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H.R. 254, The David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (131 comments ↓)

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H.R. 254 would enhance Federal enforcement of hate crimes.

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Repent America

January 18, 2007, 4:08pm (report abuse)

Repent America Denounces Proposed Federal Hate Crimes Bill

Contact: Michael Marcavage, director, Repent America, 1-800-3-REPENT, Ext. 5

PHILADELPHIA - Repent America (RA) has joined in the fight against the newly proposed hate crimes bill now before the U.S. House of Representatives, and is calling Christians to pray for this emergency situation and to voice opposition to their elected officials.

Earlier this month, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 254, which calls for the establishment of a new federal offense for so-called hate crimes. The bill is similar to hate crimes measures passed by the House in 2005 and the Senate in 2004, which would commission a separate federal criminal prosecution for state offenses tried under its provisions. If convicted, an offender could face life in prison.

"The proposed federal hate crimes bill is a dangerous threat to our civil liberties," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "Having been charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law for declaring the truth about homosexuality, I can assure you that if this bill is passed and signed into law, it will be used to put Christians behind bars," Marcavage continued.

In October of 2004, eleven Christians with Repent America were arrested while ministering the Gospel on the public streets of Philadelphia at a publicly-funded celebration of homosexuality called "OutFest." After spending 21 hours in jail, District Attorney Lynne Abraham's office charged them under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law called "Ethnic Intimidation," along with a host of other felony and misdemeanor charges. These charges were later dismissed; however, if the Christians had been convicted, they would have faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each.

"H.R. 254 is nothing more than an attempt to provide federal prosecutors with the ammunition to police our thoughts, which will ultimately lead to the death of the First Amendment," Marcavage said. "This bill is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and simply un-American," he continued. "Christians must pray and respond to this emergency situation by urging their representatives to vote against this dangerous bill," Marcavage concluded.

Repent America is currently challenging the unconstitutional manner in which Pennsylvania's hate crimes law was passed. This case is expected to head to trial later this year.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.repentamerica.com

Ted Pike

January 23, 2007, 12:19pm (report abuse)

In 2004, eleven Christians were arrested and jailed in Philadelphia for the “hate crime” of peaceful evangelism at a gay pride parade. For the full story, visit www.truthtellers.org

Hate Laws End Free Speech. In Canada, a Christian was fined $6,000 for printing 3 Bible verses against homosexuality. A newspaper was fined $6,000 for accepting his ad. A Christian printer was fined $5,000 for refusing to print stationery for homosexual activists. He was bankrupted after spending $175,000 contesting the charge. A Christian was fined $35,000 for distributing “hate literature”--tracts critical of homosexuality. Church school administrators were forced to hire a known homosexual, under threat of prison. A pastor was told it’s a “hate crime” to hand out gospel tracts, punishable by prison.

In Australia, two Christians were indicted for criticizing Islam, another for criticizing Zionism.

In Britain, two political activists were indicted, facing 7 years in prison, for describing Islam as a “wicked faith.” A filmmaker was threatened with arrest for using the term “homosexual” rather than “gay.” In Sweden, a pastor faced prison for reading from the pulpit Scriptures critical of homosexuality. In Holland, it’s now a “hate crime” to criticize fornicators and adulterers.

In Germany, a Catholic priest faces jail for the “hate crime” of publicly criticizing abortionists.

In Canada, Australia, and most of Europe, it’s now a “hate crime” to publicly criticize protected groups including homosexuals, Muslims, and Jews. Truth is not allowed as evidence in hate crimes trials. All that matters are the delicate feelings of members of federally protected groups. A homosexual can claim emotional damage from hearing Scripture that describes his lifestyle as an abomination. He can press charges against the pastor or broadcaster who merely reads the Bible in public. The “hater” can be fined thousands of dollars and even imprisoned!

Think this can’t happen in America?

Think again. The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, architect of “anti-hate” laws worldwide, will reintroduce its federal hate bill this winter. ADL says the purpose of the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act” is to end violent physical hate crimes.

That’s just what ADL told lawmakers in Canada, Britain, Sweden, etc. Soon after ADL’s hate bill was passed, it broadened through legal precedents to outlaw “verbal violence” against protected groups. Laws passed to end violent hate crimes soon criminalized free speech.

The problem is hate laws’ twisted definition of hate. ADL, which presently administers the US government’s hate crimes enforcement program, says “hate” equals bias against federally protected groups, particularly homosexuals. What document is most biased against homosexuality? The Holy Bible. All lovers of free speech are threatened, but Bible-believing Christians are the ultimate target of ADL’s distorted definitions of hate and hate crimes.

Supporters of “anti-hate” legislation claim there’s an epidemic of hate in America.

Yet the FBI’s 2005 Uniform Crime Report shows alleged hate crimes comprise a tiny 1/15 of 1% of all crime in America. This is hardly a crisis requiring a vast federal thought crimes bureaucracy with unlimited power to invade state law enforcement.

Also, at least 95% of so-called hate crimes reported to the FBI have never been tried in court. Most are nothing but police opinions about verbal “intimidation,” name calling, and petty assault and vandalism.

We don't need an "anti-hate" law; it will destroy our freedom! Visit www.truthtellers.org to learn more.

