Hate crimes law violates Constitution in two ways

posted at 11:36 am on May 1, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The House passed sweeping new hate-crimes legislation this week, helped in no small part by a Republican rhetorical fumble during the debate, although the outcome was hardly in doubt. Sponsors named the bill after Matthew Shephard, who was beaten and left to die tied to a fence. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) called the bill a “hoax”, and mischaracterized the crime:

This is absurd on two levels. First, the defendants in the case tried using for a “gay panic defense,” arguing that Shephard had initiated sexual advances and that they went insane when their masculinity was challenged.  The walkback from that led the defendants to claim that the beating was a result of a robbery gone awry and that they had no intention of causing that level of harm.  The jury didn’t buy either excuse, and both defendants have back-to-back life sentences (one defendant eventually pled guilty and testified against the other).

The second absurdity is that even if one accepted that this particular case involved no animus against gays, undeniably people commit crimes based on that animus as well as a range of others.  The animus exists, and can be seen in a variety of criminal and non-criminal acts.  The question, which Foxx eclipsed with this sorry performance, is whether we want to start criminalizing thoughts as well as actions.

Until recently, motives only mattered in proving the mens rea of a crime, ie, the desire to commit the crime.  Motive matters in murder, for instance; a drunk driver can kill a pedestrian and a person can kill a spouse to collect on the insurance.  Both happen with depressing regularity.  The difference is that the latter had an explicit desire to kill (for profit) while the other had a depraved indifference to life but no explicit desire to kill, and that’s why they get charged with different crimes.

However, we don’t differentiate between murder for profit and murder for a particular animus of hate.  Doing that creates a subtle but significant change in which the state has suddenly become the arbiter of thought, determining different outcomes based on thought despite the similarity of crime.  The First Amendment arguments are obvious, but Jazz Shaw thinks this also violates the Fourteenth as well:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Long story short: When you pass laws which assign greater guilt to certain parties for committing the same crimes, based on nothing more than what they were thinking at the time and the “class” of citizens who were the victims, then you are providing unequal protection of the laws. You are assigning a higher value to the lives, liberty and property of some victims than others based on their sexual orientation, their race, skin color, religion, etc.

That’s exactly right — and, in fact, that’s the explicit desire of lawmakers.  They want to alleviate what they see as a greater degree of victimhood with a greater degree of government correction.  Those motives may be understandable, but they’re entirely incompatible with equality before the law.  Creating classes of victims means creating classes of citizenry.  Either we’re all the same, or we’re just competing for the most politically-correct biases. That’s more likely to perpetuate resentment than it is to reduce hatred.

The key to fighting crime is to prosecute aggressively and apply long sentences, especially to violent and repeat offenders, no matter who they are or whom they victimized.

Jazz and I discussed this on his show yesterday. I come in at the half-way mark:


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The only acceptable murders shall be of white men who like women!!!

The sexist bastages.

amkun on May 1, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Mind reading is not evidence. Dead murdered bodies are evidence, but mind reading, no.

RBMN on May 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM

They surge of radical legislation from the left has yet to make it’s way to the courts. I suspect the courts can see there is unequal protection.
Obviously a gay killing another gay is a hate crime.

seven on May 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM

well, i’m sure our about to be modified scotus will correct such overreach …

/hey, waiiiiit a minute …

Buckaroo on May 1, 2009 at 11:43 AM

“Either we’re all the same, or we’re just competing for the most politically-correct biases.”

You have finally seen the forest through the trees Ed………..

………… Welcome to the Social Engineered Liberal States of the Northern Hemisphere.

Seven Percent Solution on May 1, 2009 at 11:44 AM

as long as we’re not talking about an unborn child, any ‘special interest’ group out there is welcome to receive special treatment and be covered under ‘hate crime’ laws.

gatorboy on May 1, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Ya think we could get a Jesse Dirkhising Law passed, you know, for when sodomists kill children?

