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Hate crimes bill set to become law

By Ben Pershing
The Senate cleared a historic hate crimes bill for President Obama's signature Thursday, approving new federal penalties for attacks on gays and lesbians.

The legislation, which was attached to the conference report for the bill outlining the Pentagon's budget, marks the culmination of a years-long fight by civil-rights groups to codify the expanded protections. The law broadens the current definition of federal hate crimes -- which covers attacks motivated by race, color, religion or national origin -- to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It would also create a new federal crime to cover attacks against U.S. military personnel because of their service.

The measure was approved, 68 to 29, with a majority of Republicans voting against it. The House passed the same bill Oct. 8, also with most Republicans opposed.

Gay rights groups praised the Senate's action.

"We look forward to President Obama signing it into law: our nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Too many in our community have been devastated by hate violence. We now can begin the important steps to erasing hate in our country."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who helped ensure that the hate crimes measure was added to the defense bill, called the vote a necessary step forward. "I am proud that Congress has come together to show that violence against members of any group because of who they are will not be tolerated in this country," he said.

The hate crimes measure is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was murdered in 1998, and James Byrd Jr., a black man who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck in Texas in 1998. Shepard's family founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which helped lobby for the measure that is now set to become law. Offered repeatedly by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the bill had stalled previously in the Senate, and President George W. Bush vowed to veto it if it ever reached his desk.

But Obama plans to sign the measure, a key moment for a president who has been subject to grumbling from some gay and lesbian activists that he hasn't so far pushed hard enough for their agenda. Obama has vowed to fight for gays and lesbians on other fronts, including repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Social conservatives argued that the hate crimes bill was in violation of the First Amendment, and a step toward a larger gay-rights agenda they strongly oppose.

"Expanding hate crimes puts America in lock step with the stated agenda of homosexual activists who will turn next to the so-called Employment Non-discrimination Act, followed by the repeal of the ban on homosexuality in the military and then the Defense of Marriage Act.," the Family Research Council warned on its Web site.

Religious groups have also complained that the bill could criminalize the simple act of criticizing or preaching against homosexuality, but the bill's backers and the Obama administration contend that is a misinterpretation of the law.

Separately, congressional Republicans objected to the process used to move the hate crimes bill, complaining that Democrats attached the hate crimes language to the defense authorization measure as a cynical ploy to dare the GOP to vote against it.

"It's a shame that this piece of legislation was added to a bill that's supposed to be about supporting our troops," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

The Defense measure outlines a $680 billion budget for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010, including $130 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill authorizes a 3.4 percent pay raise for the military and also includes funding to continue promotion of a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. While many members of Congress support the alternate engine program -- which creates jobs in several different states and districts -- the Obama administration has called it a waste of money and threatened to veto the bill if funding for the program remained.

Despite that threat, Obama is now expected to sign the measure.

By Ben Pershing  |  October 22, 2009; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

More waste from the Obama Administration. Laws already exist and this is nothing more that political BS designed to gather votes. Obama may be the stup1dest President the US has ever elected.

Posted by: askgees | October 22, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Finally and after 11 years this vitally important bill is soon to become law. Askgees doesn't know what he/she is talking about. And to all of you who are frightened that this is part of a wider gay and lesbian agenda -- you're right! Our agenda is full equality as promised by the Constitution.

Posted by: wjfreeman1 | October 22, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Hate Crimes Bill PROTECTS Gays NOT our CHILDREN!!

Declare WAR on CHILD predators !!!

2000 Kids go missing EVERY DAY!!

WHO is gonna protect our children??

Posted by: Rubiconski | October 22, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Askgees - Just let me say as a straight man that if you think Obama is the stupidest president ever elected, you must have been in a coma during the two terms of George W. Bush. Judging from your ignorant reaction to this law, I think we'd all be better off if you returned to your comatose state.

Posted by: mellow01 | October 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to...

Equal Protection Under The Law!

It is in the U.S. Constitution. Hence, if someone attacks a heterosexual, on the grounds that he/she is a heterosexual, then that person had better receive the same penalty as a person who attacks a homosexual, simply on those grounds.

And by "attack," I mean PHYSICAL!

This is all so ridiculous!

Debra J.M. Smith
of
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | October 22, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Byrd wasnt killed over the color of his skin. He was killed over a drug debt.


Sheppard would not still be alive with a hate crime law protecting his gayness. I find it hard to believe the maximum penalty of "death" for murder in the state of Wyoming not being sufficient, that a hate crime resolution would.


This bill is absurd, and more specifically despicable for its protections for NAMBLA pedophiles. Wapo should be ashamed for not covering that amoral part of this bill. 2010 cant come cant sooner, I'm voting for the candidate who pledges to repeal this insanity.

Posted by: Homunculus | October 22, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This is a huge perversion of the rule of law for plain political purposes. It should be immediately overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds of "Equal Protection." Aren't all intentional murders an act of hate? If I claim to LIKE someone I have killed, does that make it OK?

Posted by: pgr88 | October 22, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

no, askgees, the stupidest pres's ever would be GWB and reagan.

This is great news for our friends in the GLBT community, and I just have to say...It's about dam time, and congrats!

I hope republicans, conservatives, and the deranged christian righties, feel the rejection of their bigoted and intolerant ideology...but since whacked out religion rules their wrong-leaning brains, it is doubtful.

Doesn't matter. There are only 20% of them remaining in this country, and I hope they implode, blow away in the dust, and a new party that represents America, and Americans, comes out of the ashes.

Congrats to all!

Posted by: dematheart | October 22, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm having difficulty understanding Debra's comment (is she for or against the bill?). My understanding is that the bill covers all people if they are targeted because of their sexual orientation. This would include heterosexual people if one could demonstrate that an attack were based on that individual's heterosexuality. It just so happens that attacks against people because of their sexual orientation are disproportionately directed at gay, lesbian and transgender folks (gender identity). Though it is also the case that heterosexual people are "gay based" from time to time because they are perceived as being gay or gender atypical in some way. This bill would also cover them.

Posted by: aaron16 | October 22, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. Why any rational person would go against this thing is beyond me. All I can say is that they must not be good people.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | October 22, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to...

Equal Protection Under The Law!

It is in the U.S. Constitution. Hence, if someone attacks a heterosexual, on the grounds that he/she is a heterosexual, then that person had better receive the same penalty as a person who attacks a homosexual, simply on those grounds.

And by "attack," I mean PHYSICAL!

This is all so ridiculous!

Debra J.M. Smith
of
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

"Informing christians". What a load right-wing crapola.

You and your fake christian group are what is ridiculous. Intolerance, in-equality, anti-choice, and pure hate for our president, is what fuels your idea of christianity.

FYI: "God would NOT approve of you right-wing fringe haters" and I wouldn't want to be anywhere near you on judgment day.

Posted by: dematheart | October 22, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm simply not familiar with Homonculus' point about the bill covering NAMBLA. Could you explain what you mean - where in the bill are members of this organization mentioned?

