House Passes Hate Crime Legislation!

All that lobbying paid off. The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1592 232-to-180, with 208 democrats and 25 republicans voting in the affirmative. The Bill, also known as the Matthew Shepard Bill, will now go to the president. Unfortunately, the President has fallen in line with his conservative base and has vowed to veto the bill.

A White House spokesperson released a statement earlier this morning:

The Administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics, such as race, color, religion, or national origin. However, the Administration believes that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable. If H.R. 1592 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Meanwhile, the ACLU’s law-loving activist Washington legal head, Caroline Fredrickson applauded the move:

Prosecuting violent hate crimes is critically important. This bill will also protect due process and the Constitution, especially our First Amendment rights to speak freely and associate with whom we’d like. When a person inflicts violence based on hate, it is important that they be punished.

She did warn, however, that we must all respect free speech.

Barney Frank spoke freely after the vote. From Joe.My.God, “From the podium, Barney Frank exhulted, ‘The bill is passed!’” Go on and celebrate, Frank, you deserve it.

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  • Henry

    All I have to say is: If you’re gay and republican, then YOU”RE a FUCKEN moron!!!!!
    Go seek some professional psychiatric help!

  • Jacques

    For those of you who do not understand what is going on here allow me to spell it out so we can all better understand. The term hate crime speaks to degree of motive. Some one who might be assaulted by another person at a flash point of anger is far different than some one who survives an assault at the hands of a planned and plotted attack.

    Think about Murder. There are 4 degrees of Murder (correct me if I am wrong) Lowest being manslaughter and the highest being murder in the first degree. 1st degree Murder is plotted and generally punishable by life in jail or execution. Some one who kills some one in a car crash might be charged with manslaughter and some one who is guilty of a crime of passion-caught up in the heat of the moment-that would be murder in the second degree and one might serve 20 years and be released.

    Now the person who plotted an evil deed, and premeditated a murder, is far more dangerous and no one would want them living next door.

    By the logic some use when arguing against a hate crimes bill a person who kills some one in a car accident is no different than some one who plots a murder well in advance of the deed.

    As a hate crime survivor I urge everyone to put an end to the release of criminals who will plot violence against persons based on ideas, life choices. Remember that freedom only works if everyone has it.

  • John

    Congress has done its duty, finally.

    Now, watch as His Majesty the Chimp-in-Chief screws everything up (again and again and again).

    And if hate crimes legislation is so disgusting and wrong, why didn’t the GOP get rid of such laws when it controlled all three branches of government? This is not about the constitution. It is about his moral disapproval of homosexuality, plain and simple.

  • Kristi

    Does it really matter why someone murder’s someone else? Murder based on an idea is still murder whether it’s to murder a spouse (I have an idea that you’re cheatin’.) or the idea of homosexuality. Murder is murder is murder. If someone spraypaints your church, it’s still vandalism and there are already set penalties for offenses.

    We are all guaranteed equal protection under the Constitution. This bill raises a set of people to a different standard of protection, which is faulty logic.

  • Michael

    Kristi…you forget one extremely importan fact…..the Constitution doesn’t apply to Gays…we do NOT have the same constitutional rights as str8s….and if you believe otherwise…..then I suggest you and W, the Commander Guy, go have a nice life in Never Never Land…

    and let’s not forget how many Gays and Lesbians and Transgendered victims that
    do NOT get their day in court and their attackers are not charged or let off with a slap on the wrist in many states because after all we Gays, Lesbians and transgenders had it coming any way?

    I mean what planet do you live on?

    the sad part is the Commander moron has said he will veto the bill and Focus on the Family strongly opposes the legislation….after all if it is enacted they may get called on the carpet for their overt hatred of Gays…..

  • Ben

    Straights don’t have any hate crime protection either. This bill should finally bring that to them. Feel liberated, breeders!

  • Dave

    Michael says:

    Kristi…you forget one extremely importan fact…..the Constitution doesn’t apply to Gays..

    That’s right! Homosexuality is evil, unnatural, unmoral and sick. Why should the constitution protect your sick sexual preferences?

  • John

    The faulty logic lies in Kristi’s ridiculous claim that all crimes leading to the same result (homicide) is treated exactly the same. They most certainly are not.

    It’s involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, murder in the second degree, murder in the first degree, or murder in the first degree with special circumstances. The determination of the charge depends on the circumstances of the crime. And yes, motivation and premeditation plays a CENTRAL role in making that determination. A passion killing is not the same as a pre-planned plot to kill with malice.

  • Jay

    There are constant attacks against gays, this law is needed.

    But hey, Bush is the decider. Wasn’t he right to ignore the warning about 9/11? Wasn’t he right about WMDs in Iraq? Wasn’t he right to play his fiddl–eh guitar–during Katrina?

    For that matter, weren’t Republicans right to ignore AIDS?

    Clearly the Republicans are a clear and present danger to every living being on earth! Never forget that!

Comments are closed.