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 11:46 AM

It sure is interesting that these righteous defenders of justice in Congress are so slow to act in the defense of children, born and unborn.

kingsjester on May 1, 2009 at 11:48 AM

…whether we want to start criminalizing thoughts as well as actions…

Miss California is your best recent example here of the gay group think in play and what happens when anti-gay thoughts become criminalized; of course any Hate crimes law violates the Constitution but since when did that matter to Congress?

More important, all crime is driven by hate in some way or is that not patently obvious? Is there a difference between crime and hate crime? That is the real question…

IntheNet on May 1, 2009 at 11:49 AM

as long as we’re not talking about an unborn child, any ’special interest’ group out there is welcome to receive special treatment and be covered under ‘hate crime’ laws.

gatorboy on May 1, 2009 at 11:45 AM

With the exception being “right-wing extremist.”

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Someday, just being a white conservative male will be a hate crime. Put a good lawyer on retainer now, and beat the rush.

RBMN on May 1, 2009 at 11:51 AM

but it is the courts job to understand the “plight” of people when deciding court rulings.

CaptainObvious on May 1, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Defendant: “I changed my mind.”

Judge: “Oh, in that case it’s different. You are free to go.”

Seven Percent Solution on May 1, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Is this not the legislation that added pedophiles to the list of protected ‘victims’?

JIMV on May 1, 2009 at 11:53 AM

IntheNet on May 1, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Just as you can love (feed) someone without even know his name or having any feelings for him, so also can you hate (rob) someone without knowing his name or having any feelings for him.

Love is not an emotion, neither is hate. We often confuse love with like and hate with anger, at least when we think like liberals let emotions rule out lives.

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 11:54 AM

“Oh, that stuff in Sweden and Canada, it’ll never happen here.

Yeah, right. I’m totally a liar and a hater for comprehending the obvious trajectory of this sort of legislation in western nations. This crap only heads one direction. Criminalizing hate means criminalizing thought.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 11:55 AM

It sure is interesting that these righteous defenders of justice in Congress are so slow to act in the defense of children, born and unborn.

kingsjester on May 1, 2009 at 11:48 AM

They can’t vote Democrat, now can they?

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Apparently, the murder of a homosexual is of more significance and importance to society, and, therefore, is to be classified separately than, say, the murder/rape of a pregnant woman. Ahhhh, degrees of premeditation for first degree murder. Ya know, I bet you can find that, somewhere in the Constitution.

Clearly, America will only be “less” “homophobic,” when it elects a homosexual for President. Society demands it.

After all, homosexuals only want equality. They don’t want to be treated any differently than other Americans.

Right?

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

HotAir is a Hate Crime

faraway on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Touché, Ed!

EQUALITY UNDER THE RULE OF LAW GIVEN BLIND JUSTICE

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Is waterboarding a hate crime?

faraway on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Ironically, it is a close interpretation of “equal protection under the law” that invalidates hate crime legislation while validating the rights of gay couples to be recognized as “married” with regards to tax filing, estate planning, and other government related circumstances…

Gotta love the constitution :-) !

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

So, what’s the punishment for hanging a noose on your own door? Oh, right, nothing.

LibTired on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Nothing like the fury of a gay activist scorned.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

I’m feeling a Richard Cheese moment coming on….Rape Me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0wmYJ3yj0c

connertown on May 1, 2009 at 11:59 AM

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Heh.

lorien1973 on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

So insulting how this legislation will make other crimes of assault and murder seem somehow less offensive than the newly labeled “hate crime”.

How exactly would this legislation prevent any sort of hate crime?

Daemonocracy on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Is this not the legislation that added pedophiles to the list of protected ‘victims’?

JIMV on May 1, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Socialist shock and awe.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

So in the eyes of the law a black male can rape, beat, and rob a white woman…not that it ever happens in our society mind you…and it’s not as much of a crime because she’s white. And if you are white and go into a black neighborhood and get mugged & beaten it has nothing to do with the color of your skin…riiiiiiiiiight.

DCJeff on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I hate crime.

Is it a hate crime to hate crime?