Posted by: aaron16 | October 22, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, what took so long? Huxley and Orwell predicted this decades ago.

Posted by: cerebral_but | October 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

More power to the bureaucrats and subjective use of law enforcement.This country is rapidly sliding toward faciasm

Posted by: hyroller56 | October 22, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

If you came here to find ignorance, hate and bigotry, you have succeeded.

The postings here alone tell you why such a measure was necessary.

Posted by: bobbarnes | October 22, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

WHAT ABOUT STRAIGHTS ARE THEY PROTECTED AGAINST GAYS IN THE SAME WAY UNDER THE HATE CRIME BILL ? There should be no special treatment for anyone in the law, except for our kids. Kids need our protection.

Posted by: marvin49 | October 22, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

If you punch a politican in the nose for raising your taxes, that's assault. If you punch a politician in the nose for proposing this thought-crime nonsense, is it just assault or is it a hate crime?

Posted by: cerebral_but | October 22, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Marvin - see my earlier comment. The answer is yes. The bill uses the term sexual orientation - this would cover anyone who is targeted for a crime because of the sexual orientation including straight people, if by virtue of being straight, there were targeted. Also, straight people are sometimes attacked because they are perceived as being gay. This law would be applied to their attackers as well.

Posted by: aaron16 | October 22, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

And I agree with your comment about kids, Marvin. There are numerous laws on the books protecting children from exploitation, both sexual and otherwise.

Posted by: aaron16 | October 22, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I am glad that the Senate has done this. There is no excuse for attacking some just because of his/her sexual orientation.

Acting on hate is always a bad thing.

Acting to provide just for the victims of hate is a good thing.

Posted by: abbydelabbey | October 22, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Social conservatives are attacking the law for everything except what its actual language says. Knowledge is power, people. If you can use the Internet well enough to leave your comments, you can use the Internet well enough to find out what the law actually says (and doesn't).

Posted by: DoctorWhom | October 22, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Homophobia is intolerance which brings no benefit to anyone. The bill which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federal hate crimes is necessary, and President Obama will sign it, in order to decrease the amount of hate crimes against LGBT people. Although the intolerant organization, the Family Research Council, opposes the bill, their reason against it is not credible. Violence against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is unacceptable.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | October 22, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

aaron16 wrote:

Also, I'm simply not familiar with Homonculus' point about the bill covering NAMBLA. Could you explain what you mean - where in the bill are members of this organization mentioned?

-----

Please do not expect anything rational from types like Homonculus. His/her 'kill the queer' perspective precludes that. All 'its' posting illustrates is 'its' abject fear of latent homosexuality and 'its' subliminal gender confusion. 'It' embodies the true spirit of what oozes out of the Republican/Conservative/Evangelical cesspool.

Posted by: TightWhiteRight | October 22, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The Country lost another 531,000 jobs last month. The economy is going down, the dollar is tanking and the idiots we have in the government are focusing on health care, cap and tax, the debt is soaring and more debt and entitlement programs are announced daily by these nimrods. Now this? We have seen the enemy and it is our government.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | October 22, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

This is a bad step, given that it says penalties will be increased for assaulting or murdering a member of one specific group within the makeup of a society. That implies that if one murders Person A and another guy murders Person B, one of the murderers might get more time in jail than the other, which, basically, amounts to a society placing a greater value on, say, Person A's life than on Person B's life.
Laws are already on the books indicating society's disapproval of violence against people - any people. They're called laws against assault and murder - just enforce them.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 22, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

A society that punishes more for killing one person than for killing another based on a characteristic of one of them is not an equal society.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 22, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

fr LibertyforAll:

>...Although the intolerant organization, the Family Research Council, opposes the bill, their reason against it is not credible. Violence against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is unacceptable.

So very true. It's very sad that the following CULTS have brainwashed alot of otherise normal people: the "afa", the "cwa", and the fotf gang of nutballs. They're all as bad as the westboro baptist CULT.

Posted by: Alex511 | October 22, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Good grief American slight tendency towards sensibleness seems to be disappearing up its national backside again.

What on earth is a hate crime? Hate is a feeling not an action.

I don't know exactly what the legislation says, and the reporting here is singularly uniformative as to its substance giving quotes from Leahy about getting rid of hate in the country (what a stupid thing for him to have said - its positively Pollyannaish) and as for

"It would also create a new federal crime to cover attacks against U.S. military personnel because of their service."

What on earth is an "attack against" in this context? Physical assaults were presumably already illegal, so it seems one is left to guess that derison of the intellects of those who volunteer to put themselves under the orders of any President or commander the nation might choose to do anything (perhaps including anything illegal like torture or invasion that President of commander may choose) is itself an attack?

What can I say, it really does seem like the United States sensibleness is disappearing up it own butt, yet again.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | October 22, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The ignorant people who came out of an 8 year coma and have been going crazy since the new admin started proved that hate crime legislation is necessary. Their bigotry and hatred is not only ugly but dangerous. The argue against such legislation but exhibit why such measures are necessary in a culture that includes such unbalanced people. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | October 22, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Hate crimes are political correctness run amok and will be dealt with, albeit unevenly and unfairly, by jury nullification, regardless of whatever legislation is passed or judges instruct. Overreaction by jurors to overreaching law can be as bad a consequence as is its enforcement.

The law must not be a canvas of infinite width for politicians or judges or political activists to use as a vehicle for social engineering. It simply is not the place of government to mold our society. If anything, the reverse is true.

Simply put, government must be of limited scope if it is to be stopped short of tyranny. Legislating for the purpose of enforcing political correctness is decidedly beyond the appropriate scope of government and it is precisely for this reason that hate crime legislation is controversial in the first place.

Moreover, many people instinctively have a visceral and negative reaction to law derived from political correctness and probably should; because, it almost invariably transfers yet another chunk of their freedom to the state. And no, this doesn’t condone the underlying crime, it merely rejects the notion that the state has any legitimate authority to paint the America political correctness dictates.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | October 22, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

This law will protect heterosexuals from being targeted as gay and beat up or killed. In the 1990s a heterosexual tourist in New Orleans was walking in the French Quarter. Some heterosexual men decided the man was gay, and they beat him death while screaming antigay curses at him. This law will protect the rights of anyone targeted by heterosupremacist tyrannical violent theocRATs.

