We've discussed this idea of thought police before here, and this bill is pushing us one giant step closer to that reality.
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crime bill (S909) is poised to hit the floor of the Senate this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. *Call your Senators and tell them you want this thing stopped.
This bill is an egregious example of liberal overreach. If passed we will see any manner of sexual perversions legitimized as unassailable and any crime or speech against these proclivities will be suddenly termed a "hate crime." We will also see crimes against gays and lesbians suddenly deemed as somehow worse than crimes against straight people simply by the virtue that the victims are gay.
We will also have codified crime based on thought if this bill passes. How will a judge or prosecutor determine if "hate" was the basis for crime, anyway? How can a jury know that a gay man was beaten because he is gay as opposed to because he didn't give a mugger his wallet? And what of religious speech against certain sexual proclivities? Will that be deemed a "hate crime" now?
Another problem with this bill is that it determines "hate" by defining the sexual proclivities against which the "hate" is perpetrated. As Representative Alcee Hastings (D, FL) said praising the bill "…this legislation addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these philias, and fetishes, and isms that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are."
Of course, just what "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" is going to be codified by law as worthy of protection from "hate crime" and what is not? After all, to make law, definitions must be arrived at. Are we going to include pedophelia in this? If not, why not?
Finally, this thing is typical of a brand of liberal activism that jumps to action regardless of reality or facts. See, this bill was based on the 1998 beating death of Matthew Shepard of Laramie, Wyoming. After Shepard was murdered by a pair of criminals and drug addicts the claim was raised that the beating took place because Shepard was gay. It seems that truth was, however, that the pair of criminals thought Shepard had money and they wanted to rob him of it. Drugs were also a motive. They did not attack him because he was gay. Still, an entire cause was made of something that was not factually true.
In any case, this is bad law that opens the door for thought police, codifying into law as legitimate any manner of sexual perversion, not to mention that it will muddy the waters for prosecutors and judges across the country.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote no. It will only take a few minutes to do.
* Find your Senator's contact info.
If you're thinking it's just not possible that this sort of thing could happen here in America in 2009...well, if I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that the government would own two of the three big American car makers, would you have thought that possible? If I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that the government would own controlling stakes in most of the biggest banks and several of the biggest insurance companies in the nation, what would you have said? If I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that we'd be looking at a $1 trillion deficit (with an unbroken string of multi-trillion dollar deficits to follow), what would you have said? If I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that the government would cancel our missile defense shield while watching two members of the Axis of Evil firing test missiles and developing nuclear weapons, what would you have said? If I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that the government would be firing the CEOs of private companies, what would you have said? If I'd asked you a year ago if you thought it was possible that the government would take aim at private citizens who happened to disagree with them, what would you have said?
Any rational American would have likely said all of these things were not possible in America in 2009...and yet, all of these things have happened.
Take this seriously. If you value the freedom of speech, the freedom of expression, the right to dissent, and if you understand that each step closer to the kind of control the liberal Left is seeking in this country -- they want to control your THOUGHTS!!!!! -- then you need to take action and spread the word.
There's my two cents.