Harmony Grant

January 23, 2007, 12:20pm (report abuse)

If a federal hate law were passed, free expression across the political spectrum would be threatened. What would happen to blasphemous art like Piss Christ or South Park, to Ann Coulter or Al Franken, to Christians protesting sodomy or homosexuals attacking the Bible? Every American, from left-leaning feminists to red state Republicans, should protest “anti-hate” legislation. If Rosie O’Donnell were an Icelander, she could have been prosecuted for verbal “assault” for her recent statement that radical Christianity is as dangerous as radical Islam. Political activists in nations with hate laws have already been indicted for criticizing Islam, Zionism, and homosexuality. Hate laws threaten your freedom to speak your mind, no matter what’s on it.

MSGT JOHN CORREA

January 26, 2007, 4:34pm (report abuse)

Homosexuals are well known to engage in sexual filth which are totally abnormal. In fact, they can best be described as individuals with a "sexual physiological mental disorder" which can be treated through counciling. More importantly, in accordance with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, homosexuals have the propensity to generate, spread, and promote various diseases to others in America, as well as the rest of the human race throughout the world.

Furthermore, they are vehemently pushing for same-sex marriage, and /or civil union for the purpose of procuring medical coverages to pay for their self-inflicted sexual diseases.

If you don't believe what I am telling everyone,make your own inquiries through the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and learn that there is a comback of "syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. There is currently a decline in pregnacy amongst teenage girls in this country, and the reason for this trend is because they are engages in annuls sex. Now there is an increase in Chlamydia among these young girls-courtesy of homosexuals that have said, "its perfectly OK to experience annuls sex. Need I go further into the abnoral sexual aberrent behavior as practiced by homosexuals?

hetrosexual christian

February 5, 2007, 9:05pm (report abuse)

if this bill passes i assume that a civil war/revolution will happen soon, very soon.

the beast is about to be unleashed in america and there will be a holy war in america. the spirit of anti-christ is become more and more powerful and if this bill passes, america will not be a democracy it will become a complete police state.

i pray god will not let this bill pass or anything like it pass. i feel no hate for homosexuals but they are for this bill then your are my moral enemy and i have no moral quams in saying they are satanic and should be be considered terrorists. our governement is a satanic crypocracy a i think out government is out to get us. the jews, homosexuals and others of the ADL are terrorists.

D. Wildman

February 7, 2007, 2:11pm (report abuse)

Fast forward 100 years...2107...

Each generation changes our nation...the 1960's brought us what we have now. Will we be the North American Union? What kind of legacy are we creating for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

M Paul

February 14, 2007, 11:30am (report abuse)

Look at these comments! Seriously, what’s more apt to describe persons unable to see the personhood of others. “Homosexuals...engage in sexual filth.” “The jews, homosexuals and others of the ADL are terrorists.” ??? What?! Prime examples of blanket statements where every member of a group is the group and each and all represent something vile.

A hate crime is violence or incitement of violence that is directed at an entire community. It is when someone has attacked a person of Asian decent, for example, with the mentality that s/he is attacking all Asians or their idea of Asian-ness. I agree and disagree with the bill for various reason, but apparently the thought is in the right place considering what I am seeing posted here.

R Jones

February 14, 2007, 12:51pm (report abuse)

@M Paul - one has to protect speech even if it is abhorrent. Who knows who posts these anonymous comments? Could be those that want this law to pass.

Let's be clear - this is an attempt to limit Free Speech.

Prosecute crimes - not 'hate crimes'. What's next? Thought Police?

Whatever happened to exposing and ridiculing haters? We don't need the gov't arresting Bible-thumpers or Neo-nazis - they take care of themselves in the Court of Public Opinion.

M Paul

February 14, 2007, 4:06pm (report abuse)

I should clarify. The assumption is this bill limits free speech, or could someday. I thought the comments were ridiculous.

1) it has nothing to do with free speech

2)if it did it would clearly not be coming out of thin air.

Original bill found here http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t17t20+273+0++%2718%20USC%20Sec.%20245%27

Hate Crime Def. here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c103:628:./temp/~mdbsH2XHEq:e927518:

And, of course, read this current bill in its entirety.

The bill is very clear. Penalties ONLY apply for those who cause, or attempt, bodily injury. I find nothing that relates to speech at all! If you read the original bill, it clearly states its limited scope. Its used more in special cases b/c the states have their own laws and because federal jurisdiction doesn’t always apply. I really think people are making a fuss about nothing and in the process showing their real prejudices. Its a distraction from the real issues.

M Paul

February 14, 2007, 5:55pm (report abuse)

Sorry, the Hate Crime definition link stopped working. Go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c103:h.r.3355.enr:

Click on the link for SEC. 280003

Darth Chaos

February 15, 2007, 9:46pm (report abuse)

To the person who said that if this passes, there will be a revolution or a civil war...the globalists are counting on a violent uprising (whether authentic or government-staged) as an excuse to openly declare martial law...then you would see millions of Bible-believing Christians being put in FEMA-operated concentration camps just for being Bible-believing Christians.

M Padilla

February 16, 2007, 8:07am (report abuse)

If one reads closely the proposed language does adress physical acts of violence and bodily injury. If you read closely the acts of "persecution" were visited upon the groups above by state hate crime laws. That is where we must focus our attention in this matter. Free speach is being suppressed by the states.