Daggett on May 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM

while validating the rights of gay couples to be recognized as “married” with regards to tax filing, estate planning, and other government related circumstances…

Gotta love the constitution :-) !

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

unionized

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

…This has been my argument for YEARS!!!

Equal protection under the law is only equal when its equally applied. capiche?

Hate crime laws make some comrades MORE equal than others.
they in this legislation, are chasing ghosts. there is no difference in a misdemeanor battery charge caused from a disagreement at a D&D game. just as much as misdemeanor battery charge from slapping an unwanted sexual advance from a man or woman, gay or straight!

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Nothing like the fury of a gay activist scorned.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Yup, in their demand for tolerance, they’ll call a woman a b*tch or a c*nt, or they’ll threaten to kill you, or they’ll paint a swastika on your church or your home.

The demand for tolerance must be based on intolerance!

How’s that for Orwellian?

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Thanks, Ed. I’ve been waiting for this thread.

I agree that this law is entirely incompatible with equality before the law. It’s also a dangerous move toward criminalizing beliefs and words, instead of actions.

Let’s use the criminal code to fight and punish criminal behavior. Let’s use our words and deeds to fight ignorance and hatred.

That said, Rep. Virginia Foxx was wrong about the facts in the Shephard. Homosexuals, like members of many other groups, are hated by some for simply being who they are. This is morally wrong, and needs to be denounced, not excused.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Reminds me of the line from “Animal Farm.”

“All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Of course, our current government also reminds me of that line.

Star20 on May 1, 2009 at 12:03 PM

After this legislation is passed, whoever controls the media will control America.

faraway on May 1, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Is it a hate crime to hate crime?

Daggett on May 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM

The need to ask qualifies as premeditation.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

So in the eyes of the law a black male can rape, beat, and rob a white woman…not that it ever happens in our society mind you…and it’s not as much of a crime because she’s white. And if you are white and go into a black neighborhood and get mugged & beaten it has nothing to do with the color of your skin…riiiiiiiiiight.

DCJeff on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

To the Gulag for you! There will be no logic in Utopia. There will be no utterances of truth. You must obey. The State knows what is best for us.

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

The key to fighting crime is to prosecute aggressively and apply long sentences, especially to violent and repeat offenders, no matter who they are or whom they victimized.
—–
Captain Ed,

I’m a fan of short sentences. Specifically, about a 4′ drop, ending abruptly.

I support the death penalty for murder, and for serial rape.

Mew

acat on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

They can’t vote Democrat, now can they?

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM

I think you finally found the solution to the abortion debate.

Petition Congress to give the unborn not only the right to vote, but to make their vote Democratic by default unless they specify otherwise.

Daggett on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

The Newspeak Refrain has been my bane.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Homosexuals, like members of many other groups, are hated by some for simply being who they are. This is morally wrong, and needs to be denounced, not excused.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Not sure I agree with this, but can’t put my finger on why.

Just having a motivation to do something isn’t the same as actually carrying out the act, is it?

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM

And if you are white and go into a black neighborhood and get mugged & beaten it has nothing to do with the color of your skin…riiiiiiiiiight.

DCJeff on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

The white victim would be charged with a hate crime for bringing their oppressive racist white self into a known black neighborhood.

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM

When has the equal protection clause gotten in the way of liberals?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on May 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM

The white victim would be charged with a hate crime for bringing their oppressive racist white self into a known black neighborhood.

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM

The presence of caucasians on this earth is intolerance per se.

There oughta be a law.

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

acat on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Given strong scientific evidence supporting the conviction,

+1

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Hate crimes law violates Constitution in two ways

What are they THINKING? The mental midgets that passed this law, committed a hate crime. This nonsense will get tossed in it’s first Constitutional test.

byteshredder on May 1, 2009 at 12:10 PM

The presence of caucasians on this earth is intolerance per se.

There oughta be a law.

OhEssYouCowboys on May 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Implied bigotry and guilt. Sounds reasonable.

Going back thirty years, Archie Bunker wouldn’t be sitting on his easy chair in the living room, he’d be in jail.

