â€˜Hate Crimesâ€™ Bill is Full of Swill
By: Guest Authors
By J. Matt Barber
Senate sponsors and liberal activist proponents of the federal â€œhate crimesâ€ bill, S. 909, have been caught in a series of bald-faced lies. So confident am I of this, that if they can prove me wrong (for real I mean â€“ you know, with evidence and such) Iâ€™ll join their little soirÃ©e, don a very large pink evening gown and publicly voice support for the legislation.
To the express exclusion of other identifiable groups â€“ including veterans, the elderly and the homeless â€“ S. 909, in its current form, would grant special federal resources and preferred minority status to pedophiles, homosexuals, cross-dressers and â€“ as Democratic sponsor Alcee Hastings recently admitted on the House floor â€“ a host of other APA recognized â€œsexual orientationsâ€ (i.e., deviant sexual fetishes and perversions).
Not only is this legislation constitutionally dubious on First Amendment grounds, and a prima facie violation of Fourteenth Amendment required â€œequal protection of the laws;â€ it also flies in the face of the Tenth Amendment, which explicitly limits the federal government’s authority in such matters to those powers delegated by the U.S. Constitution.
Hereâ€™s how theyâ€™re doing it:
In order for the feds to usurp the Statesâ€™ police power, liberals in Congress have had to openly place, within the very language of the bill, a series of transparent lies. To get around that pesky old Constitution and accomplish this brash federal power grab, theyâ€™ve been forced to misuse and abuse the Commerce Clause.
In a feeble attempt to constitutionally justify federal interference with local law enforcement, S. 909â€™s sponsors have made â€“ within the billâ€™s â€œFindingsâ€ section â€“ several outlandish and unsustainable claims relative to â€œinterstate commerce.â€ So outlandish are these claims, in fact, that the same language was intentionally withdrawn from the House version before it was passed and referred to the Senate.
But since the billâ€™s Senate sponsors recognize that failure to include these fantasy â€œfindingsâ€ immediately renders the legislation unconstitutional, the interstate commerce language has quickly and quietly found its way home.
First, while addressing â€œhate crimesâ€ allegedly motivated by so-called â€œsexual orientationâ€ bias, the bill asserts that existing law is â€œinadequate to address this problem.â€ This is patently untrue.
When the legislationâ€™s 1968 â€œhate crimesâ€ forerunner was introduced, there were multiple and verifiable cases of local prosecutors refusing to indict whites for violent crimes committed against blacks. Moreover, the 1968 law was actually conceived and passed with the primary purpose of righting this specific wrong.
The exact opposite is true today. As FBI statistics reveal, in the relatively few instances where bias motivated crimes are committed against homosexuals or cross-dressers, those crimes are, without fail, zealously prosecuted under existing law. Victims are granted â€œequal protection of the lawsâ€ regardless of sexual preference or proclivity.
Yet these same victims are, nonetheless, shamelessly and publicly exploited by homosexual activists and the mainstream media as the latest â€œhate crimesâ€ cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre. This, even as hypersensitive local prosecutors bend over backwards to take-down alleged â€œgay-bashingâ€ assailants as to avoid kneejerk accusations of systemic â€œhomophobia.â€
To illustrate the point, one need look only to the most famous supposed â€œhate crimesâ€ victim of all, Matthew Shepard, who, as it later turned out, was killed during a robbery for drug money gone awry.
This fact notwithstanding, the left continues to disgracefully politicize Shepardâ€™s memory by claiming he was murdered simply for being â€œgay.â€ Indeed, this very legislation, S. 909, is cited as the â€œMatthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.â€
The bizarre irony is palpable. The two thugs who killed Shepard are currently serving life sentences for their crimes â€“ and rightfully so â€“ in the complete absence of any discriminatory and unnecessary â€œhate crimesâ€ legislation. Justice prevailed and existing law was undeniably â€œ[adequate] to address this problem.â€
In fact, I challenge proponents of S. 909 to provide one verifiable example of a prosecutor refusing to charge a violent criminal because the victim was a homosexual or a cross-dresser.
They wonâ€™t. They canâ€™t.
But back to the interstate commerce charade:
Here, the federal governmentâ€™s own statistics serve to derail the â€œhate crimesâ€ gravy train. According to the FBI, in 2007 â€“ out of 1.4 million violent crimes in the U.S. â€“ there were a mere 247 cases of aggravated assault (including five deaths) allegedly motivated by the victimâ€™s â€œsexual orientation.â€
Yet S. 909 makes the fantastic claim that there is an epidemic of such â€œhate crimes.â€ So many, in fact, that it â€œposes a serious national problem.â€ The bill hysterically declares â€“ while providing zero evidence â€“ the following nonsense:
Â· Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in many ways;
Â· [T]he movement of members of targeted groups (homosexuals, pedophiles, cross-dressers, etc.) is impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence;
Â· Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or participating in other commercial activity;
And, hereâ€™s the kicker. Wait for it â€¦. Wait for it:
Â· Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.
So there you have it, folks. If it werenâ€™t so serious, itâ€™d be comical. But letâ€™s make sure we have it straight. According to Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama and their S. 909 cheerleading cohorts, we must pass S. 909 immediately because right here, right now in America, itâ€™s not at all unusual to witness terrified hordes of fabulously dressed â€“ yet wrongfully unemployed â€“ â€œgaysâ€ and otherwise gender confused blokes in lipstick and Jimmy Choo pumps, frantically fleeing Dolce & Gabbana before theyâ€™ve even had a chance to make a purchase, while inbred, homophobic, bat-wielding rednecks hotly pursue them across state lines.
Donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be wearing that pink evening gown any time soon.
Matt Barber is Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action. He also co-hosts the nationally syndicated â€œLiberty Liveâ€ talk radio program on AFR Talk. Send comments to Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)