KC

February 16, 2007, 12:47pm (report abuse)

Yes it may refer to only acts of "bodily harm" however it gives too much power to federal judges to interpret exactly what that means. To a lot of them bodily harm includes emotional harm as well as physical. Parts (c1) and (2A) need to be reworded. As it is now any judge anywhere could interpret the last half of the sentence to imprison people for anything including what you say.

DaMama

February 16, 2007, 3:01pm (report abuse)

This bill is abominable. It would put my husband, a pastor, in jail for teaching the Bible.

This is WRONG. We would become just like Canada, limiting free speech, which is guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Call your representatives and urge them to vote no on this resolution. It makes teaching the Bible a hate crime, and that goes against everything our country stands for and was built upon.

If this passes, the edicts of Nazi Germany are not far behind. Beware, people....this is a subtle but real attack on our personal beliefs and freedoms!

Joe

February 17, 2007, 2:08pm (report abuse)

Bills like this are designed to slowly strip away our rights to be a Christian, all the while saying they are "protecting" certain groups. Why does it seem that the only group in this country NOT protected from hate speech is Christians?

All bible-believers know that this is only one step towards what was written two thousand years ago. There will be a day when Christianity will be outlawed, probably because it will be looked at as a religion full of hate and intolerance, and then as the world moves on and forgets about Christianity, well, bible readers know what happens next.

People look at a bill like this and say "but this doesn't mean anything. Christians can still practice their religion." But it's designed to SLOWLY fool America into accepting things we would have NEVER accepted in the past, one step at a time. Homosexuality is now being forced on us to accept, and Christianity is slowly being stripped away from us.

Very dark storm headed our way.

Ronn

February 20, 2007, 4:55pm (report abuse)

Unlike hate crimes against race or color, homosexuality is a behavior that people choose. Why do other Americans have to accept this behavior that they choose to engage in?

@Joe

February 20, 2007, 7:33pm (report abuse)

"Homosexuality is now being forced upon us to accept, and Christianity is slowly being stripped away from us."

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Joseph

February 20, 2007, 11:15pm (report abuse)

My Christian brothers and sisters, Christ said that we should not be surprised when the world hates us, because they hated him. Why is it that such a miniscule part of our nation (homosexuals) have such a loud voice. Maybe they are not so miniscule after all. Anyhow, what did you expect, congress is back in the hands of the democrats, it won't get any better, there is very little morality with them.

Allen

February 21, 2007, 9:30am (report abuse)

Amen Joseph. I totally agree, when America started voting for what they thought were their pocketbooks instead of their hearts we started to see this. We have voted people in that want to push their own initiatives instead of doing the business of the majority of the people. I dont know a single person that feels homosexuality is ok and should be shown in public or on TV. I personally find it repulsive and do not want my children to see it. I do not wish to harm anyone but I will speak out against this and do feel that is my right to do so.

Pam Fraling

February 21, 2007, 10:50am (report abuse)

I am a Christian and believe the Bible when it says that it is a sin for a man to be with a man and vice versa. Having this bill introduced and passed into law would be a grave mistake and a mockery of God's Holy Word. I believe that the trouble we are having now is that we have gotten too far away from the Word of God and God is not pleased. God don't bless no mess. I implore you to do everything in your power to stop this piece of legislation from going forward.

Bill from LA

February 21, 2007, 1:28pm (report abuse)

I am opposed to this bill because its got some basic errors which will lead to further misinterepretation.

Let me say that I am not for gay-bashing from the violence standpoint. However, the gays and lesbians pull no punches when it comes to saying what they think of folks that believe in the Bible. This is not ALL gays and lesbians but a majority of them hate church-goers. You dont hear me crying for more "rights" to be defended.

However, I sure dont like to share a bathroom with a guy that I know likes to look at men's private parts! And I am sure that the ladies feel that same way. Especially when you have to take your child into the public restroom with you. You cant even change a diaper now without wondering if some oddball is looking at your child. Its sick and disgusting all at the same time. These people dont need clinical help. They need to be saved! I was on my way to Hell when Jesus saved me. I admit that my lifestyle was wrong.

What next, unisex bathrooms?

J from Atl.

February 21, 2007, 7:38pm (report abuse)

Write your Congressmen and pray, thats all we can do.

Steve

February 22, 2007, 12:02am (report abuse)

There is no reason for special laws for homosexuals. When Matthew Shepard got killed, which really wasn't even orientation related we found out later - besides the point - the offenders got life in prison or the death penalty. The system worked..you can't have different laws for different people, and judging the intent of a crime can be nearly impossible in many cases.

Paul

February 22, 2007, 2:27pm (report abuse)

If anyone thinks that homosexualitiy is normal should read Romans Chaper 1 of the Bible and what it says about homosexuality. I was one of those people but you know I felt that all thru my life that it was wrong, which it is. I am happy to say that I am now a born again Christian and do not practice homosexuality. People may feel that I am a self reformed individual but I am not Gods strength and His word helped me to overcome this terrible sin and changed my life if we only believe and trust in Him for our salvation. I pray for our nation that it will turn back to God and raise up godly leaders. I am not being self righteous I am only a sinner saved by His grace and His word has changed my life. If anyone wants to through me in jail for my convictions let them do it. I would be happy to do it if will glorify God. One last comment, does everyone out there truly believe the homosexuality is right?? Let's come back to our senses.

Ryan

February 23, 2007, 3:26am (report abuse)

If God could read this forum, he would wonder what happened to his flock. Because from reading most of your words, you have transformed from sheep into wolves. I doubt he approves.

