwellian. With or without it, anyone is still allowed to think hateful thoughts about gays, minorities, etc. They simply aren’t allowed to act on it in violent ways against the individuals they hate.

    Comment by pat — September 14, 2005 @ 5:27 pm - September 14, 2005

  8. Um, we’re supposed to strike up the band and have a parade because 16% of those in favor were Republicans?

    Maybe we should give them Freedom medals and a promotion while we’re at it.

    Woop-de-doo.

    Comment by GayCowboyBob — September 14, 2005 @ 5:49 pm - September 14, 2005

  9. #7 – It’s Orwellian because it punishes thoughts. Example. Say Osama murders someone. He deserves a heavy sentence. If it can be shown that his victim was one of the “extra protected” groups, and if it can be shown that Osama has had some negative or hateful thoughts about members of those groups, then it can be plausibly argued that it was a hate crime and (under the law) Osama now gets a different, extra heavy sentence. In short, he is being punished for thoughts.

    In addition, another effect or “message” of the HC law is that it is somehow worse to murder someone in the “extra protected” groups. That’s wrong. All murder is heinous. All murder should get heavy punishment, or at least years of social isolation (imprisonment). It is wrong to say that some murders are worse than others because of protected group status, and it is wrong to say that some murders are worse than others because of prior political or social thoughts/opinions. All murders are heinous.

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 7:21 pm - September 14, 2005

  10. I.e., the punishment is or ought to be for the heinous deed of murder, and nothing else, impartially.

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 7:22 pm - September 14, 2005

  11. Joe, I see your point, but I still disagree. In your example, Osama was not punished for having those thoughts, but for following through on those thoughts. First degree murder is a crime in which besides someone being killed, the killer also wanted to kill the victim (thought), and planned to do so (more thought). So a person guilty of first degree murder is given a lot of extra punishment because of his/her thoughts regarding the heinous act.

    Comment by pat — September 14, 2005 @ 8:54 pm - September 14, 2005

  12. It was still a Democratic led legislation! ONLY 30 Republicans voted for it. Not exactly a monumental shift in the Republican party.
    I am however still elated that 30 Republicans stepped up and went against the FAR RIGHT of thier party.

    On the other hand I to am uncomfortable with legislating “thought”!
    I AM AGAINST what they are doing in Europe, Arresting pastors/minsiters for deriding gays “FROM thier pulpet”!
    On the other hand, I’ve heard of a gay couple in FL that have been harressed mercilessly since they bought a house. So much so that they are AFRAID to live in it now.
    IF there wasn’t already a Hate Crime law I would say just consistantly enforce the laws already on the books. But since there IS a Hate Crime’s law then I do believe that Gays & Lesbians should be included on it!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by MarkP — September 14, 2005 @ 9:12 pm - September 14, 2005

  13. Am I correct in reading Log Cabin’s statement to say that this is a new bill — meaning that the Federal hate crimes law (whatever it actually does) is new for all the protected groups?

    That’s very, very different than adding sexual orientation to an already existing list of “protected” minorities.

    Comment by Clint — September 14, 2005 @ 9:39 pm - September 14, 2005

  14. #11 – First degree murder – Yes; but not because of their social/political thoughts about a particular group, nor because the victim was a member of some particular group.

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 11:47 pm - September 14, 2005

  15. To put it another way: First degree murder punishes the fact that the murder was intentional / premeditated. It asks questions about motive only just enough to establish the basic, essential fact of premeditation. It doesn’t discriminate among motives – until now; until hate crimes legislation.

    I’m saying all motives for intentional, premeditated murder are equally heinous and don’t pretend otherwise; nor try to penalize people extra for “bad thoughts”.

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 11:55 pm - September 14, 2005

  16. Personally I’m against hate-crime legislation all together.

    It’s just one more way of bestowing “special” rights to minorities.

    When was the last time you heard of a crime committed out of love? When was the last time a wife was beaten because the husband loved her “just too damn much.”

    All crimes are based on hate in some form or another. I honestly don’t see what the “thought” behind it has to do with it.

    Let’s say the same guy is tried and convicted separately for the murders of me and another white 27 year old who is straight. Should his sentence for killing me be more than the one for killing the straight guy?

    I can understand the reasoning behind the idea, but I just don’t agree with it. It’s making one crime more severe than the other.

    Comment by Chad — September 15, 2005 @ 1:06 am - September 15, 2005

  17. I also think Hate Crimes laws are stupid. I doubt that a criminal is really going to think, “Oh, heavens. The criminal code includes provisions requiring more severe penalties for crimes motivated by animus toward a a selected demographic sub-group. I think instead of beating some queer’s brains out with a baseball bat, I’ll just sit home, drink a cup of nice hot herbal tea and watch Lifetime.

    Just punish people for doing bad things, and leave bad thoughts out of it.

