A logical American, or any breathing human being for that matter, would wonder why this was not pushed forward on its own merits. Why was this buried in a $680 billion defense appropriations bill? I’ll tell you why, it would have never passed otherwise.
From the USA Today:
The new law basically expands existing hate-crime protections to outlaw attacks based on sexual orientation or gender, in addition to race, color, religion or national origin.
In a later ceremony devoted to the new law, Obama told supporters, “No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love.” He cited statistics that in these past 10 years, there have been more than 12,000 hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
“We will never know how many incidents were never reported at all,” Obama said.
Opponents called the hate-crimes bill unnecessary, noting that Shepard’s and Byrd’s attackers were convicted in state criminal courts. Some critics objected to the inclusion of hate-crimes legislation in a defense budget bill.
“The president has used his position as commander-in-chief to advance a radical social agenda, when he should have used it to advance legislation that would unequivocally support our troops,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., chairman of the House Republican Conference.
Pence also argued that the law could be used to curb free speech rights, such as with religions that consider homosexuality a sin.
According to an AP story, “The hate crimes measure came as part of legislation (defense appropriation bill) that Obama also touted for other reasons: a crackdown on careless military spending.” How about just cutting down on that spending the normal way and not including unnecessary legislation unrelated to a bill meant to fund the military efforts? I realize this is the way things are done in Washington, but isn’t that part of the problem?
The last time I checked hate was hate no matter what the person looks like or his sexual orientation. A crime is a crime and tagging it with some arbitrary title is not only unnecessary but subject to interpretation by the legal system. In other words, “I’m going to read your mind and determine if you are a racist homophobic loser.” Ridiculous.
Scenarios: What if a Muslim kills a Christian because he is not Muslim? What if a black man kills a white man just for being white? What if a homosexual kills a heterosexual for not being gay? Far fetched and idiotic maybe, but have we thought of these scenarios or just the obvious ones? If a hate crime can be attached to the cases expressed in the various news stories why not my examples?
No good can come from this and is a travesty to the justice system.
Of course, this is just my opinion.