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Just having a motivation to do something isn’t the same as actually carrying out the act, is it?

Of course not, and thoughts, even hatred, shouldn’t be criminalized. However, there is indeed group hatred, e/g/ antisemitism. I don’t think antisemitism should be a crime, but when I hear it, I don’t ignore it or excuse it. I speak out against it, stopped purchasing products from Jew haters, etc.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:12 PM

There are enhancements on the books for premeditation in violent crimes and I think judges and juries have the ability to take other “aggravating circumstances” into account when sentencing. Hate crime laws are unnecessary in addition to violating equal protection.

forest on May 1, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Petition Congress to give the unborn not only the right to vote, but to make their vote Democratic by default unless they specify otherwise.

Daggett on May 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

3/5s compromise?

amkun on May 1, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Ok – thanks for the clarification. I agree.

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Homosexuals, like members of many other groups, are hated by some for simply being who they are. This is morally wrong, and needs to be denounced, not excused.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Who are you to define morality?
We are entitled to hate whomever we want and the Constitution is supposed to protect that right. I HATE my sister in law, but I have no intention of killing her. Should I be arrested simply because I hate her.

It is ok, and even normal, to hate some people for whatever reason. It is not ok to maim or kill them. That is the difference. The law should be about punishing people who injure or kill, not punishing people for their personal opinions.

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Just having a motivation to do something isn’t the same as actually carrying out the act, is it?

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Read it again. Non sequitur

Homosexuals, like members of many other groups, are hated by some for simply being who they are. This is morally wrong, and needs to be denounced, not excused.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

The rational point is, so long as they leave you alone, leave them alone as they live under rule of law.

As John McCain said, “we’re all God’s children.”

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Quin Hillyer”s articles in American Spectator put it in perspective.(The Facts on Fascism and Il Duce, Redux?) Hate crimes legislation is but one piece of the puzzle:

…the Obama takeover of General Motors is astonishing in its scope and reach. The money quote from GM itself: “The U.S. Treasury will be able to elect all of our directors and to control the vote on substantially all matters brought for a stockholder vote.”

This is scary stuff. It is not just a diminution of freedom, but a frontal assault. And it’s only part of the story, the whole of which is even worse. We now have the government refusing to accept repayment of loans it made to various banks — preferring to keep control of the banks to regaining the taxpayers’ money quickly. Moving from economics to coercion and the use of the state to target political enemies, we have a Homeland Security Department targeting veterans and anti-abortionists as potential terrorists, and a White House leaving open the option of prosecuting its predecessors over honest policy choices made in a time of war and without identifying any specific domestic law supposedly broken. We see selective release of previously classified information for political purposes. We have the advancement of “hate crimes” legislation that makes it a prosecutable offense to think unapproved thoughts.

And we have, in addition to the government takeover of the banking and auto sectors, the coming nationalization of the energy, education and health sectors, with a massive new energy tax called cap-and-trade, new speech regulation of talk radio (de facto ‘Fairness Doctrine’), and possibly speech regulation and taxes on the internet. Nightmare.

petefrt on May 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I hate pedophiles, rapists, theives, murderers, kidnappers, Dallas Cowboy fans, and a host of other people just for what they are.

What one does makes him what he is. If what he does is reprehensible, then he is reprehensible. That might be too straightforward for you to grasp, I know, but think about it will ya?

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:21 PM

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:17 PM

You merely excessively take Loxodonta’s point into the realm of anger. Are you really unaware that you agree on point?

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Take a look at the legal world in the UK…that is where we are heading.

d1carter on May 1, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Mind reading is not evidence. Dead murdered bodies are evidence, but mind reading, no.

RBMN on May 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Oh no, my friend. Y’see, in a double secret vote held by Congress in the dead of the night, the Congresstitutes voted themselves the power to perform the Vulcan Mind Meld. Included in that double secret legislation was the power to grant Mind Meld abilities to Leftist judicial activists. All it takes is a ‘Laying of hands’ upon the judge and persecuting attorney by a Congresstitute following the john’s recipient’s generous contribution to the Congresstitute’s slush campaign fund.

