Well, the Los Angeles Times reported that House OKs measure to make anti-gay violence a hate crime. We caught it in a recent diary as well.
So whoo-boy — like we didn’t see this barrage of unhappy commentary coming from the conservative “Christian” crowd! Here’s some commentary from the “usual suspects”:
• The Concerned Women For America‘s (CWA’s) Support Our Troops – Not Homosexual Special Rights
Discription: A vote is imminent on the Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 2647. However, liberal congressional leadership has added an amendment to the bill that would enact federal “hate crimes” legislation. Calling the addition of such unrelated measures in a time of war “blackmail,” Congressman Todd Akin, R-Missouri, is asking listeners to call their representative right away and urge them to vote “NO” on the Defense Authorization Bill. Time is running out, the House will vote this afternoon.
Excerpts from the interviewed Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) in the audio:
The Democrats are trying a strategy of holding our sons and daughters hostage, and wanting us to vote for our troops, and want us to vote for our troops and therefore pass one of their top items on their gay agenda — That is the hate crimes legislation. Now the whole point of the matter is it’s a form of blackmail. It’s requiring us to say “Oh, well, we’re not going to support the troops if we don’t support the hate crimes.” It’s this kind of sleazy procedure which makes Americans disgusted and cynical about our government — it’s something we’ve seen now for nine months. And, something which I will have absolutely no part of.
I have a son going to Afghanistan in three weeks, and I will not have my support by my own children and for our sons and daughters who support freedom compromised by putting this hate crime legislation on. Which, by the way, threatens the free speech rabbis and pastors — and anybody who wants to speak based on some religious convictions — I won’t have that threatened, and just have people try to say “Well, you’re just not pro-defense.” This just a procedurally dishonest thing that’s been done. And, there are a number of us who are furious about it, and will have no part of supporting the Defense Authorization Bill — even though I’m the ranking minority member on the Sea Power Subcommittee.
…[I]f we succumb to this tactic, and the liberals can put on their Hate Crimes Legislation on a Defense Authorization Bill — with something that’s totally unrelated — what little piece of garbage will they put on the next bill that will have nothing to do with funding our troops? We cannot allow ourselves to be blackmailed by these kinds of amendments.
I guess I, as a disabled, Persian Gulf War, U.S. Navy veteran — who also identifies as transgender — am considered one of Congressman Akin’s little pieces of garbage. Thank you, ranking minority member of the Sea Power Subcommittee, for seeing this disabled, retired, transgender sailor as a lesser, piece of garbage veteran. Would he even shake my hand and thank me for my 20-years of military service?
[Below the fold: the Traditional Values Coalition, Focus On The Family/CitizenLink, and the American Family Association weigh in on the federal hate crime legislation.]• Traditional Values Coalition‘s (TVC’s) Republicans Oppose Defense Bill over Inclusion of So-called Hate Crimes Language
The majority of House Republicans showed great leadership this week in voting against the Defense Authorization Bill because it included the anti-Christian, pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) hate crimes bill.
The vote was 281-146, which included 131 Republicans who voted against the defense bill; 15 Democrats also voted against the legislation.
…Republican Leader Boehner said the inclusion of the so-called hate crimes language in the defense bill was “an abuse of power” by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and that Pelosi was pursuing her social agenda “on the backs” of the troops.
TVC has taken a leadership role in opposing passage of the hate crimes bill. Democrats have used an unethical tactic to attach this LGBT bill to a defense bill that impacts our national security. They should be held accountable in November 2010.
I was actually expecting to see on “leadership role” a listing of dates and times of when their supporters contacted their congressmembers, but instead it’s screed that lists the reasons why the bill shouldn’t be supporters. But then it hit me — the arguments in this TVC propaganda piece are pretty been the talking points for socially conservative congressmembers and senators. This organization that has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center
• From Focus On The Family / CitizenLink comes House Republicans Speak Out Against ‘Hate-Crimes’ Amendment:
The inclusion by Democrats of so-called hate-crimes language in the Defense Authorization bill brought a strong objection from conservatives.
Because of that controversial amendment, 131 Republicans took the unusual action of voting against the entire bill on Thursday. The bill passed. It now goes to the Senate.
Rep. Mike Pence called it “inappropriate” to use a defense bill “as a vehicle for divisive, liberal social policies, wholly unrelated to our country’s national security.”
“However, the Majority in this Congress has cynically included hate crimes provisions in this legislation that threaten the very freedoms of speech and religion that draw our soldiers into the uniform of this nation,” the chairman of the House Republican Conference said….
They had a few other quotes in their piece. From Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), who called including Hate Crime Legislation in the Defense Authorization Bill a “political ploy”:
Those who support the federal criminalization of ‘hate crimes’ should demand that it be removed from this legislation and be considered solely upon its own merit, not that of our national defense. I believe that all Americans should be protected from violent crime and viewed equally under the law, and the truth of the matter is that all violent crimes are hateful.
Oh yeah, that’ll happen. What a disingenuous call to action that is.
From Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa):
Punishing ‘thought crimes’ will infringe on freedom of speech and religious expression, rights endowed to all Americans in the Constitution. Under this legislation, justice will no longer be equal. Instead, justice will depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation or protected status of the victim, setting up different penalties for the same crime. This ‘thought crimes’ bill shatters the American tradition of equal justice under the law.
No, Rep. King. It punishes the secondary crime of terrorizing minority communities by people who target victims based on “race, gender, sexual orientation or protected status of the victim.”
While our troops are fighting for freedom, we should stand up and fight for their freedom as well.
Great! Could you please also stand up for this transgender veteran too? What? No? What a surprise.
• from the American Family Association / OneNewsNow comes Hate crimes bill – law by the weekend? …
A spokesman with the American Family Association says the hate crimes bill passed Thursday afternoon by the House could have a chilling effect on free speech and religious freedoms in the nation. If the bill passes the Senate, federal prosecutors will be able to intervene in cases of violence against people because of gender, sexual orientation, “gender identity,” or disability.
Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. The bill passed by the House, he says, is alarming. (The vote on HR 2647 — the Defense Authorization bill to which the hate crimes legislation was attached — was 281-146; see roll call vote)
“For the first time in American history we are criminalizing thought,” Fischer laments. “Thomas Jefferson said the reach of legislation should extend to actions only and not to opinions — and now we are punishing people not just for what they did, but what they were thinking when they did it.
“It’s also going to have a chilling effect on freedom of speech, especially religious speech. And [in] other places where these hate crimes bills have gone into effect, pastors have wound up in jail or fined for preaching a biblical view of homosexuality.” …
For the first time? Really? Bryan Fischer is commenting on legal issues and making verifiably false statements — if he knows anything about how murder degrees are often stratified based on motivation of alleged killers, then he’s patently lying. If nothing else, Mr. Fischer needs to go and read up on Wisconsin v. Mitchell.
This assertion from Mr. Fischer that this is the “first time in American history we are criminalizing thought” isn’t a new argument by some of these conservative “Christians,” but it’s assertion is just plain false. Good to know Mr. Fischer is spreading a lie in the same piece where he’s talking about “biblical views.”
Well, after decades of trying to pass a sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression related federal hate crime bill, it looks like it’s actually going to occur. When it does, y’all should just expect more howls from the religious right.