“Federal Hate Crime legislation is a threat to my Constitutional liberty. Nations that have adopted hate crimes legislation, like Canada, have deprived their citizens of their freedom of speech and religious expression. Hate Crimes legislation divides Americans by creating special classes of people who receive special rights. Every American should receive equal justice under the law. Hate Crimes legislation undermines the Constitution by creating incidents of un-equal justice for the same crimes.” [FROM THE PETITION]
Free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of thought — ALL must bow to the dictates of political correctness in the Age of Obama, Conyers and Frank.
Get ready to have the federal government override the states, once again, in a national push to prosecute people for having an opinion.
And you can thank Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer, John Conyers, and the rest of the Democrat Party including its leaders, Reid, Pelosi and Obama.
Once signed into law you can be prosecuted and face federal penitetiary for speaking out against gay marriage, for speaking out against radical Islam, or for whatever is deemed hate speech, in the wisdom of the federal government.
Hurting someone’s feelings will now be a potential felony.
As one Representative pointed out, an individual can be charged with a violent crime, be acquitted of that crime, but still be prosecuted for a hate crime for what that individual said during the former incident.
And who will determine what is or is not hate speech? The government of course.
The ship of state is being blown to all points of the compass by emotionalism.
Nothing better illustrates the low quality of debate in the legislature than that witnessed today in the House concerning proposed hate crimes legislation.
Every Representative rising to speak in support of the bill simply appealed to emotion. Each speaker promoting hate crimes special federal legislation insisted the new statutes are critically important to protecting special classes of people if we are interested in confronting an epidemic of hate crimes across the country. Barney Frank, as usual, was especially good at demonizing opposition, injecting insult and divisiveness, all in the name of securing the high moral ground of course.
The very serious business of making laws to prosecute crimes and send people to jail was reduced to a political circus, the Democrats forwarding a social agenda in the name of good governance and calling anyone opposed a bigot. Conservatives who have attempted amendments to include military personnel and seniors have been voted down by the majority party.
One Representative cited the recent Miss California assault by a gay pagaent judge noting she is not protected from him under this legislation, but she would be prosecuted if she said anything in his direction which provoked violence.
One representative rising in opposition, avoided emotionalism, pointing out we already have laws to prosecute violent crime, regardless of motive, noting violent crimes deemed hate motivated are only a miniscule part of the picture. He said of the 17,000 murders in 2007 across the U.S., only 9 were deemed hate-motivated. That logical and reasonable Representative was Lamar Smith of Texas.
Lamar Smith’s presentation was to the point, comprehensive, rational and compelling.
Here is a digest of Smith’s statement on the floor today:
“Ranking Member Lamar Smith has the following concerns with the bill (1) raises the possibility that religious leaders or members of religious groups could be prosecuted criminally based on their speech or other protected activities; (2) creates unequal treatment of victims by treating crimes against protected groups more seriously than non-protected groups; (3) encroaches on jurisdiction traditionally reserved to the States; and (4) is unconstitutional as the 14th Amendment affords equal protection to every citizen under the law.”
Smith and many others predict the Supreme Court will strike down this law if enacted because it violates the Constitution in numerous ways.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) has been approved April 23 by the House Judiciary Committee, 15-12. This bill would expand federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Please call your Congressman at 202-224-3121 and tell them you oppose H.R. 1913 and want them to vote against it. You may be able to reach his or her office toll free at 877-857-6437 or with the regular toll number 202-224-3121.
Finally, the underlying presupposition here is errant: the federal government believes by passing criminal laws against persons who hate, they will change behaviors and drive people away from being haters.
We would disagree, noting that no law can change the behavior of Barney Frank or Perez Hilton.