And yes that is aimed squarely at you... yes, you... the wanna be fascist extreme right wing "family values" Bible Thumper. And by family values of course you mean your family, and nobody elses.

And to the guy worried about sharing a bathroom with someone of differing sexual orientation. Most likely that person would just take care of business and leave. I bet you'd be the one all sweating and tittering, and you are probably the one that would fantasize about it privately later, because we all know homosexuality has a HUGE hold on the extreme right.

Your indignation is transparent. Face it, you are gay. But that's fine with me, I hope they pass this legislation so that when you do come out, you will have federal protections.

Paul

February 23, 2007, 7:37am (report abuse)

His flock is still here. We believe that God's word is true to honored and revered and as Christians we are to submit to His will and not mans. I would be happy to talk about a homosexual who seriously wants to repent of his sin and lead him to Christ. There is not a greater joy on earth than leading someone to Christ. God's word is powerful and mighty and it can change anyone and deliver them from their sin. For the person who feels that the person is still in closet you are badly mistaken. I was out of the closet for over 40 plus years and since I have been saved I would never go back to that lifestyle. It doesn't mean that I still don't struggle with it but my faith and working of Holy Spirit within me He gives me victory over the son. I pray for my former homosexual friends. HOMOSEXUALS DO NOT DESERVE ANY SPECIAL RIGHTS AND I BELIEVE GOD WILL DEFEAT THIS BILL.

Jonathan

February 23, 2007, 12:13pm (report abuse)

I've read the proposed bill. People are overreacting a little here. As previously pointed out, this bill has nothing to do with speech. Although an oddball judge may have liberally construed the phrase "bodily harm", this law would unquestionably be stuck down as applied if it were used to prosecute a preacher for simply preaching against homosexuality.

Congress can NOT, through acts of its own, strip away Constitutionally guaranteed rights. (It can, however, bank on a Supreme Court that is willing to reinterpret what rights the Constitution contains, but that's a whole different can of rotten worms.)

However, under current S. Ct. rulings, I do not believe that any reasonable court can construe "bodily harm" - at least as it is used in this bill - to cover simply preaching that homosexual acts are sinful.

And yes - I am a lawyer.

Marshall Lentini

February 23, 2007, 3:33pm (report abuse)

No matter what it says exactly, it must of course be viewed as a "gateway" bill. The mere fact of a "hate crimes prevention act" on the books will empower every leftist crusader and jew in the country already eager to cut out our tongues to enact whatever legislation they please and push for more extensive "interpretation" of "hate crime".

Vanguard News Network was taken offline not by its ISP, but by the PHONE company which carried it, all because A CANADIAN NATIONAL made a complaint about something they alleged was said on VNN Radio. Presto! Offline. Freedom of speech?

The First Amendment is dead. We have become a nation of vassals. It is time for every self-respecting white man, Christian or not, to get ready to defend himself against his government and those who follow it. And not only defend...

Joe

February 23, 2007, 9:16pm (report abuse)

Jonathan- While this bill in its current form may not limit free speech, you said yourself that it could be "construed" differently. We Christians know that this bill is one of many stepping stones towards the outlawing of Christianity. Look at our pop culture today. Christians are constantly berated and made fun of on television and movies. It will only get worse.

Ryan- what you don't realize is that you are confirming what we Christians already know...that we will become hated in the end. You are an example. Thank you for proving what we've heard all along. P.S.- You won't get Christians to accept homosexuals by calling us homosexual. But nice intimidation tactic.

John Bryans Fontaine

February 24, 2007, 10:25pm (report abuse)

As a Liberal, I strongly oppose many of Ted Pike's and many of the other's views. However, I agree with what Pike has to say about H.R. 254. This bill is a major

threat to Free Speech. Will PFAW help stop it??

"In order to evade the Constitution's clear limitations on federal intervention in law enforcement, HR 254 alleges that hate crimes are actually...slavery! "Violence motivated by bias is a relic of slavery that can constitute badges and incidents of slavery." (Sec. 2, 8) "

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/hate_crimes_legislation_back.html

http://www.rense.com/general75/whoswarn.htm

I am really disgusted that more Liberals aren't defending Free Speech and opposing HR 254. Hopefully, that will change.

jpe

February 26, 2007, 12:04pm (report abuse)

you guys don't seem too bright. The bill doesn't criminalize speech, ya morons, it bans criminal acts motivated by race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

The Philly 11 case shows that these laws are not a threat: the jerkoffs that were protesting were wrongly arrested, and the charges correctly dismissed. The system worked.

jpe

February 26, 2007, 12:09pm (report abuse)

I amend my earlier comment: you guys are actually dumber than a bag of bricks, and insane to boot. I look forward to sharing this site with friends. What a find! Try to ramp up the craziness; it's funnier when you're really, really, rabid.

@jpe

February 26, 2007, 6:29pm (report abuse)

So what would be considered a criminal act to YOU? What about to someone else? What about to a particular judge with a statement to make? Would publicly slandering homosexuality because of your religious beliefs be considered a criminal act? People always claim mental distress and other ridiculous things when it comes to stuff like that. To some it is a criminal act. And this type of bill can lead to things that even YOU may not want.

P.S.-People tend to make fun of things they don't understand. It's a defense mechanism. So yes... we DO feel sorry for you.