Posted by: planetspinz | October 22, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP WITH THE BUSH BULL$HYT ALREADY. TIME HAS RUN OUT , he's gone, OBAMA is now the HEAD HONCHO in the White House. I respect everyone's rights to their own OPINIONS, Many hated BUSH, fine, say what you need to say, MANY HATE OBAMA, why is it that when we say what WE FEEL, you all start in with the BUSH SAGE. WHO WILL YOU BLAME WHEN OBAMA IS NO LONGER IN OFFICE, YOU CAN'T BLAME BUSH FOR OBAMA'S $CREW UPS. Of course many of you will still BLAME BUSH saying things like BUSH CAUSE SUCH A BIG MESS, IT WILL TAKE YEARS. Well my friends, OBAMA is doing a great job of messing things up to, LIVE WITH IT, and FOR ONCE AGREE, cause you can;t tell me that his approval rate is still up there, IT IS NOT, so many of you who believed he was the NEXT GOD, finally got that slap upside your heads. SO he will sign a bill making HATE CRIMES AGAINST GAYS AND LESBIANS a CRIME, APPLAUSE , APPLAUSE. there are so many LAWS on the books now, NO ONE CAN KEEP TRACK OF THEM ALL, and what good is any law if it is not enforced to the FULLEST. So sign away, lets just see what happens next. HOW ABOUT A LAW MAKING IT A HATE CRIME AGAINST POLITICIANS WHO $CREW THE TAX PAYER.

Posted by: itscc721 | October 22, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes,this makes sence.Since most americans have a criminal record they are now petitioning the government for laws that protects them.Majority rules,yeah know.

Posted by: hyroller56 | October 22, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Could some one tell us what a non-hate crime is? I have never seen a murderer act out of love, how is murder not a hate crime? How is robbery not a hate crime? How is assault not a hate crime?

What a bunch of crap!!!!!!!

Posted by: thelaw1 | October 22, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"We look forward to President Obama signing it into law: our nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Too many in our community have been devastated by hate violence. We now can begin the important steps to erasing hate in our country."

Again, what an idiotic statement is "hate violence".

I don't hate the person that says such statements, indeed I sympathise with the sentiment of wanting to protect the human rights and civil rights of "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people", as they are people, but for pete sake, let's not throw the free speach baby out with the bath water.

A civil society needs to have frank discussions even if it does stop physical violence against its members to uphold their rights. A civil society needs to be able to give and take criticism including potentially hurtful criticism in order to be able to learn and improve.

Being against hate speech is civil rights idiocy. And I say that as a person who is for civil rights. And for respecting the dignity and autonomy of persons.

Some speach does incite harmful action I accept, but the responsiblity should fall on the actors not the speakers because putting the responsibility on the speaker places on the speaker a burden that is harmful to civic society.

Sometimes it is good for a society to say, for instance, why on earth would a person with other options choose to join the military and to give over their own freedom of conscience to an unknown officer? There may be many possible replies to questions and even to derison that are valid and non violent and through those replies peoples own thinking can develop.

For civic society some non violent conflicting is constructive of character rather than destructive.

This hate speach stuff rankles as pure laziness. Rather than refuting or opposing wrongful arguments aimed at inciting wrongful actions with arguments its like those not liking others speach want to remove from themselves the effort and burden of rebuttal.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | October 22, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I once wrote an email to one of our ILLINOIS LAW MAKERS, I will not mention his name , but he is (along with the others) one of the most corrupt politicians in this country, anyway I told him what I thought of him and said that if I ever met him I would love to slap him upside the head with a two by four. A few nights later I got a call from the STATE POLICE,THATS RIGHT the STATE POLICE

Posted by: itscc721 | October 22, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

just keep the creepy homosexuals and lesbians away from normal people and their kids. Normal people don't want to have anything to do with these perverts. No matter how you legislate for these phags, it will never justify that their existence revolves around dirty, filthy, HIV, and AIDS anal sex.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | October 22, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

CONTINUED, the state police wanted to know why I threatened him and would I actually hit him. I said I threatened him cause he is a lying, cheating underhanded moron, and NO I WOULD NOT ACTUALLY DO THAT cause I didn't want to spent the rest of my life in prison just for some M@RON. But see how fast the LAWS cover POLITICIANS. If I would have said that to some specific person or group NOTHING WOULD AHVE BEEN DONE ABOUT IT. There are LAWS but only for them that are important, the rest of us can go to H$LL.

Posted by: itscc721 | October 22, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Rubiconski, Homunculus, pgr88, and others who say that it will offer protection to certain types of sexual predators (making it harder to prosecute them), that is offers special rights to the LGBT crowd (after all, if they struck me, they are not charged with a hate crime), and that is will abridge religious free speech (certain Bible verses will now deemed "hate speech"). This bill definitely needs to be challenged in court as unconstitutional.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | October 22, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Everyone has a right to live their lives as they see fit. I JUST DON'T WANT ANYONE SHOVING THEIR WAY DOWN MY THROAT and DEMANDING THAT I ACCEPT IT. Where is MY RIGHT to not accept it. I DON'T BELIEVE IN GAYs or LESBIANS way of life, BUT IT IS THEIR WAY NOT MINE. I don;t think anyone should be beaten, killed or harmed in any way because of how they want to live. As long as they are not HURTING ANYONE, let them live their life. NOW how about laws that PROTECT the innocent? How about protecting US the innocent ,hard working people who PAY TAXES to keep this country going. WHY CAN'T I PROTECT MYSELF in any way I SEE FIT? If someone tries to attack me for any reason I WANT MY RIGHT TO SHOOT THE $OB, cause that is the only thing that will STOP THEM , if they survive they will go in front of some liberal judge who will place a bond on him, he will sit in jail for a while, go to trial then US TAX PAYERS WILL HAVE TO SUPPORT THE SLIME for the rest of his life. AGAIN, NO ONE SHOULD BE HARMED FOR HIS or HER BELIEFS, JUST LET ME HAVE MY RIGHTS ALSO. THANK YOU and have a safe LIFE.

Posted by: itscc721 | October 22, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

A shameful, stupid, revolting development. Criminalizing thought is repugnant to everything this country stands for.

Posted by: thebump | October 22, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

This bill today is NOT criminalizing thought, as the US Supreme Court has UNANIMOUSLY held.

The US Supreme Court ruled in Wisconsin v. Mitchell (1993) that states can more harshly punish criminals who choose their victims based on race, religion or sexual orientation, a decision that upheld the constitutionality of "hate crime" statutes adopted by about 30 states, including Massachusetts.

Saying that such laws do not violate an offender's free-speech rights, the high court in Wisconsin v. Mitchell unanimously affirmed the validity of the legal tack that many states have taken toward bias crimes, in imposing longer sentences and larger fines.

With a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wisconsin. It held that Wisconsin’s penalty enhancement statute did not violate the First Amendment. Writing for the unanimous Court, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said Americans cannot escape punishment for crimes by saying their violent conduct is a form of speech. "[A] physical assault is not, by any stretch of the imagination, expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment."

Similarly, said Justice Rehnquist, hate crimes are an evil that must be stopped. Hate crimes can lead to further violence, emotional distress, and unrest in a community. States are allowed to discourage hate crimes by punishing them more severely than regular crimes.

Posted by: dlopata | October 22, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

It has just got to be killing all the right wing, ultra conservative, christian conservatives to live in America under the Obama administration...now you know how I felt under the GWB administration......An African American liberal president, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of state and now equal rights for the gays....wow...Canada must be looking pretty good.