    Comment by V the K — September 15, 2005 @ 8:09 am - September 15, 2005

  18. This is about terrorism. The federal hate crimes statute was in enacted in 1968 to target crimes that sought to terrorize groups of Americans based on race, religion and national origin. However, two of the most targetted groups (based on sexual orientation and gender identity) are not included, and therefore not prosecuted as fully as these other categories. That is just wrong.

    Is there an argument against hate crimes laws? Absolutely. However, one should then argue that existing hate crime laws (applying to race, religion and national origin) should be removed. However, neither the religious right, nor the Republican Party, argue this. To them, it is simply thought policing when it applies to the gays.

    Comment by Gregg — September 15, 2005 @ 9:54 am - September 15, 2005

  19. #18 – Gregg – I agree.

    (a) Existing hate crimes laws should be removed.

    (b) I am a registered Independent.

    I would expect (a) to have been clear from my comments.

    Comment by joe — September 15, 2005 @ 12:46 pm - September 15, 2005

  20. As a gay male, I am absolutely opposed to hate crimes bills and laws. Why should anyone be considered a worse target for violence than another? If I got gay-bashed, the perpetrator should be convicted for his crime, based on the CRIME itself, not simply because he did it to me.

    Hopefully, this kind of law will eventually be thrown out by the Supreme Court, as it cannot stand Constitutional scrutiny. It is more of the same tired left-wing special rights-based mumbo jumbo that brings us shills like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Thank God we don’t a gay version of those press-titutes.

    Comment by Modspell — September 15, 2005 @ 1:57 pm - September 15, 2005

  21. Does anyone have any deep insight into the actual use and effect of the 1968 federal hate crimes statute? If this is primarily a way to bring FBI resources to bear on multi-state conspiracies to commit hate-based violence (like getting wire tapping warrants against the KKK) — then I might be in favor of it, especially if any actual crimes are prosecuted in the states. If instead it’s being used so that someone acquitted in state court of a murder charge can be tried again in federal court on a “hate crime” charge… I’d seriously oppose that.

    The devil, here, is in details that haven’t yet been posted here — and which I don’t know.

    Comment by Clint — September 15, 2005 @ 3:22 pm - September 15, 2005

  22. #14,15. Joe, what I see is that you are simply distinguishing which types of thoughts should be given extra punishment. In those cases, like first degree murder, you ARE advocating that bad thoughts (i.e. wanting to kill somebody, and planning to do it) should be punished if it, in fact, does lead to the act being committed. So if your position is that certain thoughts should be given extra punishment and others shouldn’t, then I understand your position.

    With hate crimes, you are not distinguishing the reasons why one hates a particular group that lead to killing or assaulting individual(s) of that group or perceived group. They are simply being punished for those thoughts only if they lead to the violent crime.

    As I said, I am not sure where I stand on this issue. I would be more supportive if this was a deterrent. I like V the K’s Lifetime movie herbal tea comment, and I’m sure that it won’t deter some. But there are clearly people out there that think there is nothing wrong with attacking someone belonging to a group they don’t like. And it’s possible that some of these people would think twice if there was an extra penalty attached to the crime. But if there ends up being no evidence that it’s a deterrent (like capital punishment), then I would likely oppose all hate crime laws as well.

    Comment by Pat — September 15, 2005 @ 4:41 pm - September 15, 2005

  23. Whether you agree or not with hate-crime laws, I don’t see how the laws are unconstitutional.

    Comment by Pat — September 15, 2005 @ 4:45 pm - September 15, 2005

  24. #22 – Pat, no. Premeditation is an action. It refers to all the little planning actions you took to commit the murder – and to try to escape justice. Hate crime laws try to punish someone for their social/political views. As heinous as some views can be, fundamentally, actions are a different category of “heinous”. In America, we don’t prosecute or punish opinions – or, to the extent that we do now (because of recent hate crimes laws), we damn well shouldn’t.

    Comment by joe — September 16, 2005 @ 11:05 am - September 16, 2005

  25. Joe, I view premeditation as both thought and action. And malice aforethought is clearly thought.

    And again, the punishment for social/political views only occurs if it leads to violence. Hate crime laws are basically saying to me that you could have any irrational hatred you want, but you cannot act on it in a violent way. Same with first degree murder. You can hate someone all you want and wish them dead and thinking of ways to accomplish it. No punishment for that, unless it turns into murder of that individual.

    Comment by Pat — September 16, 2005 @ 11:50 am - September 16, 2005

  26. Fascinating how GayPatriot trumpeted that bill passed in the Republican led house, but seems to fall strangely silent when it’s pointed out that it did so despite opposition from the leadership and with only 30 Republican votes. Hmmm, wonder why that could be….

    Comment by BuddhaKitty — September 19, 2005 @ 10:23 pm - September 19, 2005

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