Yes, you heard me right. (And for those who are offended, I apologize. But might I suggest that maybe you’re in the wrong place if my outburst bothers you.)
I just cannot help myself tonight, I am so hoppin mad I can hardly contain myself. And it’s just not enough to scream it at my poor husband. I need to scream it to the world: I loathe George W. Bush with every fiber of my being.
This sorry little man spent his afternoon “praying” with the Mrs. James Dobson today. And after his little session of prayer, he comes out all bolstered with, God only knows what, but it certainly wasn’t God’s grace, and proclaims he is going to veto the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R. 1592, which passed in the House today by a vote of 237-180.
Yes, that’s right, he is going VETO a bill that would include gays and lesbians in with other minorities that are targets of violent hate crimes.
Is THIS what our so-called “Christian” president spent his afternoon praying about --- whether my son deserves the same kinds of protections the Dobsons, Robertsons, and Falwells get?
WELL GEORGE W. BUSH CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL!
And to those 180 Representatives who voted NO, maybe you could explain to Mathew Sheppard’s mom why you don’t think gays and lesbians are targets of violent hate crimes.
And as always, I can count on Andrew not to melt down into a whimpering, seething mess. Here is his much cooler, calmer perspective on this:
There are, I think, two coherent positions on hate crime laws.The first is opposition to the entire concept, its chilling effect on free speech, its undermining of the notion of equality under the law, and so on. That's my position. I oppose all hate crimes laws, regardless of the categories of individuals they purport to protect. The other coherent position is the view that hate crimes somehow impact the community more than just regular crimes and that the victims of such crimes therefore deserve some sort of extra protection under the law. The criteria for inclusion in such laws is any common prejudice against a recognizable and despised minority. The minority need not be defined by an involuntary characteristic - religious minorities are so protected - and they choose their faith. Nor need the minority be accurately idetified. If a gentile is bashed because the attacker thinks he's Jewish, the hate crime logic still applies. I disagree with this, but I can accept its coherence.
But the one truly incoherent position is that hate crimes laws are fine for all targeted groups except gays. Gays are among the most common victims of hate crimes, and straight people are also targeted for being gay even when they're not. If you're going to buy the whole concept of hate crimes, it makes no sense to exclude gays - none. Notice we need no discussion of the morality or otherwise of homosexuality. All that is being punished is the perception of someone else's identity...
The federalist argument equally applies. If it is the position of the feds that this should be left entirely to the states, fine. But to say that the feds have a role in matters of race and religion, but not sexual orientation again makes no logical sense, unless the federal government wants to send a strong message about the moral and human and political inferiority of gay people.
Perhaps making these logical arguments is futile. The reason for this veto is quite simple. Christianists simply regard homosexuality as an evil and a sickness. Any law that implies that being gay is an identity and deserves equal respect and protection as other identities is anathema to them. Implicit in their worldview - and absolutely implicit in the position of the president - is that it's okay to attack gays in a way that it's not okay to attack, say, Jews or blacks. This is the core position of the Christianists - which is why I refuse to call them Christians. Bush, we now know, is a captive of this bigotry and an enabler of it. Whatever your general views of hate crime laws, this argument holds. And this president should be ashamed.