SeniorD on May 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

petefrt on May 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM

(don’t forget the manipulation of the flu virus)

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Perez Hilton hates Miss California. That is kosher
Miss California hates Perez Hilton? a felony?

I read the expression “hate crime”. what is a “love crime”?

seven on May 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

How long before the “crime” prerequisite of “Hate Crimes” is eliminated making it a crime to “hate” (“Hate” being defined by the feelings of the “victim”.)

AverageJoe on May 1, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Dallas Cowboy fans,–Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Woe there!

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Sorry, it got by my editor somehow…

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM

France prosecuted actress – animal rights advocate Bridget Bardot for her public statements against animal slaughter/sacrifice for Islamic practices. Words in a newspaper. “Hate” words that ended with a conviction in court.

Mark Levin covered it that day of the verdict on his radio show. Said it was a matter of months, not years, for this country…….

Marcus on May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Who are you to define morality?

An individual American citizen, who has just the same right to do so for myself, as you do for yourself.

It is ok, and even normal, to hate some people for whatever reason.

Do you think the hatred being spouted by Islamofacists is ok, even normal? I bet you don’t. Is hating Catholics ok, even normal? Is hating white people ok, even normal? This is what I am getting at.

It is not ok to maim or kill them. That is the difference. The law should be about punishing people who injure or kill, not punishing people for their personal opinions.

Perhaps you missed this part of my previous post:

I agree that this law is entirely incompatible with equality before the law. It’s also a dangerous move toward criminalizing beliefs and words, instead of actions.

Let’s use the criminal code to fight and punish criminal behavior. Let’s use our words and deeds to fight ignorance and hatred.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Miss California hates Perez Hilton?

seven on May 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Don’t drag her there. She has only expressed her right to her own opinion in a very respectful manner.

That’s the point.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Marcus on May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Levin is a very intelligent and insightful scholar. I appreciate his temper. He vents well.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:33 PM

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Understood. It is this type of thing that I’d like to see avoided:

France prosecuted actress – animal rights advocate Bridget Bardot for her public statements against animal slaughter/sacrifice for Islamic practices. Words in a newspaper. “Hate” words that ended with a conviction in court.

Marcus on May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM

I figure we’re probably on the same page.

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:34 PM

I hate beef liver. It makes me gag. Should I lawyer up now?

sdd on May 1, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:21 PM

I hate pedophiles, rapists, theives, murderers, kidnappers, Dallas Cowboy fans, and a host of other people just for what they are.

What one does makes him what he is. If what he does is reprehensible, then he is reprehensible. That might be too straightforward for you to grasp, I know, but think about it will ya?

I want pedophiles, rapists, thieves, murderers, and kidnappers prosecuted and removed from our society so they do no further harm. But I don’t hate them. I hate their evil actions.

Or, perhaps the better way to put it is that I try as best I can to hate the sin, but not the sinner.

As to Dallas Cowboy fans, that’s above my pay grade.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Gotta love the constitution :-) !

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Too bad it seems like no one does.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM

DISCRIMINATE vs INDISCRIMINATE

Everyone had better take note that the word will be misused, and has already undergone PC revision.

To discriminate judiciously is what experience and knowledge do in order to mature.

Whereas, to discriminate indiscriminately is to abuse the natural order that tolerates variance up to a point.

To make discrimination illegal is to make thought itself verboten. No Choice = Liberty. Ask Obama.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM

As to Dallas Cowboy fans, that’s above my pay grade.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM

/my better half appreciates that

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Equal protection under the law …

And how does that apply to protected groups?

tarpon on May 1, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Otis B on May 1, 2009 at 12:34 PM

/I vented on her behalf when it happened.

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Marcus on May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Yes, Marcus. There are many things about France that are worth importing, but the example you cite is one that needs shunning. Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats are gobbling it up.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Equal protection under the law …

And how does that apply to protected groups?

tarpon on May 1, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Best to address Lobbyists

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Did you catch yesterday’s youtube from Veronique on topic?

