By Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin
Slow learners, that bunch. Exodus Vice President Randy Thomas is at it again, spreading his total misunderstanding about how hate crimes legislation works. Well, near total anyway. He now acknowledges that hate crimes laws cannot infringe on speech in America, but he’s still worried about some sort of slippery slope effect. But his first two paragraphs are whoppers in cluelessness:
We have been saying that hate crimes laws are inherently unfair in that they punish some crimes more severely against gay people than they would against any other person. If I were attacked, my attacker would get more of a punishment 15 years ago when I identified as gay than they would now that I don’t.
Plus, if a gay identified man or woman attacked me (some have threatened to do just that), they would get less of a sentence than if a truly homophobic person attacked them along the exact same lines.
Rest assured Randy. If anyone were to attack you because of your sexual orientation – regardless of your sexual orientation – then that is a hate crime. When the law reads “regardless of sexual orientation”, it means exactly that. And if you think I’m wrong on this, then please explain why the FBI bothered to count twenty-three anti-heterosexual hate crime incidents in 2005? (2005 is the most recent year for which statistics are available.) I think it’s also important to note that there were 935 anti-White incidents and 58 anti-Protestant incidents during the same year.
These laws aren’t about special protections available only to a select few. They about recognizing that particular types of crimes based on motivation have particular impacts on society. We already distingush between capital murder and manslaughter. Our laws also distingush between ordinary assualt and aggrivated assault. Same with robbery. The law already takes into account the fact that some crimes have a more far-reaching impact than others.
Hate crime legislation simply says that crimes in which victims are singled out by race, sexual orientation, religion or national origin deserve special protection because there is a special history of people being singled out solely for those reasons. And the great thing about it, the proposed legislation recognizes that the tables can always be turned. Which means these protections are extended to your race, sexual orientation, religion or national origin, whatever they may be. Because everyone – yes, even you Randy – deserves to be protected whenever anyone lashes out against them based on their own self-righteous, misguided beliefs.