Senate OKs Sweeping Hate Crimes Bill. But Is Obama About to Veto It?


It’s called S.B. 909, and you’ll want to remember it: It’s the bill the U.S. Senate passed that will hopefully add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate crimes protections. Only problem? President Obama has promised he’ll veto the thing.

But not because he doesn’t back hate crimes legislation. He does. The problem comes with the provisions being passed as an amendment to the Defense Department’s budget bill, and Obama says he’ll nix any bill hitting his desk that authorizes more funding for the F-22 fighter program, which he’s trying to kill. The House, meanwhile, passed its own version of the law in April, as a standalone bill.

So while both houses of Congress, the White House, and even the Justice Department want to add these new protections, the means of doing so has complicated the whole process.

ALSO: The Senate’s bill “only authorizes federal prosecutions of hate crimes when the state or local authorities are unwilling or unable to do so.” That is, the feds won’t have the ability to raise their own hate crimes case without the authorities on the ground moving first.

PLUS: And not that conservatives will take much solace, but “[s]upporters also emphasized that prosecutions under the bill can occur only when bodily injury is involved, and no minister or protester could be targeted for expressing opposition to homosexuality, even if their statements are followed by another person committing a violent action. To emphasize the point, the Senate passed provisions restating that the bill does not prohibit constitutionally protected speech and that free speech is guaranteed unless it is intended to plan or prepare for an act of violence.”

NB: Want to know which way your senator voted? See here. But if John McCain represents you, you already know how he feels, thanks to this grievous speech:

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  • galefan2004

    I don’t really know how to take this. On one hand, I think that Obama should not veto this bill with using his desire to kill the F-22 program as an excuse. On the other hand, I feel that the hate crimes law should be more powerful than its watered down version. Unless, I just read it wrong, and this bill will actually give the federal government the power to step in if the hate crime isn’t being tried as a hate crime (the way I read it it doesn’t give the federal government any power to step in if the hate crime is being tried as a slap on the wrist crime).

  • galefan2004

    @galefan2004: Oh, and it probably doesn’t help matters either that I honestly support tough mandatory sentencing for all crimes not just hate crimes, and it seems like saying if you kill someone out of hate as a motivation it should give you more time than if you butcher your wife because she pissed you off, is almost like saying that certain motivations are worse than others. I would much rather see a bill passed that imposes strict mandatory sentencing on all offenders when they commit certain types of crime (murder, rape/molestation, assault).

  • Heather


    I think the point of having a tougher sentence on a hate-crime is the fact that hate crimes have an effect on a community whereas normal crimes don’t. If you beat your wife because she annoys you, your neighbor isn’t necessarily thinking it has any impact on her life. Whereas if you beat up a gay guy because you hate all gays and you want to send a message to “people like that,” there’s an impact beyond just the one gay you beat up.

    Like burning crosses on lawns. It has an impact beyond the individual lawn you burn the cross on.

  • jamesn

    The president should veto this simply because it’s legislative blackmail and we’re once again being used as political pawns. This time it’s for a costly weapons system that we’re not even allowed to use.


  • Jamie

    This is just part of the process. He’ll veto it, it’ll go back to Congress, and they’ll work out a new version. It’ll get passed eventually. Don’t read too much into it.

  • galefan2004

    @Heather: I think you are kidding yourself when you try to claim that rape/molestation, murder, and assault don’t affect the entire community regardless of who the victim is.

    In the case of rape/molestation you have women afraid to leave their homes at night by themselves and parents afraid to take their kids to the public park because of these two crimes. That fear only intensifies when a crime has recently been committed and the perpetrator has not been caught.

    In the case of murder, you have a community that lives in fear every single time a murder is committed. The same goes with assault.

    Actually, the only time the entire community doesn’t get involved is when its a case of a hate crime because their is a targeted group and then only that group gets involved.

    I’m not saying that hate crime is by any means acceptable. However, I believe we need stiffer penalties over all.

    The other legal way of looking at this is that you never want to make the punishment to severe for the crime. Say someone decided they wanted to beat up a gay guy (which I’m not excusing and I don’t find acceptable) so they find a gay guy and their goal is to beat them up. If you use hate crime legislation to expand their sentence to life in prison for beating up a gay guy their goal just shifts to killing the dude because lets be honest double life in prison is about the same as life in prison in the end, so the criminal simply heightens his crime because its the same realistic penalty.

  • jack ellis

    I think that it is fitting that this extremely deceptive Fed Hate Crime Bill had to be pushed through in the very deceptive way of attaching it as an amendment to the $680 Billion Defense authorization bill.

    This cultural marxist bill to create classes of special victim groups entitled to separate Federal Prosecution teams – this has nothing to do with American National Defense – but then again America’s $680 billion National Defense expenditure has very little to do with American national defense – America’s borders are undefended, we are manipulated into endless wars in the Middle East for foreign interests.