HistoryWriter

February 26, 2007, 8:14pm (report abuse)

jpe; you make the mistake of assuming that most of the commentators here can read and understand anything more complicated than the funny pages.

HistoryWriter

February 26, 2007, 8:16pm (report abuse)

Just wondering: do you folks think ALL hate crime legislation is bad, or just hate crime laws that add "sexual orientation" to the list of protected classes?

FEA

February 26, 2007, 9:04pm (report abuse)

I hate all of you. Oops I need to be arrested now.

Belinda Alexia

February 27, 2007, 9:31am (report abuse)

I listened to your radio program lastnight 02.27.2007.... I was unaware of this bill that was going through and the person whom you mentioned that is trying to get it through.... I am against Hate and personally am working on forgiveness thus I pray that the Universal Law of Human Rights would be upheld by any person whom has respect for LIFE!!!! Thank you for being bold, May you have wisdom to speak Truth....

The foundation of Humanity is Love May LOve reign

@HistoryWriter

February 27, 2007, 8:41pm (report abuse)

"Hate crime" laws add penalties to a criminal sentence if the criminal is also convicted of having a "hateful" intent toward the victim based on the victim's real or perceived group identity. Crime victims who don't fit into certain categories see their assailants face lesser penalties. Ultimately, "hate crime" laws punish only beliefs or thoughts.

Sec. 2(9) of HR 254 states "although many local jurisdictions have attempted to respond to the challenges posed by such violence, the problem is sufficiently serious, widespread, and interstate in scope to warrant FEDERAL INTERVENTION to assist such jurisdictions." Since when is MORE gov't intervention a GOOD thing?

@HistoryWriter

February 27, 2007, 8:57pm (report abuse)

HR 254 sec2 (9):"the problem is SUFFICIENTLY SERIOUS, WIDESPREAD, and INTERSTATE IN SCOPE to warrant Federal intervention to assist such jurisdictions"

It looks like there were 8,003,625 crimes in America in 2005 (most recent data) from the FBI (My numbers may be a little off because I couldn't find a final number of TOTAL crimes, but instead a final number of EACH type of crime. Ex: murder: 12,000 offenses, etc. So I had to add all of them up.). Of those crimes there were 8,380 hate crime offenses. That's a .001 percent crime rate. Doesn't sound as "widespread and interstate in scope" as to warrant even MORE government powers. A little more complicated than the funny pages.

@HistoryWriter

February 27, 2007, 9:16pm (report abuse)

"do you folks think ALL hate crime legislation is bad, or just hate crime laws that add "sexual orientation" to the list of protected classes?"

"Hate crime" laws are unnecessary. Criminal acts are already illegal. What's more, "hate crime" laws violate the constitutional right to equal protection.

They violate the concept of equal protection under the law by granting more government protection to certain classes of people and are an overreach of federal power – allowing federal government intervention into local and state affairs. You might see opponents of this bill as bigots and homophobes, and some might be. But the majority of us are concerned about things deeper than that.

So instead of calling people on this page "unable to understand anything more complicated than the funny pages", why don't you do some research and contribute a WORTHY argument here.

HistoryWriter

February 27, 2007, 11:56pm (report abuse)

The statute seems plain enough on its face, and no different from other statutes that are supposed to prevent certain categorties of crime. It punishes crimes against the person uniformly when they are motivated by the victim's race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. It DOES NOT specify what the race, religion or sexual orientation must be, consequently it deprives nobody of equal protection of the laws. It protects atheists as well as believers, and straights as well as gays. It might help if you tried understanding the statute before making ill-informed arguments about the 14th Amendment. Do you seriously claim that motive plays no role in the definition of crime; that there is no difference between an arsonist who burns down a church because he hates Baptists and one who burns down his house to collect the insurance? Do you believe that motive should NEVER be a factor in determining the severity of an offense? Have you ever studied law?

Dman

February 28, 2007, 9:05am (report abuse)

What a bunch of quacks. The only thing this Bill will do is put a plug in your lets-hate and kill-fags pie hole. When your speech leads to killings, you need to be put to death, as Leviticus would put it. You are simply losing your right to emotionally murder, and you think you are losing something else. You are a very twisted group, but then, wasn't it you that wanted to also murder in the past for such profound discoverers such the like that found the earth was round? You are a very disturbing bunch of lemmings.

DMAN

February 28, 2007, 9:16am (report abuse)

PS For you right wingers and all your interest in gay sexuality, remember, what you focus on you become ..... bettaaaah waaaatch ouuuuut .....

HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 1:27pm (report abuse)

"Ultimately, "hate crime" laws punish only beliefs or thoughts."

I disagree. Hate crime laws puinish actual crimes based on their motivation. Motive has always been a factor in determining criminality. HR 254 is not addressing hateful speech, or speech that incites to action, but crimes motivated by any kind of racial, religious or gender aniumus when they result in bodily harm. ACTIONS are being proscribed here, not thoughts.

HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 1:44pm (report abuse)

"Since when is MORE gov't intervention a GOOD thing?"

I don't know. Should we ask all those folks who think the Feds ought to be defining marriage for the States?

@historywriter

February 28, 2007, 5:11pm (report abuse)

" Do you seriously claim that motive plays no role in the definition of crime; that there is no difference between an arsonist who burns down a church because he hates Baptists and one who burns down his house to collect the insurance?"

