Skip to comments.Hate-crime language doesn't belong in bill
Posted on 09/30/2005 11:13:06 AM PDT by Anthem
People tend to hate being misrepresented, and many also hate attempts by other people to legislate morality.
The Children's Safety Act making its way through Congress provides a bit of both.
The House version of the bill (HR 3132) includes a controversial amendment, drafted by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, which adds violence motivated by sexual orientation, gender or disability to the existing list of federal hate crimes. One of 30 Republicans who helped to pass the bill was Rep. Joe Schwarz, representing Lenawee County.
Elsewhere on this page, the congressman rebuts a Sunday letter to the editor by an Adrian resident who claimed the bill would outlaw so-called hate speech. In Rep. Schwarz's defense, HR 3132 only addresses "bodily injury." Some opponents of the bill consider banning "hate crime" to be but a small step from banning constitutionally protected "hate speech," but Congress bears no blame at this time for attempting that step.
It's fitting, however, that a congressman should find himself misrepresented on this issue. By expanding a list of "thought crimes" which it never should have legislated in the first place, and making those crimes federal offenses, Congress may create an atmosphere in which a citizen could be similarly misunderstood.
We all ought to agree that violence against people on the grounds of race, gender or sexual preference is reprehensible, but is it any more despicable than violence against anyone for any reason? We believe each person and each life is of equal value. A murder victim is a murder victim. We already possess laws which make murder illegal and which impose severe penalties for anyone found guilty of committing it.
Since government already can adequately punish perpetrators for what they do, "hate crime" laws essentially amount to punishment for what they think. While some laws - first-degree murder, for example - do presume a person's intent, hate crime laws represent a huge shift from actions to feelings. Furthermore, if a person can be punished for a crime accompanied by bad thoughts, might a criminal such as abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph argue conversely that he should receive a lighter sentence because he really felt that what he was doing was right?
While the intent of hate-crime legislation is noble, laws against hatred are every bit as much an attempt to legislate morality as sex laws or liquor prohibitions. Instead, we should focus on controlling our actions under existing laws, and then tell government to stop trying to read our thoughts.
Homosexual Agenda Ping.
I'm trying to walk out my door and I just have to do "one more ping".
HOMEWORK! This unadulterated fascist homosexual-special class crap MUST be removed from this bill.
Freepmail me AND DirtyHarryY2K if you want on/off this pinglist.
(The problem is that the Senate has been trying to push this vileness on us for a long time. Gordon "RINO" Smith teamed up with "The Swimmer" at least once to promote the "gay" agenda via hate crimes bills. Absolutely sickening.)
September 23, 2005
First federal measure to pass with gender identity included
Washington, D.C.--The House of Representatives approved a problematic bill on September 14 that includes hate crime protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act was amended onto the White House-supported Children's Safety Act of 2005 by Michigan Rep. John Conyers. The amendment was co-sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, both of whom are out of the closet, as well as Republicans Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut.
The hate crime act adds sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to an existing federal law that includes crimes committed because of the victim’s race, religion or ethnic background.
It was approved on a 223 to 199 vote, with five Democrats opposing its addition and 30 Republicans endorsing it. The full Children’s Safety Act passed 371 to 52 in mid-afternoon.
Civil liberties advocates are wary of the larger bill, however. The measure requires all states to enact sexual offender databases with a wealth of information on them, including their car model. It requires felony offenders to be on the databases for life, misdemeanants for 20 years.
One part of the bill would remove federal court oversight for those convicted of sexual offenses against minors. Were someone convicted of such an offense, they would only be able to appeal to state courts. After those appeals were exhausted only the governor could intervene.
Some clauses in the bill could possibly be used to require anyone convicted of a crime that is sexual in nature to register as a sex offender. One definition for “serious sexual offense” in the bill is anything that the attorney general decides to include. Public lewdness, for instance, could be added to the list.
Public lewdness is used in many jurisdictions to prosecute men cruising in public parks or rest areas, even late at night or when nobody but undercover police officers can see them.
While hate crime bills including sexual orientation have passed the Senate in previous sessions, this marks the first time one has passed the House of Representatives.
It is also the first time any measure covering gender identity has passed either house of Congress. It had been believed by some LGBT organizations and supportive politicians that adding gender identity would torpedo a bill.
