Friday, September 23, 2005

Federal "Hate Crimes" Bill Extends to Transgenders

More trouble is on the way. The U.S. House of Representatives surprised everyone by passing a "hate crimes" bill last week, which will go on to the Senate in a few weeks (where it is expected to pass). It was sneakily attached to a bill protecting children from sexual predators. (Let's hope the President has the sense to veto it, and give the House members time to wake up.)

Rep. Barney Frank expressed his surprise that this bill passed the House. Was the stealth tactic the reason? Unclear. Bay Windows reports:

The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005 surprised even Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, one of its cosponsors. The openly gay Newton Democrat said he was initially doubtful about the plan by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the bill's lead sponsor, to attach the bill as an amendment to the Children's Safety Act, which strengthens laws against child molesters.

"We didn't really have a chance to vet it with the Republicans and I was frankly afraid it was going to do more harm than good," Frank explained. "I have to confess, I was wrong," he said. Frank spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor, making sure to clarify that, unlike previous versions of the legislation, it explicitly included protections for transgender people. "We didn't want people saying, 'Oh you tricked us we didn't know this,' because that was the one change from last year,'" he said. "That vote went after we had made it clear to people that transgendered people were covered."

While legislators who heard Frank may not have been fooled about the inclusion of transgenders, it's not at all clear that all who voted for the bill protecting children knew this nonsense was attached to it!

This bill is dangerous for many reasons. How absurd to declare the same crime can be more or less serious, depending on who the victim is. This legislation prepares the way for future threats to our freedom of speech and religious beliefs relating to homosexuality and transsexuality. See Traditional Values Coalition's detailed report, Stealth Homosexual ‘Hate Crimes’ Bill Passes House Of Representatives (excerpts):

[T]he hate crimes law will add “sexual orientation,” “gender,” and “gender identity” to federally protected categories. “Gender identity” is code for transgenders (individuals who think they are the opposite sex, cross-dressers, or drag queens.)

If passed, this legislation will provide federal protection for homosexual behavior, placing anal intercourse on a par with race or religion. It will also be used to normalize drag queens, cross-dressers, transsexuals, and she/males (individuals who choose to remain female from the waist up and male from the waist down with the help of hormones).

This legislation will “federalize” every crime involving homosexuals and so-called transgendered individuals. It will strip local law enforcement officials of the right to prosecute what are essentially state or community criminal issues.

This bill will also deny individuals equal justice under the law. An individual who commits a crime against an elderly woman will get a less serious prison sentence than if the victim is a cross-dresser or homosexual. This is unfair and denies all individuals equal protection under the law.

In addition, the whole concept of hate crimes is misleading. Every violent crime is an expression of hate against an individual. There is no such thing as a “love” crime of violence. Liberals call these “hate crimes,” but what they really want to do is penalize people for their thoughts, which will ultimately prove dangerous to pastors, religious leaders, therapists, and many others.

This legislation will set the stage for criminalizing any speech considered to be “hate” against homosexuals, cross-dressers, or transsexuals.