So which is worse: a man who kills another man because of money, or a man who kills another man because of him being homosexual? They are both murder. And yes motive is used in criminal procedings, but do you think the man who killed the homosexual should face stiffer penalties because of his hate? Crime is crime. That's what these people are saying. Why should certain groups (gays, straights, Christians or atheists) have more right to life and liberty than people who don't fit into a category of the government's choosing? Why should you be punished worse for attacking someone OF A GROUP because you hate them as opposed to just attacking someone because of other reasons?

@HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 5:36pm (report abuse)

"Should we ask all those folks who think the Feds ought to be defining marriage for the States?"

So by your thinking, if the government stated tomorrow that it's ok for adults to marry 12 year olds, would that be acceptable to you? I would hope not. People expect their elected officials to pass and carry out laws that are indicative of the values and desires of the MAJORITY of the people in the nation. That's how the whole democracy thing works. And I'm sorry to tell you, the majority still views homosexuality as abnormal and NOT indicative of the values of most Americans. You can't expect the gov't to reshape an entire value system, but what you can expect is that they protect what we currently have.

@HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 5:38pm (report abuse)

If a politician runs on a platform that clearly states that, if elected, he will redefine marriage, and then STILL wins, then you can expect the definition to soon change. But this hasn't happened (yet). Politicians know that most people still reject gay marriage, which is why right-wingers are asking the government to DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. Isn't that what they should be doing... the will of the majority?

B

February 28, 2007, 6:48pm (report abuse)

Proof of motive is not required in a criminal prosecution. However, a hate crime is one crime that requires proof of a certain motive. Generally, a hate crime is motivated by the defendant's belief regarding a PROTECTED status of the victim, such as the victim's religion, race, etc.

So... why again do we need hate crime legislation? It clearly gives special rights to certain groups (yes, on both sides of the fence). Which sounds to me like that's granting more government protection to certain classes of people. If a guy gets killed because he has a beard, is that a hate crime? No, I wouldn't think so. People with beards aren't a protected class. You could go on and on. What about gang members killing someone for wearing red? Hate crime? Robbing someone because they're rich, and you hate rich people? Where is the limit? And if there is a limit, that's where the unequality is present.

dkb

February 28, 2007, 7:18pm (report abuse)

Hey dman- "kill-fags"? That's not a very PC term is it?

"When your speech leads to killings, you need to be put to death". So you're against free speech? You say they should be put to death, but then you turn around and say "wasn't it you that wanted to also murder in the past for such profound discoverers such the like that found the earth was round?" Anybody else see the hypocrisy in this?

HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 9:20pm (report abuse)

"Politicians know that most people still reject gay marriage, which is why right-wingers are asking the government to DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT."

"What the people want?" Which people, where? Do you favor the Feds legislating in areas that are traditionally the province of States (e.g., defining domestic partnerships)? Understand, you can't have it both ways. I don't see how you can logically, consistently argue that the Feds SHOULD legislate a national marriage definition and then, on the other hand, argue that they SHOULDN'T legislate a national definition of hate crime.

HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 9:28pm (report abuse)

"Proof of motive is not required in a criminal prosecution."

On the contrary "mens rea" (i.e., evil intent) is at the very foundation of criminal law. The sober person who runs you over accidentally has not committed a crime. The sober person who runs you over with the intention of injuring you, HAS committed a crime. With all due respect to the commentators here, I think many of your comments reflect a total misunderstanding of how the American legal system works.

HistoryWriter

February 28, 2007, 9:37pm (report abuse)

"So which is worse: a man who kills another man because of money, or a man who kills another man because of him being homosexual?"

Point taken. Now let me ask you which is worse: burning down my own house to collect the insurace, or burning down your church because I hate members of your denomination? Incidentally, I never heard anyone complain about hate crime legislation until sexual orientation was added to the list. Do you think it's inappropriate to grant "special privileges" on the basis of religion?

Alison

March 3, 2007, 8:17am (report abuse)

I think homosexual people should have the rights of every other citizen!

Darth Chaos

March 3, 2007, 9:47pm (report abuse)

Alison, I agree that homosexuals should have the same CONSTITUTIONAL rights as heterosexuals, but this blatant butchering of the First Amendment is definitely not the way to do it because this hate law could one day be used to persecute and prosecute homosexuals. I don't want equal treatment for all (which is a nice way of saying equal enslavement). I want equal FREEDOM for all.

The politicians, the ones who make you think you have a choice, are nothing more than puppets of the global puppet masters. The global puppet masters do not give a damn about gay rights. They use gay rights as an excuse to impose global tyranny on the global population.

Mike

March 4, 2007, 5:12am (report abuse)

I'm constantly amazed by the Christians who feel persecuted. Your worst nemesis, the ACLU, would fight to the death for your right to have your church and yes, to even put a manger on the front lawn at Christmas time.

When people resist your attempts at evangelizing and say no to a manger on a courthouse lawn you all start raving about persecution.

Grow up. Not everyone wants to be like you. If someone wants to be "saved" let them come to you.

I don't see HR254 as an attempt to persecute Christians, not by a long shot BUT, I don't particularly think it's a good idea either.

Carissa Prater

March 6, 2007, 10:10am (report abuse)

I completely disagree with HR 254. They are saying in the bill that it would be agaisnt the law to speak out against homosexuality. Shouldn't I have free speech to think it is wrong or right? I am not speaking against people or "hating" people. I am simply disagreeing with something that they do. This law would take away my right to publically disagree with homosexuality. It would now be a "hate crime". I don't hate the person, just the sin they are commiting.