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:43 PM

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:39 PM
my better half appreciates that

Always remember that. And always remember the two words that resolve all such differences of opinion in marriage: Yes dear.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM

hahahaha

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:46 PM

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

call it whatever you want, the “protection under the law” must be equal…thats all. there must be federal and local civil union status for all consenting adult couples, as per the equal protection under the law that we are guaranteed by the constitution of the united states. name games are just semantics, shame on the religious and gays for using it as the crux of the issue, rather than the secondary insignificant terminology.

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 12:46 PM

How exactly would this legislation prevent any sort of hate crime?

Daemonocracy on May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM

It won’t. That’s one of the many reasons why this clearly unconstitutional legislation should not become law. The two losers in the Shephard case are both in prison for life. The only reason they’re not on death row is because the victim’s family didn’t want them there. Existing law already provided for the strongest punishment possible for these criminals’ actions, without the addition of some superfluous “hate crime” charge.

Although the murderers of Andrew Shephard gave conflicting accounts of why they chose him as their victim, one thing that is clear is that they chose him because he was vulnerable. The criminals said they wanted to beat and rob someone, and Shephard probably looked like an easy mark. He was physically small, and he voluntarily went off with them. But how is that really any different from the way that so many women are chosen as crime victims by their assailants?

If we’re going to single out certain crime victims for special protection based on their perceived vulnerability, shouldn’t women be a protected class too? Or for that matter, shouldn’t small, weak, heterosexual men be a protected class as well? If Andrew Shephard had been a muscular, 6’5″ bodybuilder-type gay man, does anybody think the murderers still would have targeted him?

AZCoyote on May 1, 2009 at 12:46 PM

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Yes. And I left a response to Turtler, the great poster, there.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:48 PM

This is morally wrong, and needs to be denounced, not excused.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I haven’t seen anybody excusing it.

MarkTheGreat on May 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Good morning children. Todays class will be on hatefull words. Have your parents said hatefull things about people? Just write them down and the school Acorn rep will collect them at the end of the day. Be sure to write mommy and daddy’s full name and what they said and when. The student with the highest number of remarks will get an Obama T- shirt.

faol on May 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM

(don’t forget the manipulation of the flu virus)

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Right, and if the virus turns into something virulent, the mutation will be blamed on global warming… and used to justify cap-and-trade and nationalized health care.

petefrt on May 1, 2009 at 12:50 PM

call it whatever you want, the “protection under the law” must be equal…thats all. there must be federal and local civil union status for all consenting adult couples, as per the equal protection under the law that we are guaranteed by the constitution of the united states. name games are just semantics, shame on the religious and gays for using it as the crux of the issue, rather than the secondary insignificant terminology.

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Ernesto, that isn’t protection under the law, it is privileges handed out, plus a few unconstitutional restrictions on free association.

Count to 10 on May 1, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Have you heard about the 2 gay Irishmen?
Michael Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzmichael

Hear about the gay man that was fired from the sperm bank?
He was caught drinking on the job

Quick, arrest me! Orwell was off by 25 years

Bevan on May 1, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Woe there!

maverick muse on May 1, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Perhaps you meant “whoa there”?

“Woe there” has an entirely different connotation.

MarkTheGreat on May 1, 2009 at 12:53 PM

AZCoyote on May 1, 2009 at 12:46 PM

This is why small people need to be armed.
(Being somewhat on the large side, I give myself a pass)

Count to 10 on May 1, 2009 at 12:53 PM

MarkTheGreat on May 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM
I haven’t seen anybody excusing it.

I refer you to Ed’s remarks and the video at the top of the thread. To me, Representative Virginia Foxx sounds like she’s attempting to explain away the hatred that led to the murder of Matthew Sheppard.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:54 PM

But I don’t hate them. I hate their evil actions. Or, perhaps the better way to put it is that I try as best I can to hate the sin, but not the sinner.
Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Hell isn’t filled with sins, but with sinners.

