Bob Cesca over at Huffington Post wrote this today:
Here's the thing, though. Hannity, Limbaugh, King and 166 House Republicans are decidedly against the hate crimes bill. The legislation, as passed by the House, specifically defines hate crimes as being "motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim." Again, Hannity, King and the rest are absolutely opposed to this.
So while the Republicans have vocally and repeatedly expressed their position against "protecting pedophiles," it can be said -- and, quoting King, "it's a matter of record" -- that they're also against protecting women, racial minorities, ethnic minorities, religious people and disabled people, among others.Republican Political Hackery and the Hate Crimes Bill
Bob Cesca, Huffington Post
one of the arguments that i heard today was to an amendment that was added to the bill by a Republican representative from Iowa to include veterans. the problem with this amendment to the bill would invalidate the entire piece of legislation. and i'm sure the republicans knew this. of course, the other outrageous thing this representative said was that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill (S 909 IS*) protects pedophiles when it actually is very specific in its scope. [i'm one of those people who actually reads bills and does not rely on what others write or say alone.]
the actual focus of the bill is to protect people from
(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY...*with the exception of religion, no one falling into the other categories has any control over who/what they are and that is why they are part of these groups.(emphases in bold added)
well, there is my previous argument in a nutshell. people choose to be part of a religion. they may be born christian or a follower of Islam but they can opt to change it. they can also decide to become an atheist or select Lutheranism as their basis of belief or non-belief.
why should they have special protections?
as to the idea that is prevalent in the hate-speech of the media specialists like Savage, Beck, Limbaugh, Dobson, etc. who say that it will prevent preachers from speaking in the pulpit according to their beliefs of lgbtq Senate Bill 909 is very specific in its language.
(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.
(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual's expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual's membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
in addition, another point of the bill is to assist local and state police with investigating and prosecuting hate crimes especially in place that do not have local provisions for these crimes. it also provides grant monies to local authorities to help defray cost in investigations and prosecutions as well as direct support from FBI, Secret Service, etc.
AND, before i get slammed about the veterans part: i strongly support and stand by the men and women who are or were in the services. i actively support VoteVets and SLDN. i did not use them in the amendment; the repubs did and i would bet on purpose because they knew it would invalidate and make unconstitutional the entire bill.
so..., who do you think is really not supporting veterans? to shamelessly employ a group that the country owes so much to for their service in protecting us is beyond ignominy. it borders on traitorous, IMHO. the servicemembers put their lives on the line to make certain that i have the freedoms that the Constitution guarantees. except, being lgbtq, i don't have all of those entitlements. the repubs and the nutters see to that.
i would be very much in favor of enacting a special law to insure the rights and benefits of veterans. AND while i'm at it... why DON'T all veterans have those rights? more fodder for the right-wing composter.
my point again is if any amendment should be added to the bill or removed from the body of the bill it should be to eliminate religion.
as i said in the previous post -
oh wait, Dobson, Falwell and all the other blather-mouths are saying that christianity is under attack. they would think this to be one more foray into that battle.i still think it would be a good start...
(*link to S 909 IS as introduce in the Senate)