Posted by: jcall | October 22, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't really think we need an additional classification for "hate crime". A crime is crime; if an assault or other violence takes place against an individual or group, we already have laws in place to prosecute the perpetrator(s).

The whole "hate speech as a crime" thing bothers me; making specific and tangible threats of violence against an individual or group is one thing, but I fear that a vague definition of "hate speech" could be used too broadly to criminalize disagreement with a specific lifestyle, ideology or political position.

Posted by: EddietheInfidel | October 22, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who have your panties all in a bunch over this law: Please tell us how exactly it makes YOUR life worse. Avoid generalities ("It will make America turn into Soviet Russia" and other such idiocy) and be specific. How will it make YOUR life more difficult?

Posted by: aunatrl | October 22, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

fr charlietuna666:

>...just keep the creepy homosexuals and lesbians away from normal people and their kids. Normal people don't want to have anything to do with these perverts. ...

Most glbts that I know are pretty normal-looking. We are teachers, customer service workers, software techs, clergy, doctors, dentists, librarians, dentists, bankers, grocery clerks, butchers, bakers, gardeners, landscapers, counselors, etc.

Deal with it. We're already here, and we are NOT leaving. Hooray for PRESIDENT Obama for promising to sign the Matthew Shepard bill. Too bad dumbya didn't want to advance civil rights.

Posted by: Alex511 | October 22, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

republicans voted against this bill, so will vice prez. cheneys lesbian daughter be protected by this law??? i ask you fellow americans how stupid is the gop?? thank-you prez. obama you have my vote next time around!!

Posted by: willemkraal | October 22, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

This country is going down the tubes, we are 1.4 trillion dollars in debt, Moody's is warning it will lower our credit rating, American soldiers are being slaughtered in Afghanistan while the administration wages war against Fox news, the Congress is trying to destroy health care in one sigle blow and the decides that the most important thing it can do is declare the homosexuals and their lifestyle are more equal and important than your average American citizen. FIRE EVERY ONE OF THESE IDIOTS!!!!!

Posted by: sandynh | October 22, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow....I think that is all I have to say.
It is amazing to me on the amount of discrimination and ignorance portrayed through half of these comments. I could go on to say how I believe this law is fantastic and Obama and his administration is probably one of the best the US has ever had. The republicans have redefined their party with the reputation of being the party of "no". It is almost as if some people don't want anything good to happen on the other person's watch. I realize these are my opinions and others may agree or disagree, and that is one's right. However, realize how childish this ignorance and fighting really is. The constant bickering and disagreements will not help solve the problems of today. We, the American people, must take a step back to realize and accept how bad things have gotton. Now the real question is what are we going to do about it? Well in my opinion, the most logical approach would be to quit the immature fighting and for once become the country who can work together to solve the nations problems. So much of this to me seems obvious, but what do I know, I am only 17.

Posted by: Fight4whatsright | October 22, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

oh horrors. now glbt people will be protected by the same law that has been in place for quite some time protecting people on the basis of their chosen religion. anyone who takes the time to read the bill and has a basic comprehension of the english language would not waste time fretting about "thought crimes". It is simple enough to go to http://www.thomas.loc.gov and search for H.R.2647 - no more need for ill informed incorrect speculation and fear. no need to preface remarks with , 'well i don't know what the bill says but.....' before launching into a homophobic rant.

by the way, does this legislation bother you also? it also takes into consideration (as every prosecutor does every trial) the perpetrators state of mind.....

(c) Whoever intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that religious property, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).
(d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be—
(1) if death results from acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death;
(2) if bodily injury results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;
(3) if bodily injury to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both; and
(4) in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Posted by: sjeffers | October 22, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I believe that "Hate Crime" legislation is misnamed.

A better term would be something like "Terrorism Prosecution Act" and, in the case of this federal law, the "FEDERAL Terrorism Prosecution Act."

Hate Crime legislation isn't about giving "special rights" to groups of people. It isn't about making hate a "thought crime".

It's a tool--an arrow in the quiver of law enforcement and prosecutors.

Read the legislation. The point is to make it possible to prosecute at the federal level, especially when local or state jurisdictions refuse to, or to provide aid--financial or otherwise-- to local or state law enforcement.

Now WHY would local or state jurisdictions fail to prosecute, or need help in pursuing terror cases against unpopular groups, you might ask.

In cases where a group of citizens are targeted for terrorism or violence, local police, local prosecutors, even local judges have been known to be part of the problem. You have only to peruse some of the statements of judges in these cases where there is a suggestion that "you were asking for it" to begin to get the picture.

Even now, whenever the case of Matt Shepard is brought up, I can guarantee that someone will say "he came onto those straight guys and so he was just asking for it."

No. He REALLY wasn't asking to be attacked and crucified and left to die. Really he wasn't.

And even now, some communities refuse to allow schools to put on "the Laramie Project" --the story of Matthew Shepard-- because they feel it might look like they are "condoning the homosexual lifestyle." I've HEARD people actually say that.

That tells you a lot.

In particular, it tells you that while all groups deserve equal protection under the law...

but that we aren't quite there yet.

Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder HOW MUCH SLEEP do these DO GOODERS GET? They must not get much cause every time you read a paper or listen to the news there is something else in the fire that needs to be signed, agreed upon, voted on or some other HALF A$$ time wasting procedure. When will these never can do no wrong POLITICIANS end the killings of our TROOPS in wars the OBAMA said he would END? Instead of ENDING the war in IRAQ, he fires up another bigger one in AFGHANISTAN. And all these clowns in Washington are worried about GAYS and LESBIANS and their rights. I wish they would get their priorities straight . Is he on the 2012 CAMPAIGN TRAIL ALREADY?

Posted by: itscc721 | October 22, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Eddie the Infidel (and others), we already have laws on the books that provide for penalty enhancements for attacks or murders of people (such as postal workers, murder committed during a robbery or rape, or the death of an unborn child in a crime).

As a society, we have decided that there are additional penalties for crimes that involve certain types of people or crimes; to state as a society that this will not be tolerated. That does not demean crimes against others. This is simply adding one more circumstance that will result in additional penalties. It is the whole premise of the arguments against gun control after all. "Don't control guns, punish those who use them. Add additional years in jail if you do a crime with a gun." The premise here is to add additional years in jail if you commit an attack or murder simply on the basis of who or what they are. That's supposed to be the GOP crime prevention platform....

Posted by: Moderate4USA | October 22, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

One additional point: These laws have been on the books for years. It covered crimes against Christians and other people of faith, of course, and there was little protest over that.

It is very telling that only now, when sexual orientation has been added as a category, that people are fearful of "thought crimes" and giving "special rights" to some groups.

Shouldn't that have been of concern when we gave prosecutors the ability to go after criminal who burned down Baptist churches at the federal level?

Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Also a part of the US Code, Title 18, chapter 13 - Civil Rights

247. Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs

(a) Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section—
(1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious character of that property, or attempts to do so; or
(2) intentionally obstructs, by force or threat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempts to do so;
(d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be—
(1) if death results from acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death;
(2) if bodily injury results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;
(3) if bodily injury to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both; and
(4) in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Posted by: sjeffers | October 22, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

@ charlietuna666

"just keep the creepy homosexuals and lesbians away from normal people and their kids. Normal people don't want to have anything to do with these perverts. No matter how you legislate for these phags, it will never justify that their existence revolves around dirty, filthy, HIV, and AIDS anal sex."

that has to be one of the most hurtful and ignorant things i think i've ever heard come out of someone's mouth. Not all gay people have HIV/AIDS, and it's not like straight people are immune... just look at africa. Most gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people are normal, just like most straight people are normal... I'm sure you see a lot of GLBT people on the street and just don't know it. Plenty of these people are parents and have their own kids. Ever heard of a same sex couple? I think a family is a beautiful thing whether there is one mom and one dad, two dads, or two moms.

You justify their existence. If you are a true christian you will learn to accept all of God's children. Everyone has a purpose and the GLBT community is loved just as much as you are by God. Whether you like it or not the GLBT community is probably here to make you a more accepting and loving/caring individual. Whether or not you agree with their lifestyle is your problem, don't make it theirs... which is precisely why this bill is necessary. So other people don't infringe on any other U.S. citizen's right to pursue happiness.

Posted by: abc1234567 | October 22, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

fr itscc721:

>I JUST DON'T WANT ANYONE SHOVING THEIR WAY DOWN MY THROAT and DEMANDING THAT I ACCEPT IT....

Please turn off your caps key. It's shouting.

GLBTs don't "shove their way down" anyones' throat. We simply want AND deserve the right to marry the legal, consenting adult of our choice. We don't want to marry farm animals, kids or siblings. We do not "already have equal rights", and that's what we are fighting to change. We don't want "special rights", no matter what the religious "right" claims.

Hooray for President Obama! Too bad dumbya refused to advance civil rights.

Posted by: Alex511 | October 22, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

hmmm. "NOW how about laws that PROTECT the innocent? How about protecting US the innocent ,hard working people who PAY TAXES to keep this country going."

That is what this addition to the civil rights code of the U.S. does. protects the innocent hard working people who pay taxes to keep this country going - like me. i just also happen to be a lesbian. [and notice, i am not screaming for my right to shoot someone, and bemoaning the possibility i might have to go to jail for doing so (cuz of the lib'rals)]
News Flash:
being told you are not permitted to deny the rights of, or perpetrate violence on a set of people because you hate them is NOT a sign you are being oppressed. "deeply held personal convictions" are just that - personal convictions, and do not allow for special rights to be exempt from the law.

Posted by: sjeffers | October 22, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

If the justice system were about justice than who has the most money, laws like this wouldn't be necessary. All persons created equal was the intent in the beginning - clearly the laws fail us in the here and now. So, when will there be laws to protect the middle class from the ravages of corporatism?

Posted by: pcw5150 | October 22, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

At age 11 I was kidnapped, tied to a bed and molested by two queer lovers.
At age fifteen, while hitchhiking I was picked up by a queer who put a pistol to my head, made me set against him while he licked and sucked on my face while doing donuts in a cornfield.
He told me he was gonna kill me so when he got drunk on his bottle of liquor, I made a break for it.
He insisted under threat of death that I go to California with him and marry him or he would kill me just as he had the former hitchhiker that refused his sick and twisted advances (if that's what you want to call them).
While an adult, and visiting Golden Gate park in San Francisco, myself, my wife, and my one son who was 9 at the time witnessed two queers with their pants down around their ankles, (they weren't wearing underwear), dry humping each other in broad daylight with an audience of at least 12 disgusted individuals.

Later, (a couple years later), while hiking to get gas for my car that had run out, I was picked up by an elderly hispanic man who threatened to kill me if I didn't let him perform oral sex on me.
Once again I got away,....

In the 1980's my sister was taken and raped with mop handles by two queers, knocked unconscious, and thrown into a lake.
She survived but was and is scared for the rest of her life.

When these incidents are delt with in a court of law, (they refused to press charges as there were no witnesses), I'll follow this absurd and twisted law.
Until then, they can come throw me in jail because I will never follow one word of it.

These are true cases folks.
The straights will feel sympathy, the queers will probably get turned on by reading them.
Until the gays that did this are caught and punished, (although I bet the statute of limitations has run out), they can take this law and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | October 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The right must be disappointed. This is another setback to their attempts to legalize murdering gays.

Posted by: Kal-L | October 22, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"These are true cases folks.
The straights will feel sympathy, the queers will probably get turned on by reading them."

First of all, even if your stories are true (which there is no reason to believe they are) your "examples" don't prove anything about gays in general. Second of all, I could find similiar examples about blacks and make the same bigoted argument. Again, it wouldn't say anything about blacks in general either. As long as the right continues to cling to stereotypes, they will lose the arugument.

Posted by: Kal-L | October 22, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

First of all, even if your stories are true (which there is no reason to believe they are) your "examples" don't prove anything about gays in general. Second of all, I could find similiar examples about blacks and make the same bigoted argument. Again, it wouldn't say anything about blacks in general either. As long as the right continues to cling to stereotypes, they will lose the arugument.
-------------------------------------------

So then I correctly assume that you believe it's "OK" for gays to be ultra violent to straights, yet it's not OK for straights to protect themselves by perverted and twisted gays....
Figures.

Oh and by the way Kal-L, as far as I know YOU could be one of these sickos.
I highly suspect you may be.

To attempt to criminalize the victims of these crimes would give you Carte blanche in pursuing any perveted practice you choose.
Not on my watch.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | October 22, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure how this law would not protect Children. We are all someones children, however this law includes everyone. Children could be any one of thses and under this legislation if they are included in any one of these gorups they would be protected.

If you read the article you would understand that now the legislation includes attacks based on gender, dissabilities, religion, sexual orientation which includes: asexuality,bisexuality,heterosexuality, homosexuality and pansexuality or any sexual orientation for that matter, it was expanded to include Gender identity issues for those going through sexual reassignment, it also includes member of military service whcih I really didn't think there were any real issues of crimes against military members based on service, but this would not include that protection whcih is fine.

So Pretty much this now includes everyone which is equal protection under the law.

No this law couldn't criminalize behavior based on preachers oposing homosexuality and preaching against it. As those preachers would be protected based on religion in the law. Last time I checked it wasn't illegal to speak against somone or something. So it wouldn't be issue. It would however be different if the preacher were weilding an assault rifele and shot a homosexual. Not like to happen but possible.

Posted by: irishlamb | October 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

This article is linked on http://www.cheatsheetnews.com

Posted by: cheatsheetnews | October 22, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Figures. Dems get both parlamentary houses and the oval office and the first amendment is getting barbequed. Gays make their own problems because they can play politics with straight peoples sexuallity and no doesn't seem in the vocabulary.
they should accept their own trouble because they make a lot of it.