TIFFANY

March 6, 2007, 7:21pm (report abuse)

This is insane. I can't believe our 1st amendment right is being taken away due to the perversion of the human mind. Homosexuals are not right and it's a very unnatural act that they perform and GOD says it's an abomination. I will never stay quiet about this nasty behavior if I am asked my opinion. I don't believe homo's are bad people,but they are definitly mislead. My children will be taught the GODLY way, not the devil's way. We need to wake up and repent for all of the messes we have caused or else GOD'S wrath is going to pour out on us. We need to teach our children right. We are not going to survive if we don't change. Can you imagine a world ran by homo's? It might as well be called hell.

Jackson

March 7, 2007, 11:07pm (report abuse)

Carissa Prater wrote: "I completely disagree with HR 254. They are saying in the bill that it would be agaisnt the law to speak out against homosexuality."

Where does the proposed law say that? It only would apply to you if you decided to "speak out" by walking up to someone and accusing them of being a sodomite, and then shooting them with a gun. How in the world is that interpreted as "hate speech"? It is a sentencing enhancement for extremely violent crime, and has nothing to do with free speech.

connie wiesel

March 8, 2007, 11:14am (report abuse)

This bill is a crime..... Where's freedom of speech?

Steven Alexander

March 8, 2007, 6:12pm (report abuse)

I think it's a great idea to protect homosexuals from mistreatment and hate crimes; but HR 254 is not the way to do it.

Ramses413

March 8, 2007, 10:59pm (report abuse)

Conservatives: your ideologies are FLAWED! How dare you pass judgment; who gives you that right? Freedom of speech allows you all to say whatever you wish; when those words leed to motive for murder or killings of any group, homsexuals, African-American, Jewish, Christian, etc. That is when the individual or group who violently targets said groups should be punished. Question: Is discrimination moral? I'm just wondering!

Timothy R. Stephenson, USN, Ret.

March 10, 2007, 2:01pm (report abuse)

Hate Crimes So much gets lost in the translation.I can't say nigger but a black man on TV can say it.Archie Bunker never said it once,yet George Jefferson would say Honkie, Whitey etc!I know this venue is not about Racism but it does not lag far behind. Homosexuals do not like to be called queers,fags etc. Fine! We all deserve our freedoms.I agree with what Tiffany "scroll up a few" had to say. The Bible is the BIBLE! You wont find any other species on the planet "that I know of" that practices this deviant behavior. Be prepared to pay tomorrow for what you do today.Queers may have rights one day "might does not make right" I am no more a racist than Bill Cosby,Al Sharpton, Gregory Hines or Louis Farrakhan I'm not homophobic. I'm simply an American speaking my thoughts aloud"Before that too is taken away" If you wish to write new law,then abolish affirmative action and let us all stand / fall together. God Bless All People.

Elizabeth

March 10, 2007, 4:21pm (report abuse)

This is an amazing step in the right direction. All Americans should be protected from vicious hate crimes. How the American Family Association could possibly be against legislation which supports peace is utterly beyond me.

bill

March 12, 2007, 10:43pm (report abuse)

test

Edmund

March 12, 2007, 10:45pm (report abuse)

test

Frederick

March 12, 2007, 10:57pm (report abuse)

Regardless of religions, morals or other assorted human utopias, we have not evolved organs that favors even remotely, reproduction via the digestive tract.

These behaviors, however misguided, have no survival values or benefits whatsoever.

The jury is still out as far as the bankrupting psychobiological effects this has on society at large.

In a natural setting, most would perish at a swift rate.

Let us not, either abhor or condone this "defect", but instead provide therapy to those who suffer from it.

Tbone

March 13, 2007, 2:23pm (report abuse)

Heck with therapy! I say let em screw thier little brains out, drop dead from whatever transmitted diesease they get and let whomever deal with them in the here after. They are reprobate

1. A morally unprincipled person.

2. One who is predestined to damnation.

1. Morally unprincipled; shameless.

2. Rejected by God and without hope of salvation.

tr.v. rep·ro·bat·ed, rep·ro·bat·ing, rep·ro·bates

1. To disapprove of; condemn.

2. To abandon to eternal damnation. Used of God.

Shame on some of you

March 14, 2007, 8:16am (report abuse)

I agree with M Paul. You wouldn't realize how necessary this bill was until you read these comments. 50 years from now, when homosexuality doesn't create fear and panic, the average person will read most of the above comments like they would have slave owners or raciest... How could they have felt so passionately about something that was so clearly inhuman. It's amazing a religious person isn't more worried about doing good to our society rather than spreading hate because someone is something you can't relate to.

carroll

March 14, 2007, 8:41pm (report abuse)

A stupid unnecessary bill that will waste the time of our legislators. Fire, firearms, and explosive devices??? Is that it? This box is not large enough for me to list the ways I can inflict injury with or without the necessity to associate it with a hate specific to some label like race, creed, sexual preference, etc. Why do we need it? Why should it be federal? We already have enough laws to arrest criminals and means to move them from one state to another. Why authorize another means to dump money into a black hole for misuse? This is a poorly thoughtout measure that will surely be a broadly misused tool by every slick lawyer and misguided group in America. NO!

