The ACLU and HRC are fighting over whether the Senate’s version of the Matthew Shepard Act — which passed complete with death penalty possibilities — violates free speech rights. As you’re aware, there’s nothing we love more than seeing our civil liberties groups spar over constitutional issues!
The ACLU insists the Senate’s version (but not the House’s, which it supports) doesn’t go far enough in guaranteeing First Amendment protections. The wrong URL visit could catch a suspect in a hate crimes charge. (Sorry, no more social networking on NewSaxon.org.)
But the Human Rights Campaign counters: that’s not true. Both the Senate and House’s bills provide adequate protections, insists HRC. (Interestingly, the Senate also passed an amendment via cloture for the sole purpose of indicating the bill does not violate the First Amendment.)
But when a special committee works out the kinks between the two different bills, the ACLU wants the House’s version passed, while, uh, HRC will “applaud” either, or something.
Otherwise … anti-gay conservatives will win!
(NB: And speaking of conservatives, the Log Cabin Republicans “applaud” the Senate’s passage of the bill.)