Posted by: keithschricker | October 22, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Even now, whenever the case of Matt Shepard is brought up, I can guarantee that someone will say "he came onto those straight guys and so he was just asking for it."
No. He REALLY wasn't asking to be attacked and crucified and left to die. Really he wasn't...
Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse


"...they should accept their own trouble because they make a lot of it."
Posted by: keithschricker | October 22, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I rest my case.

Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

“””no, askgees, the stupidest pres's ever would be GWB and reagan. This is great news for our friends in the GLBT community, and I just have to say...It's about dam time, and congrats! I hope republicans, conservatives, and the deranged christian righties, feel the rejection of their bigoted and intolerant ideology...but since whacked out religion rules their wrong-leaning brains, it is doubtful. Doesn't matter. There are only 20% of them remaining in this country, and I hope they implode, blow away in the dust, and a new party that represents America, and Americans, comes out of the ashes. Congrats to all! Posted by: dematheart
========================
deaheart,
NO! You are the stupidest person alive. After analyzing your statement the conclusion is - you are one of those “Alinsky Marxist communists” that hide behind the name - liberal. Like the Marxist, if you do not like what someone blogs, then you always begin scapegoating republicans, conservatives and oh yes, the Christian righties! What’s wrong with you in the head? Do you not have enough gray matter upstairs to come up with any objective ideas? Do you call bringing up GWB and Raegan substance? Wow, is this all you have?

Your biggest mistake is assuming all gays are non-Christians and are also all lefties. Many gay people would not appreciate this. I rest my whole case on just this one ignorant sentence.

You say you want all of us blown away? You are a real decent human being! More like dangerously evil! HaHa! If you represent the future American government after you blow us away, then God help all those left behind that have to put up with the likes of you.

Posted by: annlawler26 | October 22, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

“””FYI: "God would NOT approve of you right-wing fringe haters" and I wouldn't want to be anywhere near you on judgment day.”””
================
OMG! Dematheart, now you claim to know the mind of God!! Wow! After reading your postings here, clearly on judgment day, you need to worry about yourself and surely not anyone else.

Posted by: annlawler26 | October 22, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Crime is crime. It is repugnant to suggest, as proponents of these laws do, that what happened to Matthew Shepard somehow would be less heinous if it had happened to another human being.

This is all about a vain and pointless attempt to legitimize an immoral lifestyle.

Posted by: thebump | October 22, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Look at all the hate here, in the 21st century! Why does any attempt to level the laws to apply equally to all just give so many a rash? Why do you think the Constitutions has so many amendments? It isn't perfect. If you want to hate keep it to yourself and stop looking foolish.

Posted by: WPzXq3100 | October 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Aren't gay people already protected by the same laws as everyone else? Are the states bound to give extra punishment for hate crime? As in, if someone murders a gay person, do they chop off the head after lethal injection? Seems more like saying "So there" with an exclamation point than a sensible law.

Posted by: GoFigger | October 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe that "Hate Crime" legislation is misnamed.

A better term would be something like "Terrorism Prosecution Act" and, in the case of this federal law, the "FEDERAL Terrorism Prosecution Act."

Hate Crime legislation isn't about giving "special rights" to groups of people. It isn't about making hate a "thought crime".

It's a tool--an arrow in the quiver of law enforcement and prosecutors.

Read the legislation. The point is to make it possible to prosecute at the federal level, especially when local or state jurisdictions refuse to, or to provide aid--financial or otherwise-- to local or state law enforcement.

Now WHY would local or state jurisdictions fail to prosecute, or need help in pursuing terror cases against unpopular groups, you might ask.

In cases where a group of citizens are targeted for terrorism or violence, local police, local prosecutors, even local judges have been known to be part of the problem. You have only to peruse some of the statements of judges in these cases where there is a suggestion that "you were asking for it" to begin to get the picture.

Even now, whenever the case of Matt Shepard is brought up, I can guarantee that someone will say "he came onto those straight guys and so he was just asking for it."

No. He REALLY wasn't asking to be attacked and crucified and left to die. Really he wasn't.

And even now, some communities refuse to allow schools to put on "the Laramie Project" --the story of Matthew Shepard-- because they feel it might look like they are "condoning the homosexual lifestyle." I've HEARD people actually say that.

That tells you a lot.

In particular, it tells you that while all groups deserve equal protection under the law...

we aren't quite there yet.

Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ricklinguist | October 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's look a tad deeper people. Positions on homosexuality aside, the "Federalization" of laws is more of my concern. The "Federal" government is getting larger and more influential. Now if it can be established, weather true or not that a crime falls under this statute, the people of Maine will have to pay to litigate a crime that happened in Hawaii.

Also can anyone tell me any action that is currently "legal" that will now become "illegal" with this legislation? If you can't then ask the real purpose for a LAW. Then really ask yourself what is being made to be illegal.

The answer is "thought" and "intent". Legislating against thought and intent is dangerous, no matter how disgusting the thought or intent is. HATRED OF HOMOSEXUALS IS DISGUSTING. Anyone who thinks clearly knows that. But passing laws that punish intent is not the direction we want to go, no matter what side of the political spectrum you tend to lean. Why? Because YOUR "thought" or "intent" may someday be deemed unacceptable. Now there's a precedent set that allows it to be legislated against. Violent crimes are just that....crimes...they are and should remain crimes...no matter the intent.

Posted by: drumdandrum | October 22, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

More protection and more cultural normalization for the perverts! Homos are just as perverted as child molesters. This is all part of the Anti-Christ Freemason plan to bring it all on down girl and implement their one world socialist humanist utopia. They are destroying traditional Christian culture! Christian haters!!! Tradition haters!!! They should all be hung in the town square, starting with the so-called catholics on Capitol Hill! Death to the Masons disguised as Catholics!

Posted by: Xuanito | October 23, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

This piece of unneeded drivel has no affect on the truth Homosexuality is wrong as it goes against nature on all levels and there is no law that can stop me from telling this truth. Homosexuality is an insult to the nature that gave the practitioner life. To believe homosexuality is a good thing is to believe the lie of evolution,and as it is plain to see there are no monkeys still changeing into men , and homosexual men have not started having babies. Stick with the lies if you want ,I'll keep it simple and tell the truth Homosexuality is WRONG!!!!!Crime is wrong and we already have laws against Crime.

Posted by: sinnersunited | October 23, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy's comment intrigued me the most, saying that "violence against any group for who they are will not be tolerated in this country". This begs the question, why not have it cover everyone? If it is necessary to step up the punishment for violent crimes in the US then so be it. Don't make it about elevating certain groups to special status over the rest of us....