    All violent crimes are “hateful crimes”. How is it possible to have a non hateful murder?

    The hate crime bill is named after Matthew Shepard, a real murder victim in Wyoming – did the murderers of Matthew Shepard get off because there was no Federal Hate Crime law?

    No – the murderers off Matthew Shepard were tried and convicted of murder, sentenced to life in prison – murder FOR ANY REASON is considered a very serious crime in Wyoming, the State of Wyoming takes the crime of murder very seriously, that is why Wyoming is ranking 47th in total murders each year – Wyoming is a safe place.

    Not so my state of Illinois, Chicago – where my City had over 500 murders last year. Oh but these murders weren’t politically incorrect Hate Crimes, so the Feds aren’t interested.

    What were these murders: “love crimes”?

    I guess the PC liars will soon take the next step and officially change the definition of murder:

    Only murders committed by straight, English speaking White Protestants with politically incorrect views about Muslims and homosexual marriage will be defined as “murder” all other killings will be ignored or excused as forms of social protest by societal victims who need more Federal anti poverty programs!


    The 1960s never ended – the cultural marxist lies and deceptions go on for ever.

  • galefan2004

    @jack ellis: I think you are a bit extreme in your views. It should also be noted that Wyoming wanted to execute both murderers in the case of Mathew Shepard and his parents decided they should live and were respected for that stance.

    However, there are cases where people get off simply because the victim was a minority, and that is unacceptable. However, if you change the entire system to make it easier to convict actual criminals and give them tough mandatory sentencing then you don’t have this slap on the wrist shit in the first place.

    Hate crimes laws are a band-aid on an outdated system that was never meant to see as much traffic as our system does today when it was set up and needs a complete overhaul. Between activist judges and prosecutors out to make a name for themselves by only taking cases to court when they know they can win, the system is so broken that even hate crimes laws aren’t going to do anything.

  • RyanInSacto

    @jack ellis: Saying that “All violent crimes are hateful crimes” is hogwash. That’s like saying that terrorist acts are just acts of war. The fact is, hate crimes are acts of violence that are meant to intimidate entire communities of people. The ramifications of hate crimes impact groups of people. On the other hand, a bar fight, for example, is usually personal and has nothing to do with attempting to oppress a specific group.

    A few questions you might want to consider:
    In assessing crimes, we take motivation into account all the time. That’s why there are multiple degrees of murder. Do you oppose that as well?
    Do you oppose prosecuting acts of terror?
    Why aren’t they just prosecuted as destruction of property or vandalism or murder?

  • Bill Perdue

    The Mathew Sheppard Hate Crimes bill is pretty weak but it’s a start.

    What we really need is a bill that declares that politicians and cult leaders who promote homohatred are accessories and accomplices to any and all acts of bigoted violence and that they should get coequal sentencing. Jimmy Swaggart, the pentecostal homohater who loves to go muff diving on street prostitutes said

    “I’m trying to find the correct name for it … this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. … I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died”.

    He’d look good in prison stripes.

    The Mathew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill actually passed both Houses in 2007 but Reid and Kennedy attached it to a defense bill and then dropped it shortly before xmas 2007. Then Pelosi and Barney Quisling gave us another xmas gift. They gutted ENDA. Both were meant to eliminate any danger that Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama could be accused of being LGBT friendly.

    Not that there ever was any danger of that.

    Now Reid’s attached it to another genocide funding bill. Once again, as in 2007 the genocide funding bill faces a veto, this time over the question on continuing the F-22 program. The F-22, nicknamed the “Raptor” was used extensively to drop white phosphorus napalm bombs in Fallujah. Calling funding used to murder tens of thousands of Iraqis, Pakistanis and Afghans a ‘defense’ bill is a crock.)

    Now it beginning to smell a lot like xmas 2007 again… and it’s rotten as rotten as it gets.

  • The Gay Numbers

    The bill is the first time at the fedeal level that a law will allow for protection of gays and transgendered communities as a class. That’s significant not just to this bill, but for future bills and arguments in front of the Courts regarding our equality. It’s not enough but it has its value outside of just what the bill explicitly does as well. If one is concerned with strategy, this is a good start (not finish). If one is just concerned with well whatever concerns Queerty- not so much.

  • The Gay Numbers

    By the way, just so people know- the reason it was attached to the bill was that the the GOP was using procedural rules of the Senate to block other attempts to pass the bill. So, Reid attached the bill knowing it would get passed this way. You may not like the way sausage gets made, but you really should understand why it gets made that way before requiring not just outcomes, but also process be to your liking.

