The Tennessee cross burning incident that we wrote about last week cannot be classified as a hate crime even if the perpetrators are caught, according to the FBI, because gays are not included in federal hate crime law. And really that makes sense, because who can tell if a gay person is the victim of a hate crime? How is a hate crime really different than any other crime? Maybe when answering these questions, lawmakers should start with burning crosses.
Legislation to include gays in federal hate crimes legislation was brought up again in May by Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and immediately dropped by the Republican-controlled Senate. Senator Kennedy has been trying to get the legislation passed since 1999.
No Hate Crime Charges In Cross Burning At Gay Home [365 Gay]
Hate Crimes Bill Dropped [365 Gay]