What we do is inextricable from what we are. We hate criminals, which is why we put them in jail. We don’t even have to dislike them. We can be totally dispassionate about it.

The Dems want to punish “hate crimes” because they hate those who perpetrate them. What they realy mean though is not hate crimes, but dislike crimes. They won’t be happy adding ten years to some guy’s sentence because he called his victim a queer while robbing him. They will be happy only when they can punish everyday people for expressing any dislike for sodomists or Muslims or whoever.

If a pastor preaches against “the gay lifestyle,” and one of his parishioners (of a visitor to the church who’s nuts) then beats up some homo, the pastor will be liable. That is what the left is after. Your aquiesence to it makes you an accomplice to it.

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 PM

What scares me is the obvious next step in the thought crime legislation. Will pastors, priests, and rabbi’s who preach against homosexuality now be on trial as well for “inciting” these so-called “hate crimes”?

You know that if this passes, any crime comitted on a
non-white or non-straight person will get the hate crime hammer pounded down on it. Too easy for the lawyers to jump on this juicy bit of law and exploit it.

BakerAllie on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Do you think the hatred being spouted by Islamofacists is ok, even normal? I bet you don’t. Is hating Catholics ok, even normal? Is hating white people ok, even normal?

Yes and that is what I am getting at.
Some group is always going to hate some other group. They always have and they always will. We are never going to live in a world where we all embrace each other and share a Coke and a smile. I don’t agree with a lot of groups and I know others don’t agree with me, but I don’t expect the government to pass laws protecting my opinion only.

Some people hate homosexuals and threaten them. Some people hate the people who hate homosexuals and threaten them. They are no different from each other. Who decides which side is right and why does one group deserve special consideration and the other does not?

ExcessivelyDiverted on May 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Good morning children. Todays class will be on hatefull words. Have your parents said hatefull things about people? Just write them down and the school Acorn rep will collect them at the end of the day. Be sure to write mommy and daddy’s full name and what they said and when. The student with the highest number of remarks will get an Obama T- shirt.

faol on May 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Sob.

petunia on May 1, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Akzed on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Your aquiesence to it makes you an accomplice to it.

I challenge you to point to any post in this thread, or any other thread, in which I support this law, any hate crime law, or any criminalization of speech or beliefs.

You cannot, because there are none.

Your attempt to label me as an accomplice of the left is not based upon my words or any facts, and it is not true.

Loxodonta on May 1, 2009 at 1:04 PM

This is another assault on the Constitution by the left. Our only hope is that the Senate is a bit less idiotic, because I don’t expect the SCOTUS to object. They are the ones that got us into this junk in the first place. And we all know they want to govern by European law, not the Constitution. So unless the Senate stands in the way, the Thought Police are coming!

Christian Conservative on May 1, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Ernesto, that isn’t protection under the law, it is privileges handed out, plus a few unconstitutional restrictions on free association.

Count to 10 on May 1, 2009 at 12:51 PM

I’d argue a definitive monetary benefit enabled only by the enacting of government recognized legal contracts (planning one’s estate), and to a lesser degree clearly outlined tax benefits (married filing status) represent “protection under the law”.

This also invalidates things like federally funded affirmative action funds and the like, i freely admit that, but theres a legitimate argument for equal protection under the law involving both hate crimes and gay “marriage”

ernesto on May 1, 2009 at 1:04 PM

One way to put an end to these hate crime laws is for Republicans to push anti-genocide legistlation that would increase penalties for groups or races who are statistically more often perps to protect groups that are statistically more often victims.

For instance, if there was a much higher occurrence of whites murdering blacks than blacks murdering whites, the white perp would get extra time tacked on to his prison sentence or qualify for the death penalty. If this scenario was reality, politicians both Democrat and Republican would be tripping over each other trying to pass such legislation. As it stands, with blacks killing whites at a much higher rate than vice versa, the Democrats would be making the same equal protection arguments that we make about hate crime laws and would no longer have any authority for their hate crime laws.

Buddahpundit on May 1, 2009 at 1:05 PM

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