Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hate crime laws are unnecessary and dangerous

The fair-minded liberal Alexander Cockburn adds his voice to warnings about the forthcoming "hate crime" laws, in The Hate Crime Bill: How Not to Remember Matthew Shepard. Cockburn is among the few journalists who reveal that it was never clear if Matthew Shepard was assaulted because he was a homosexual. In spite of this, an entire "gay" industry has grown up around, and profited off this case, including Shepard's mother.


We’ve got the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act, aka the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, before Congress and far advanced on its repellent journey towards the statute book. ...

The Matthew Shepard Act is a ham-handed attempt to right injustice by establishing different legal treatment for some classes of crime victims. The proposed statute classifies as "hate crimes" attacks based on a victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. America is well on its way to making it illegal to say anything nasty about gays, Jews, blacks and women. "Hate speech," far short of any direct incitement to violence, is on the edge of being criminalized, with the First Amendment gone the way of the dodo. ...

The gay lobby has gone into overdrive for just such a hate crime law ever since Matthew Shepard got beaten to death in 1998 by two roofers on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. It’s actually somewhat unclear whether the roofers, one of whom was high on meth at the time, murdered Shepard because they specifically hated gays. Anyway, the murder has put them behind bars for the rest of their lives using tough existing laws. But, starting with Shepard’s mother, Judy, the $100,000-plus head of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, gay and "human rights" groups have been fundraising on Shepard’s "gay martyrdom" ever since. ...

Federal and state hate crime laws are unnecessary and dangerous. As always, the challenge is to apply existing laws in a manner that constitutes justice, no matter who the victim may be. ... Five gay groups have publicly criticized a bill currently before the New York State Legislature―the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act―that provides sentencing enhancements for hate crimes. Let others join them. It’s disgusting to see liberals rushing into the sentence-toughening business.

Read entire article here.

See also:

Understanding 'Hate Crime' Laws: There's more to them than meets the eye

Abolish all 'hate crime' laws

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