Posted by: Snoworfrets | October 23, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Fight4whatsright | October 22, 2009 8:49 PM

Wow....I think that is all I have to say.
It is amazing to me on the amount of discrimination and ignorance portrayed through half of these comments. I could go on to say how I believe this law is fantastic and Obama and his administration is probably one of the best the US has ever had. The republicans have redefined their party with the reputation of being the party of "no". It is almost as if some people don't want anything good to happen on the other person's watch. I realize these are my opinions and others may agree or disagree, and that is one's right. However, realize how childish this ignorance and fighting really is. The constant bickering and disagreements will not help solve the problems of today. We, the American people, must take a step back to realize and accept how bad things have gotton. Now the real question is what are we going to do about it? Well in my opinion, the most logical approach would be to quit the immature fighting and for once become the country who can work together to solve the nations problems. So much of this to me seems obvious, but what do I know, I am only 17.
---------
Fight4whatsright,

Total Kudos to you! You are young but are SO-WISE!

Posted by: angel_of_good_4_all | October 23, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

You Go Mellow01!! You said that perfectly. Like I said before, a lot but not all of Republican supporters, act as if they're stuck on stupid! This is a good Bill. It's not just for Gays and Lesbians but for anyone who is mistreated because of RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN. What I don't understand is this. Hasn't it always been against the law to harm another human being? I mean we do have laws that already exist. But you know, with the way some people have been acting since Obama has been President, no wonder he brought this Bill back to the forefront. Because some of these people have lost their minds. Look at the woman in Florida who was beaten in front of her child just because she asked the Guy to watch out for her child, whom he almost hit. Look at Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and let's not forget Bill O'Reilly. Awful behaivor! Anyway, is there something I'm missing with this new Bill? Could the difference be "intent" or "thought"?

Posted by: ltmo1 | October 23, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I am glad this was passed. Perhaps it was not such a smooth move to attach it to a defense bill (why it was done like that, who knows). Obviously, a lot of these people here seem to think that equal right/protections = bad. I'm going to assume most people here are white. Let's say you lived in Zimbabwe. You would be persecuted based on your race there. You can't control your race, so it isn't fair, right? You would want there to be a law against that type of stuff. We did a comparable thing here, with laws regarding racial hate crimes. Some people did not like that. 30-40 years later, they look like a bunch of hoo-hahs. History, in general, looks favorable upon the progressive, forward thinking individuals. Like, let's say Japanese emperor Mutsuhito. He modernized Japan, and at the time it wasn't popularly supported, but now Japan competes with us in the field of technology. Montesquieu had a radical idea at the time, a system of checks and balances. Now, we use it. Again, the monarchs of Europe hated the idea, but what would you think of those people who disagreed. You'd probably say that they were a bunch of backward thinkers. History favors the liberal veiwpoint. Traditionalists, they seem to just want to hold onto old fashioned ideas, that is thirty years, will seem grieviously outdated. I hope you can live with yourselves in thirty years when heterosexism is looked down upon by ninety percent of the people.

Just my little ramble on the subject.

Posted by: KyleF | October 23, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

it's about time it was passed ! and for all the morons who worry about 'pedos' ... fyi 95% of them are straight men. most known to the victim and most married.

Posted by: ripley8 | October 24, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

This bill is long overdue and a small sign of progress in the quest for tolerance with all people in this country having full civil rights.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 24, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Political payback for gays supporting Obama. If child molesters were to organize and support him, there would be a hate crime bill for them, too.

Posted by: jack29 | October 24, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

I have a few things that I am going to break down for all the nay sayers on here....1st off for the ones that leave absolutely negative comments and do not understand or know anyone who is gay...YOU DON'T COUNT! You are probably married to your first cousin and don't know how to spell your first name. 2nd of all, for the people who ask "What happens to the heterosexual people in this case?" You have this law in effect all the damn time!! The last question I have, is that I have a friend who is a gorgeous lesbian, and are you all telling me it's OK for her to beat the S*@t out of a heterosexual male/female if he/she keeps hitting on her because she doesn't agree with heterosexuality??? I think not! I think that all the negative people need to WAKE UP and smell it! This is 2009 and times are a changing, get used to it, WE AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE!!!! If you can't look in the mirror and take a good long look at yourself and who you are, you need to re-evaluate the situation! Thanks you, and Goodnight!

Posted by: jstnsouza | October 24, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Send this congress home before they do any more damage.

Just think of all the money we'd save :)

Posted by: Rubiconski | October 24, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

True followers of Jesus and True Christians only follow the Bible and God's Will to Love your Neighbor as yourself. Preaching/Teaching about Homosexuality as a sin only applies to True Christians who are under God's Will/Kingdom/Government in Jesus Name.
Jesus clearly said to the President/King Herod/Pilate; "My Kingdom/Government" is not from here. "Satan is the god of this world".
True Christians when you see the Truth this way then you understand why the President is right in passing this bill for all people.

We pray for his Kingdom to come and His Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Something has to take place first before this happens, but we practice his Will in our lifes now preparing for the new Kingdom to come, and that's after Armegeddon. Things are suppose to get extremely worse first, so let it all happen, there will be no peace until the second coming.
He wants us to Love our neighbors and share the Good News of the Kingdom and Christ being King of Kings and Lord of Lords, if your pastor is to busy with politics and political issues instead of the Good News of God's Kingdom/Government he is a false Teacher and that's why there is so much confusion and hatred the Pres. is trying to correct.
christians that go by; the right, left, conservative, liberal, evangelical, are not True Christ Followers, the are false prophets/teachers stay away from them Jesus said.

Posted by: askduane | October 24, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

That's why this bill has to pass. As Christians we are taught homosexuality is an abomination to God and goes against everything he stands for and did not create mankind this way.
Yes the act is bad, but its also normal to those who don't believe in the God of the Bible and these people have a right on this earth to have laws like this. We are to also Love all people but not there lifestyle.

Our new Government/Kingdom is coming soon so just be ready and prepared, and share the Kingdom of God and his Will with everyone you can and stop trying to cause confusion in the world.

Remember true christians have a different ruler to answer to and a different kingdom/government than the one we live in now. Read the Bible my friends and believe it. Jesus will reveal it to you if you ask him to. In ending love all homosexuals and try to bring them to Christ and let Christ save them like he save you, if you are truly his and not a fake.

Posted by: askduane | October 24, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

This bill will go a long way in the punishing those that partake in hate crimes but I disagree that it would do away with the hate against homosexuals and their life style. The article quotes one as stating that "now we can go about doing away with the hate against gays and lesbians". That should have been done long before this law was passed and I believe it has with little effect. The fact is beside the sexual orientation, the gay community goes out of its way to redicule the conservative traditions that are the bed rock of this society and as long as they do so they will invite the disgust and hate that they have worked so hard to earn. A classical example is the "sisters of perpetual indulgence", which is a group of gays and lesbians dressed up as nuns with make up that a prostitute or a Cabaret dancer would wear and expouse the most lesidious sexual statements. They willfully go out to make a mockery of one of the Catholic faiths pillars of virtuosity, an order that Mother Theresa belongs. Another example is the accolades that the art community gave to the works of artist Maplethorth whose works include explicit scenes of the most sexually devient behaviror. It is such actions that will perpetuate the disgust and hate from those who find such behavior outrageous.