Frank was one of the politicians who believed that including transgendered people in a hate crime or equal rights bill would be too much for the right wing to allow.
“Bias crimes are disturbingly prevalent and pose a significant threat to the full participation of all Americans in our democratic society,” Conyers told activist John Aravosis’ Americablog. “This legislation will make it easier for federal authorities to prosecute bias crimes by loosening the unduly rigid jurisdictional requirements under federal law, in the same was as the Church Arson Prevention Act.”
“In addition, the bill will provide [Department of Justice] assistance for prosecutions at the state and local level,” he continued. “As it is combined with the underlying Child Safety Act, I believe we have our best chance ever of passing this bill into law.”
The bill, after passing the House, was referred to the Senate, where it was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Never before has the House of Representatives voted to protect transgender people in any way,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “This proves that even in times of adversity for our community, when grassroots voices keep up the pressure on our elected officials, decency can prevail.”
“At least one chamber of Congress has finally made a statement that it is not acceptable to hurt or kill transgender people because of who we are,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “This is a pivotal vote for transgender people who have been working diligently for years to educate Congress about transgender people and our lives.”
U.S. House backs hate crime measure protecting gays
14 Sep 2005 23:15:24 GMTSource: Reuters
By Joanne Kenen
WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday unexpectedly backed a measure to expand federal hate crime protection to gay people, a measure that House conservatives had blocked for years.
The Senate has passed similar legislation, which also expanded protections for the disabled, several times in recent years but House conservatives had argued that these cases should be dealt with on a local or state level without additional federal intervention.
This time the hate crime measure was attached to a bipartisan bill known as the Children's Safety Act aimed at tightening reporting requirements for child sex offenders. Companion legislation has not yet moved through the Senate, so the ultimate fate of the gay protection provision is uncertain.
Still backers were jubilant.
"Every American child deserves the strongest protections from some of this country's most horrifying crimes," said Judy Shepard, a member of the Human Rights Campaign board. The fatal beating of her gay son, Matthew Shepard, in Wyoming in 1998 gave impetus to the legislation.
"It is a fantastic and welcome development," said Michael Lieberman of the Anti-Defamation League, which has been pushing for such legislation for several years.
In coming days, the administration will review the amendments to the act passed by the House, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
The Children's Safety Act requires sex offenders to verify their residence and employment with authorities every month and mandates in-person verification with authorities every six months. It also improves coordination among states when offenders move.
"There are over 100,000 sex offenders who have failed to register in communities as they are required to do under existing law," said co-sponsor Rep. Melissa Hart, a Pennsylvania Republican.
"They are currently living and working in our communities, many could be residing near schools or playgrounds," she added.
The bill also includes a pilot program to allow electronic monitoring of sexual predators, and it also strengthens background check requirements for foster and adoptive parents.
The White House backs the underlying child safety bill, and said in a statement that it "provides a strong, comprehensive approach to addressing crimes, especially sex crimes, against children."
The hate crimes amendment would expand existing federal hate crime program to add sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to federal hate crime laws. It would give grants to the states to help prosecute such crimes.
Backers of the legislation, a top priority for gay rights and disabled advocacy groups, have been trying to enact it since at least 1998, when the gaps in existing law were highlighted by two heinous crimes -- the dragging death of a black man named James Byrd in Texas and the death of Shepard.
No it isn't.
The light-in-the-loafers community want you to really think twice about beating the snot out of some creep that is making a move on your twelve year old son.
Agreed, it is not noble at all. In fact it does not belong as law at all, let alone in this one. This law is for more protection for children, and is needed. Adding this hate crimes addition to it is ludicrous as the least, criminal at best!
Gays are no way anymore entitled to protection than any other American. There are already laws against murder and assault, we don't need more. To attach it to this bill in particular, is just sleazy!!!!
[While the intent of hate-crime legislation is noble, laws against hatred are every bit as much an attempt to legislate morality as sex laws or liquor prohibitions. Instead, we should focus on controlling our actions under existing laws, and then tell government to stop trying to read our thoughts.]
I don't believe that the intent of hate crime legislation is noble,rather, it is an attempt to destroy the Christian faith and the scriptures from America.
It is a communist attempt to persecute believing Christians and nothing else.
HR 3231 is not yet scheduled for discussion in the Senate. But don't let them sneak it past us because we're not vigilant.
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