We thought Michael Steele promised a more inclusive GOP. Then why is House Minority Leader John Boehner continuing the same tired anti-gay arguments that Republicans are notorious for? Because that’s how he was born. You see, Boehner’s convictions — his faith, if you will — are an “immutable characteristic.” Your being gay? Not so much, which is why you shouldn’t be given hate crimes protections!
Having already made clear he won’t support the Matthew Shepard Act, Boehner is now being asked to explain this apparent contradiction: he supports federal protections for race and religion, but not for sexual orientation.
How to explain? Because your religion is an “immutable characteristic,” which the government must defend against assailants! Your sexuality, however, is not some innate thing. Yes, you read that correctly. According to Beohner, your loyalty to Jesus cannot be changed because that’s the way you were born (hahaha), while your sexuality is fluid. An openly Roman Catholic devotee, Beohner cannot just up and ditch the Cross. But if he wanted, he could choose to sleep with men. Brian Montopoli quizzes the Ohio Republican:
[Hate crimes] law as it now stands offers protections based on race, color, religion and national origin.
In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner “supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics.”
It should be noted that the current law does not include gender, though the expanded legislation would cover gender as well as sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.
“He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes,” Smith continued.
Boehner’s position, then, appears to be grounded in the notion that immutable characteristics should be protected under hate crimes laws. And while religion is an immutable characteristic, his office suggests, sexual orientation is not.
[...]In his email, Boehner spokesman Smith also offered another reason for Boehner’s opposition to the expanded hate crime legislation.
The bill, he said, “could eventually invite the prosecution of Americans for their thoughts and religious beliefs, basic provinces protected by the First Amendment.”
But now that Boehner knows that gender is not, in fact, covered by existing federal hate crimes law, will he push to add it? Or is whether you have a penis or vagina (or somewhere in between) not an “immutable characteristic”?