Posted by: rsbnola | October 24, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we NEED a hate-crimes bill: just look at all the hate in these comments!

The increase in hatred and sanctimonious I have seen in my 60 years is terrifying.

Have we simply replaced the Jim Crow south with sanctioned evangelical Jihad against other Americans? Is it all right to rant unfounded claims as facts? Is it acceptable to murder and maim and fire someone because you -- not he or she -- are ignorant and unaccepting?

Sadly, pitifully, we Americans all NEED this legislation.

Posted by: nycexpat | October 24, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This is truly a sad time in this Nations history. To give Special rights to a most nefarious group of people who only slanders the righteous, spread diseases, and expect the rest of us to except their vile and wicked deeds as something good. This is why our health care cost is so high.

Posted by: edm7 | October 24, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

There is still Hope.
We were once a great nation. Now we can only wait for the destruction of our country due to the great wickedness and sins we commit daily against a great and Holy God!
Unless we as a nation Repent and confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness. Jesus the Christ of God the Father is the only name under heaven by which men can be saved from the wrath of God to come.
There is still hope for the Homosexuals, they are recieving Christ by faith daily, and turnig from sin and turning to Christ Jesus in newness of life.
"because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." This is a promise of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is trustworthy. Believe it!

Posted by: edm7 | October 24, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

nycexpat-"Sadly, pitifully, we Americans all NEED this legislation."

More legislation means LESS FREEDOM!
Less freedom More Opression.
This is why our forefathers left England, and Europe.
Where eles is there to go for a free society?

Posted by: edm7 | October 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"So then I correctly assume that you believe it's "OK" for gays to be ultra violent to straights, yet it's not OK for straights to protect themselves by perverted and twisted gays....
Figures.

Oh and by the way Kal-L, as far as I know YOU could be one of these sickos.
I highly suspect you may be.

To attempt to criminalize the victims of these crimes would give you Carte blanche in pursuing any perveted practice you choose.
Not on my watch."

When did I say I supported violence against anybody? I said I didn't take your story at face value and that you were using said story to sterotype ALL gays. To me, that smacks of desperation. My stepfather grew up in the time of busing and racism. All those same horror stories were floating around about blacks. Now their saying them about gays. Needless to say, I'm skeptical when I hear them. Can you or can you not make a credible argument without stereotyping ALL gays? Yes or no? Seems to me a you've given a lot of weird examples to have happened to just one person.

Posted by: Kal-L | October 24, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"Gays make their own problems because they can play politics with straight peoples sexuallity"

How are they playng politics with your sexuality?

"To give Special rights to a most nefarious group of people who only slanders the righteous, spread diseases, and expect the rest of us to except their vile and wicked deeds as something good. This is why our health care cost is so high."

So you think healthcare costs are high solely because of gays? And I'm sure everyone else having a lousy diet and nobody getting enough exercise had nothing to do with it. Not all gays have AIDS and how exactly are they "slandering" "righteous" people? Look, if your side can't come up with an argument that doesn't rely on blanket stereotypes, then why should our side listen to your "concerns"?

To all the cons on here who actually oppose this law becuase you geniunly think it is unnecessary, you might want to talk to your leaders about the messages their sending out about gays because crazies who blame gays for all of societies problems and try to portray them all as kiddy diddlers aren't doing your side any favors. If anything, their just making these kinds of laws look necessary.

I notice it's the gay rights supporters who look like the rational ones in this argument. Is that really how you want this to go down?

Posted by: Kal-L | October 24, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I take this all rather personally.

Because I am a liberal, gay, patriotic American. Those terms are not mutually exclusive.

To every single person out there on this thread who wants to deny me, hate me, shut me up, pretend I don't exist, or ignore me, then you can leave the room when I come in.

And it'll be your loss, honestly.

Posted by: aaltobartok | October 25, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

When you have a bounch of imorals in office,Why would you protect little children,If you did pass a law to protect them the left wing liberals,Would not be able to get away with molesting babys,And murdering them,These discusting people,Don't need a damn law to protect them they surely are not an indangerd species,What ever happen to just locking people up for harming ANYBODY,This sounds like a stupid law that at least this losser B.O.,Might get passed,If they pass it beside wasteing tax money stimus,It is all he has done.Except protecting ACORN,That teaches you how to get by the law,And have your own child slave ring.

Posted by: dickiesnhogheaven | October 25, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Another communist inspired piece of freedom killing legislation to keep the majority of the proletariat cowed and submissive to their masters.

When will our elected masters get around to calling criticism of Jews or the Holocaust a felony hate Crime?

How about thinking about saying sexist or racists remarks or maybe fat jokes to friends or members of your family in private conversations. I suppose you neo-commies will now want a family snitch law like the commies and the Nazis had.

How much more of this nonsense is the American public going to tolerate from the most corrupt organized crime cabal in the world (the two parties in Congress) and their moronic supporters?

Posted by: jsbar | October 25, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Another communist inspired piece of freedom killing legislation to keep the majority of the proletariat cowed and submissive to their masters.

When will our elected masters get around to calling criticism of Jews or the Holocaust a felony hate Crime?

How about thinking about saying sexist or racists remarks or maybe fat jokes to friends or members of your family in private conversations. I suppose you neo-commies will now want a family snitch law like the commies and the Nazis had.

How much more of this nonsense is the American public going to tolerate from the most corrupt organized crime cabal in the world (the two parties in Congress) and their moronic supporters?

Posted by: jsbar | October 25, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"When you have a bounch of imorals in office,Why would you protect little children,If you did pass a law to protect them the left wing liberals,Would not be able to get away with molesting babys,And murdering them,"

Why am I not surprised you stupid bigots can't spell? Typical con, can't criticize the law without trying to portray all gays as pedophiles. This is why we don't take it's critics seriously, they have to rely on stereotypes just to make an argument against it.

Posted by: Kal-L | October 25, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable!
This is such a mixed message imo,1st gays say they want EQUAL rights,wich by the way are already covered as a blanket law in most states if you assault ANYBODY REGARDLESS of their sexual preference or color! Secondly If I'm am the MAJORITY in this country why do the gets even get some kinda special prvilidge? Something is sooooo wrong here. Not only that but,I can't believe Obama set aside the ENTIRE month June for GLTB....What about an entire month for soldiers....THEY deserve it!!!! Or what about an entire month for moms & dads?
Then to compare the civil rights struggle of gays to that of the blks.....gimme a break!
Obamo is a digrace & a total embarassament to me as far as I'm concerned.
And,btw,IF the birthrers are so wrong,was doesn't POTUS simply produce the "real" birth certificate & shut the birthers up,why has he spent millions trying to conceal it,w/ the help of Anita Dunn's husband as his defense lawyer for the pending birth certificate cases?

Posted by: didntvote4o | October 26, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

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