  • edgyguy1426

    THIS is why we should have given Reagan the line-item veto

  • RyanInSacto

    We had the the line item veto from 1996-1998. The supreme court ruled that it was unconstitutional.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Sam: A racist too.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I already knew he was a rancid self loathing homohater. See his remark no 3 at

    Then check out the thorough whipping he got from John Santos’s remarks no.s 33, 34, and 35.

    I suspect that the more people get to know about this retarded right wing blowhard the less they’ll pay attention to him. He’s as much a troll as ChurchillY was.

    He should be posting with his buddies at Free Republic.

  • Z reveals

    If he vetos it, I would be very sad :(

  • RyanInSacto

    @Z reveals: I’ll be sad, too. However, keep in mind that if he doesn’t veto it, then the GOP will publicize this as Obama breaking his promise to curb reckless spending (continuing the F-22 program). The icing on the cake will be, “And he did it for the gays.”

  • galefan2004

    @Sam: You couldn’t be more wrong. I’m an admitted white supremacist and damn proud of that fact. However, I believe that racism is completely wrong. I would shoot someone that burned a cross on the lawn of my friends for my family (yeah my step father is black by the way). I wouldn’t need hate crime laws to stop cross burning I would need a jail cell after I dealt with the racist assholes that give those of us that stick up for our own race a bad name by attacking other races. I don’t stand with the KKK. I don’t promote racism. I simply promote my own race. If I was black I’d be a member of the NAACP and if I was Latin I’d be part of La Raza. You would probably be willing to pin a medal to my chest for being proud of being in any of those organizations.

  • galefan2004

    @Bill Perdue: I’m sorry, but I really don’t pay attention to men that can’t get their thoughts in a nice concise little package because they either lack the intelligence to do so or desire to see themselves write. That leaves men like you and John Santos off my must read list.

  • Bill Perdue

    @galefan2004: Who cares. Plemty of other people read Santos and agreed with him.

    Please stop bothering the humans and run off to Free Republic.

    It’s loaded with racists and bigots. You’ll like it. It’ll be just like home.

  • galefan2004

    @Bill Perdue: I’m sorry Bill, we can’t all be judgmental assholes like yourself that whine about the problem instead of offering a solution. So far, we have learned that you hate every candidate that has ever ran, is currently in office, or will ever run. Yet I don’t see you coming up with your campaign slogan. I’ll help you out. “Bill Perdue for President in 2012! Because everyone else is just a stupid asshat that doesn’t know how to lead!”

    Also, are you overlooking that in that same post John Santos wrote you off as a crazy zealot that has the most warped view on the government that its amazing you just don’t straight out promote its overthrow. (Ok, so I embellished a little bit he just called you crazy).

  • Richard in DC

    Veto this one, try again.

  • M Shane

    My understanding was that there was a McCain-Levin Bill to strip funding for the F-22s as part of the Defense Authorization Act on 7/13. I’m not sure how this got twisted into the weird and corrupt Bill now connected to Hate Crimes where Democrates are voting for more entirely unnecessary military spending if we want Hate Crimes legislation. How perverse!
    Since there is another way around teh dilemna, I suspect that the Democrats are betting on Obama’s veto to salvage them from this humiliating situation.
    We need much less military spending, not more. What a prtotype of how totally fucked up things can get in the Senate when they play this game with attaching ridders to Bills which are unrelated. It’s like some asininine kind of hageling. I don’t know if there are two bills or what. The republicans didn’t vote for this: certainly not because they didn’t want military spending.

    I.e. This has to be a political game, and I think that Obama is left with no choice (by democrates) but to Veto and wait till later, when a clean Bill can be passed..

  • Bill Perdue


    You’re right. I gladly admit it. I’m judgmental about racist swine and I despise self-loathing homosexuals (I won’t use the terms gay or queer in reference to creatures like that). And I don’t like reactionary politicians or their shills.

    So what? Are you going to pretend that racists and homohaters are sane? Of course you have to, don’t you? Do you think they deserve respect? Good luck with that.

    And learn to read. Santos said nothing of the kind.

    You resort to personal attacks because you lack even half the wit it takes to challenge other people’s ideas. You said “I enjoy provoking argument and hatred on the internet.” Translation; your remarks are an interminable and boring hissy fit. What you really enjoy is ejaculating your pissant jealousies and hatred ‘on the internet”. As the English say, that’s vomit making.

    Take it somewhere else, troll.

  • galefan2004

    @M Shane: What is even more messed up is the situation that this puts Obama in. When he does veto it QT and many members of the lgbt community are going to be pissed at him and blame him for vetoing the hate crimes legislation. Obama is damned if you do damned if you don’t in this situation. I really hope that the senate, house, and president can get their ducks all in the same row before 2010 or its not looking good for the Democrats.

