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Hate Crimes Passes, Mixes With Iraq War Politics

Dateline Washington… news via Log Cabin Republicans.

Senate Approves Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Bill 60-39 – All Headline News

Senate Democrats on Thursday morning passed by a 60-39 vote a hate crimes bill attached to the critical defense appropriations bill funding the Iraq War and Pentagon.

The bill incorporates violent crimes against gays into the federal hate crimes laws.

The hate crimes bill had key bipartisan support from co-sponsors Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).

“We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home,” Smith was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

“The defense authorization is about dealing with the challenges of terrorism overseas…This (bill) is about terrorism in our neighborhood,” Kennedy said according to the AP.

However, many Republicans viewed it as inappropriate.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that violent crimes against homosexuals did not constitute terrorism and adding such a bill to the defense authorization amounted to a “hijack” of the bill, which includes a pay raise for troops during war time, the AP reports.

Analysts had said that adding the hate crimes bills lessened the chances the defense appropriations bill will be passed.

But delaying passage of the defense authorizations bill buys time for Democrats to muster more Republican support to develop a plan to withdraw from Iraq, according to The Hill reports.

We have mixed feelings here at GayPatriot on the hate crimes legislation.   I would have much preferred a full-court press on Employment Non-Discrimination legislation than his close-to-borderline infringement on the First Amendment.  And I certainly think it is a mistake to put this legislation onto the Defense Appropriations Bill!!

Reax from Hypocrite Rights Campaign’s Panderer In Chief….

For over a decade our community has worked tirelessly to ensure protections to combat violence motivated by hate and today we are the closest we have ever been to seeing that become a reality.  Congress has taken an historic step forward and moved our country closer to the realization that all Americans, including the GLBT community, are part of the fabric of our nation.  The new leadership in Congress fully understands that for too long our community has been terrorized by hate violence.  And today, the US Senate has sent a clear message to every corner of our country that we will no longer turn a blind eye to anti-gay violence in America.

By the way, does the hate crimes legislation do something useful like make illegal the efforts to publicly “out” gay Americans against their wishes?  That would be a nice amendment….

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Bits & Pieces Between the Carolinas

Wow.   You really can’t make this stuff up.

SC Amputee’s Lost Leg Found In Barbecue Smoker – Charlotte Observer

John Wood is trying to get from South Carolina to Catawba County today to retrieve his leg. 

On Tuesday, a Maiden man found the lost appendage in a barbecue smoker he’d bought from a storage facility.  The man took the smoker home, looked inside, and saw something wrapped in paper.  Inside, said Maiden Police Chief Troy Church, was Wood’s leg — the foot and most of the calf. Police are keeping it for Wood.

Doctors amputated Wood’s leg after a 2004 plane crash in Wilkes County that killed Wood’s father and injured two other family members, Wood said.

“When it was amputated, he told (the hospital) that he wanted that leg saved,” said his sister, Marin Wood-Lytle. “He wanted to keep the bone because he wanted to be buried as a full man.” Instead of a bone, a funeral home delivered the whole leg.

Wood put it in his freezer, his sister said. It became something of a joke when she came over. “I wouldn’t even get a Pepsi out of his refrigerator.”  But it stopped being funny when Wood got behind on his power bill and his electricity was shut off, the sister said.

Despite his family’s protests, Wood-Lytle said, her brother took the screen off his front porch, wrapped the leg inside and “tied it to two posts to let it dry.”   Wood-Lytle said her brother was homeless for a while, living in his van, which he eventually lost.

Their mother put his belongings in a storage facility in Maiden, about 45 miles northwest of Charlotte, Wood-Lytle said, and paid for the first few months.

Reached Tuesday, Wood declined to answer most questions. He did say he put the leg in the smoker because “I didn’t have anything else to secure it in. There were no macabre intentions.”

Maiden police talked with the storage facility’s owner, who was auctioning off items in the units of people who were behind on their payments. Wood said he asked the owner of the storage facility not to open his belongings and is trying to get from Greenville County, S.C., to get his things.

On Tuesday his sister was watching TV and saw the man who found her brother’s leg and thought “it just seems to never go away.”

When I first read this, I assumed that the lost leg was a prostethis of some kind… which made the guy’s name (Wood) even funnier.   But nope, it was truly his own leg he lost.

I’m not sure what there is left to say….

-Bruce (GayPatriot)