Senate liberals threaten to attach Hate Crimes bill to defense bill

Senate liberals threaten to attach Hate Crimes bill to defense bill

Insist that Senators Brown and Voinovich reject this unjust, underhanded move!

Across America more and more citizens are reading between the lines of the deceptive rhetoric and understanding that the so-called “hate crimes bill” being pushed by liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate is unnecessary and unjust legislation that does nothing to enhance the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes in the nation, while violating fundamental principles of American government and denying all Americans basic freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.

Knowing that to be true, proponents of this vile legislation are attempting to by-pass a healthy discussion of the bill by attaching their “hate crimes law” (“The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act”) as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. A vote on such an amendment may come as early as today or tomorrow.

Please click here to send Senators Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich a message insisting that they reject this move to attach Hate Crimes legislation to the Defense bill.

Stripping away the blindfold!

At its core, “hate crimes legislation” would be a blatant violation of equal protection under the law, a fundamental principle guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. The bill provides for a higher intensity of investigation, prosecution and penalty for crimes against persons in certain preferred classes than for the same crimes committed against other persons. Those preferred classes include “actual or perceived” race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

In the American system of jurisprudence, Lady Justice wears a blindfold. Justice demands that neither the color of a person’s skin, nor a person’s sexual orientation, nor any other personal characteristic be taken into consideration in the prosecution of criminal acts. Hate crimes legislation strips away the blindfold.

To frame this core problem in the context of a practical application: The ruthless murder of a white heterosexual senior citizen in a robbery is no less heinous than the shooting of a black cross-dresser during a barroom brawl. American jurisprudence demands that both violent acts be investigated and prosecuted vigorously and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Click here to contact our two Ohio senators and insist that they vote NO on “hate crimes” legislation.

Trashing basic freedoms!

The proposed “hate crimes law” also threatens the basic constitutional rights of freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Particularly at risk of unjust suppression are those who consider the behaviors associated with particular sexual orientations or gender identities to be contrary to their religious beliefs.

Proponents of “hate crimes legislation,” including Ohio’s own Senator Sherrod Brown, trivialize such concerns, arguing that the bill applies only to “violent crimes” causing “bodily injury” and therefore could not be used to punish mere expression of such beliefs. And they point out that the bill’s definition of “bodily injury” includes a statement that the term does not include “solely emotional or psychological harm to the victim.”

But such arguments are purposely deceptive. That modifier “solely” is the loophole through which federal and state law enforcement agencies will leap to prosecute the mere expression that certain behaviors are contrary to the teaching of many religions regarding human sexuality. Emotional or psychological stress can always be said to result in physical manifestations such as nausea, insomnia, or even “temporary impairment of mental faculties.” And all such physical manifestations could be covered by “bodily injury.”

To think that this bill could be so applied is not an unreasonable stretch. In other countries where virtually identical laws already are in place, pastors and lay persons have been threatened and penalized for teaching that the expression of sexuality should be limited to heterosexual marriage and even for simply reading Biblical texts that support such beliefs.

Further, of the 4,300 hate crimes reported by the FBI in 2007 (the most recent year for which we have statistics), over 2,000 involved mere “intimidation,” usually defined as “threatening words.” In many local governments, where very similar hate crimes laws already are in place, this vague concept of intimidation already is being used to stifle religious expression. Regardless of where one stands with respect to the behaviors associated with certain sexual orientations, suppression of religious expression should be a concern to every American.

Contact Senators Brown and Voinovich today.

Trashing states rights!

In addition to being a violation of the basic principle of equal protection under the law and a threat to religious freedom and freedom of expression, the proposed “hate crimes legislation” would be yet another unnecessary federal power grab. There is no statistical evidence to support a claim that states are not vigorously prosecuting all violent crimes. Congress has no authority to federalize a responsibility that lies within the constitutional authority and competence of the states.

Ironically, the very case after which the Senate’s bill has been named demonstrates this point. Matthew Shepard is the University of Wyoming homosexual student beaten and murdered in 1998. Without a hate crimes law in place, and without federal intervention, Matthew Shepard’s killers were convicted and sentenced to double life sentences. Only the pleas of Shepard’s parents persuaded the judge to spare the two the death penalty.

All violent crimes threaten a community!

Proponents of “hate crimes laws” argue that more intense investigation and prosecution and stiffer penalties for crimes against the classes covered by such laws are necessary because such acts transcend the individual victim and threaten an entire class community. However, that is true of any violent criminal act. When a senior citizen is senselessly murdered in a robbery, the entire community of senior citizens feels threatened. When a child is kidnapped in a public park and then abused, the entire community of parents and children is threatened.

Un-American, Unconstitutional, and Unnecessary

Federal intervention in the investigation and prosecution of violent criminal acts is not necessary and is not constitutional. The proposed “hate crimes legislation” would be a violation of the very important constitutional principle of equal protection under the law and would present a serious threat to religious freedom, freedom of speech and basic federalism principles.

Please click below to insist that Senators Brown and Voinovich vote NO to the “hate crimes law.”

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