Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act Passed & Some Aren’t Happy…

The LGBT Community Will Finally Be Protected by Hate Crimes Legislation

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Congress voted to pass a hate crimes bill  yesterday which serves to add crimes committed because of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of Federal hate crimes.  Apparently the Democrats believed the only way to get this legislation passed was to tack it onto an apparently very-much-needed $680 billion defense bill so they could count on the Republican vote.  But even so, many Republicans who were normally hard-line supporters of defense spending couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the legislation.   

The Problem

Apparently the problem for many is that Conservatives feel it creates a “special class of victim.” 

But doesn’t the definition of a hate crimes bill in itself refer to crimes against special classes of victims? Isn’t a hate crimes bill intended to protect people from violence launched at them because they’re different? So if  hate crimes bills are passed for the protection of those who are different, how are the Liberals creating a special class of victim?

Being Gay in this country is, for many, like advertising for discrimination – wearing a metaphorical sign that says Just Kick Me Now.

What is special about that? What is special about not wanting to get pulverized because of who you are, not to mention wanting to be treated with the respect that everyone deserves.  How does the desire to be treated fairly and equally put anyone in a special class?

And to also throw in a little more propaganda, some Conservatives have announced that they’re afraid the bill is a “dangerous step” toward “thought crimes.”  

How can trying to prevent bodily assault against someone who is different be a first step toward creating a thought crime?   The Bill doesn’t mandate what people can or should think, only that they cannot victimize their fellow Americans. How is this dangerous?

As said by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, “The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act targets acts, not speech.”

What It Boils Down To

 

A discussion I had with a coworker several years ago illustrates the fundamental issue involved in LGBT equality efforts. My coworker didn’t understand why a diversity group for LGBT employees was necessary at our workplace.  She asked, “Why should they get special treatment?  they should be treated just  like everybody else.”

“And that,” I told her, “is exactly the point.”

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