Adrian

March 15, 2007, 10:04am (report abuse)

The new testament is full of Scriptures that testify against GAY/HOMOSEXUALS/LESBIANS whatever will be their next definition. Here some quick Scriptures off the top of my head:

Romans 1:26-32

Jude 1:7

There are many more that speak about the filth of Sodom and Gomorrah that clearly state GAYNESS.

Adrian

March 15, 2007, 10:08am (report abuse)

ALL PEOPLES OF THE WORLD WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO GOD'S HOLY WORD.

NO MATTER HOW NICE THEY TRY TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES, THIS WILL HAPPEN ONCE WE ARE OUT OF OUR PHYSICAL BODIES. THE ONLY WAY TO BE DELIVERED IS TO REPENT AND ACCEPT JESUS' WORDS.

jpkay

March 16, 2007, 10:54pm (report abuse)

no crime is a HATE CRIME ALL CRIME IS FROM HATE AND ADDING A HATE CRIME DESIGNATION IS DOUBLE JEPORDY AND MORALLY WRONG WHY DO WE HAVE TO GIVE SPECIAQL PROTECTION TO ANY CLASS OF CITIZEN AND NOT TO ALL. THIS IS A POLITICAL SNOW JOB AND THE SPONSORS WHO EVERT THEY SAY THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP ARE ONLY PLAYIBG TO MAXIMISE THERE POWER AND FEED A SMALL BUT VOCAL SUBGROUP WHOM THEY THINK THEY CAN RIDE TO GREATER POWER POWER CORRUPTS AND ...YOU KNOW THE REST PLEASE LAWS NEED TO BE FAIR AND ENFORCED EVENLY NOT FITH PREFERANCE FOR SOME ND A DISREGUARD FOR OTHERS THAT IS WHAT HATE CRIME LAWS DO ALLWAYS.9C2OH WHAT CAN WE DO FIND LOVE IN ALL PEOPLE AND THE ONE WHO CAN NOT STOP VIOLENCE OUR LAWS ALREADY ARE PLENTY STIFF TO DEAL WITH ALL WEVIL NO NEW LAWS ESPECIALLY FOR POLICITAL SPIN IS GOING TO DO ANY GOOD ANY TIME JK

jpk

March 16, 2007, 11:03pm (report abuse)

no hate crime bills are a spin for power and a scam for power not a help for any one the hate crime is anti american it side steps the 4th amendment and others it is weak pol's way to show care insead of doing work to help people who are in need of help install hate crimes to silence the majority andenter stge with the power of the gov. to enforce the obserd stop this insanity and use the laws thatallready to stop evil and help the oppressed ml king did not like hate crimes ideas and the ability of cotizen who can leagally defend him/her self is the best hate crime deterance ... not a way to double jepordy in the law and to give undue legal power to a small nimority out of perportion to the problem.

Matt

March 22, 2007, 4:24pm (report abuse)

Ok 'dooms-dayers', I don't understand the horror of adding sexual orientation to hate crime lists, considered we are a targeted group who continually are assaulted purposefully. It is not different than 60 years ago when the Federal government stepped into to guarantee protection and equal rights to African Americans.

lcb

March 25, 2007, 1:45pm (report abuse)

Matt- You are not seriously comparing being gay to being African American are you? I think most African Americans other than I would probably be offended by this.

Plus, I think what most Christians here are trying to say is that, by their beliefs, it is morally wrong to partake in a lifestyle such as homosexuality, not morally wrong to be black. The Bible never states that blacks can't enter the kingdom of Heaven. Only those that commit immoral acts such as homosexuality. Also, let's not get this confused. Most Christians don't hate the sinner, only the sin. But through the media and television, Christians are now viewed as hatemongers and violent gay-bashers. Very sad.

lcb

March 25, 2007, 1:49pm (report abuse)

"Only those that commit immoral acts such as homosexuality" - To clarify, I obviously ment only those PEOPLE that commit these acts, not just blacks.

lcb

March 25, 2007, 2:10pm (report abuse)

I think this is another step towards "moral relativism"- or quite simply, if it feels good, do it. Throughout time there have been moral disciplines that have been part of a social fiber. That fiber has kept many civilizations from slipping into chaos. For example, it is illegal to kill in most countries. We've all wanted to kill at some point in our lives, or at least seriously injure, but the moral discipline that our laws were based on kept us from doing this.

The point I'm trying to make is that most Christians view the ACT of homosexuality a sin, not being homosexual. We have urges to commit many sins daily, but we abstain.

lcb

March 25, 2007, 2:10pm (report abuse)

It's not far-fetched to imagine a future in which people will want special rights because they sleep with animals, or possibly children. Nothing productive comes from a homosexual relationship other than SELF gratification and personal indulgence. There is no way to progress the human race through homosexuality. Ironically, if it weren't for hetero's, the gay lifestyle would eventually die out.

lcb

March 25, 2007, 2:36pm (report abuse)

And one more thing- before you say some sappy stuff about how love, partnership and happiness come from a homosexual relationship, and that those are productive things, you don't need a priest or judge to marry you to achieve these things. Part of the reason most hetero's get married is to raise a family. Having a mother AND father in the house exposes the children to a view of the world from BOTH sexes, something that is not achieved in gay households. And then of course, there is the inablility to HAVE children, but I guess science could always take care of that through reproductive manipulation, except in the case of male gay relationships, in which adoption or a third party are the only ways of reproducing.

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