Monday, May 04, 2009

From the sidelines . . .

There's been so much follow-up -- no surprise there -- to my admittedly rushed and impressionistic take on the upcoming "hate-crime" legislation. As always, I'm grateful to my friends -- in this case, especially Mark -- for taking up the task of clarification. I apologize for abandoning the field, but sundry other matters have taken me away. In any case, Mark seems to be handling things quite well. But so as not to leave it all on his shoulders, here's something that caught my eye today.
A Virginia congressman says the anti-Christian hatred and bigotry of homosexual blogger Perez Hilton and his supporters underscores one of the fallacies undergirding federal "hate crimes" legislation.

Congressional backers of the federal hate crimes bill that recently passed the House repeatedly claim that it will help ensure equal protection under the law for all Americans. They also argue that the bill does not threaten free speech, but merely punishes acts of violence motivated by hate.

Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Virginia) is a former ranking member of the Judiciary Crime Subcommittee, and founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. He recently took to the House floor and provided a powerful example of how the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" does not ensure equality under the law.

Randy ForbesCongressman Forbes compared the protection Miss California Carrie Prejean would receive under the bill to the special protection homosexual blogger and Miss USA judge Perez Hilton would have been afforded.

"Had [Hilton] done what he said he would do and stormed that stage and pulled that tiara off [Prejean's] head and [inflicted] bodily harm when he did it, there would not have been one ounce of protection under this piece of legislation for that young girl," Forbes stated.

"But after he did it, if she had in response made a statement back about the very sexual orientation that had led him to his hatred and dislike for her, and if she had responded by slapping him or any physical injury, she would have had the potential of a ten-year federal piece of legislation coming against her."

The Virginia Republican also argued that if beauty contestant's father had rushed onto the stage at the Miss USA pageant and responded to Hilton's hatred in a physical way, he would have been open to prosecution under the hate crimes bill as well.
From OneNewsNow

And then there is a North Carolina bill that follows a predictably similar pattern, referred to here:
North Carolina bishops warn: bullying bill could help pave way to same-sex marriage.

Bishops Peter Jugis of Charlotte and Michael Burbidge of Raleigh are urging North Carolina’s Catholics to oppose the “School Violence Protection Act” (also known as the “Bullying Bill”) because the bill lists gender identity and sexual orientation among the “specific differentiating characteristics that result in bullying or harassment.” The bishops explain:

"We agree that bullying or harassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation is reprehensible and should not be tolerated. However, there is also a highly problematic consequence to the inclusion of these two specific differentiating characteristics should it become law. In three states that have a law similar to SB526, the law was used as part of a lawsuit to persuade a judge or court to mandate same-sex marriage. We believe the passage of SB526 into law could be the precursor of actions by our legislature and/or our courts to mandate same-sex marriage in our state because it has occurred already in three other states."
The point, as I said in my original post, is that legislation that regards violence -- or bullying -- against some people as more worthy of legal and prosecutorial attention than violence or bullying against other people is a dangerous precedent with serious collateral cultural implications.

1 comment:

Lloyd Davis said...

With all due respect, Gil, I don't think your friend Mark has succeeded in clarifying very much about the hate crimes legislation in the discussion that is under way ("Totalitarian Intolerance", May 2 entry). He seems to have a strong penchant for baseless speculation, generalizations, and inaccurate information. My impression is that the other bloggers have made this quite clear. Maybe it's time to find another sidekick.
Lloyd Davis