  • The Gay Numbers

    President Obama should not veto this bill. I was not certain until now, but the process types are nuts as wingers with regard to reality. If you have a problem with how the Senate works, take it up on something that’s important to you rather than to others.

  • J.Lowrot

    Has anyone considered the fact that Sen. Reid may have added the hate crimes bill to the Defense appropriations bill to deter Obama from vetoing it? Reid knows that Obama would definitely veto the bill because of the F-22 program, Reid knows that gays want the hate crimes bill, Reid knows that Obama is in a tough place with the gays . . . We are pawns in this game, just not necessarily the way some people think.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Can’t do Line Item Veto? Someone has some ‘splaining to do!

  • The Gay Numbers

    @J.Lowrot: I have considered the fact that President Obama’s more ardent supporters believes the world begins and ends with him. The reason that the F22 language was in the bill was because of the districts and states that stood to lose money. It has nothing to do with President Obama. As for Sen. Majority Leader Reid, he’s a weak leader, but that does not make him particularly interested in screwing President Obama. Only the paranoid would believe he is given his record thus far of bending over backwards to do what President Obama wants in the Senate.

  • hyhybt

    I seem to have missed something; I was taught that the house and senate have to pass the *exact same* bill before it goes to the President. If the house passed ENDA by itself and the senate has it stuck in the defense budget, do they not have to fix that?

  • M Shane

    A real outrage in this Bill is that Senators were in fact voting on Hate Crimes Legislation, not the F-22 Bill . This is clear because the Republicans would ordinarily vote for a Military spending Bill and instead voted primarily to block a Bill which the Rabid Fag Bashers want despirately nixed so that it is less discouraging to murderer us.. Look at the Voting record. The Republicans would make this a truly fascist state with us being the scapegoats if they could. I never regret, for this reason alone, that we have a Democratic president. That legislators would make killing fags less prohibitive is awesomely scary. Apparently thousands of religious freaks called into Washington before the vote

  • No Homophobama

    Just another way gay hating Obama effs us.

  • Random Gay Guy

    The McCain-Feingold amendment goes up for a vote on Monday. I for one hope that the Senate strips the F22 off of the DoD authorization bill, it seems to be a complete and utter waste of money. I won’t feel bad if Obama vetoes it, because the bill is just going to be rewritten, F22s are going to be stripped and it is going to get sent back to him.

  • anderson cooper is my future husband

    For those who are newish to Querrty Bill Perdue is a notorious racist, misogynist, he hates women, transpeople, jewsish people etc. etc. etc. If you stand up to him he will just make stuff up. He hates the President not because of his missteps but because he is black. I have watched this guy rip black people apart on this site because he is racist even when they are discussing their own community he tries to stop them. This guy is a self-hating gay man racist.

  • Bill Perdue

    @anderson cooper is my future husband: @anderson cooper is my future husband: is a cutesy name for a vile personality; bitterly hateful towards gay men, definitely straight, christian and right wing.

    Our little piggie, acunfh is just bitter because I and several others got on acimfh’s case when it, as rightwing wing christian scum so often do, described a gay man as a pedophile. In comment 44 in it accuses Mueller of being a pedophile.

    Several commenter’s replied including ‘J’ who said “
    Very well said. I read your comment and thought it was really heartwarming that two people could be together against all those odds. I think that guy’s (referring to acimfh) a dick and what he said to you was completely uncalled for. I also think that people make comments like that because they’ve got serious self esteem issues. I can’t see a normal, well adjusted person taking the time to defame you like that completely unprovoked.

    Best of luck and don’t listen to that dick.”

    That’s good advice for anyone reading comments by acimfh, who just doesn’t like gay men at all. A measure of his mindless stupidity is that he thinks people will believe his drivel. That’s fine, we don’t like creatures like it much either.

  • Jeremy

    I’m a gay far left (feminist, athiest, socialist) and I can tell you now that this hate crime bill is utterly ridiculous and incredibly embarrassing. Gays are one of the most persectuted social minorites, straights are not: this fact is completely irrelevant. You do not fight fire with fire, you do not build a “boys only” clubhouse when the girls won’t let you in theirs. Equality can only be reached when we practice it. It is a harder route to get it but in the end it is the only route. Hope Obama vetos the hell out of this bill.

  • M Shane

    No. 26 · galefan2004 The situation that Obama is encountering with the legislature something that , for some reason, few people seemed to anticipate. In fact , so many people were anticipating that Obama would have easy going when we got a winning number in the Senate. But not so .I was furious with the Democratic Senators during the last Presidency for what people called ‘weak kneed’ ethics. I think they are a mainly a bunch of unprincipled , disorganized centrists who won’t form a real democratic base for anything. This Senate bill is crazy. The F-22 portion is simply a Neocon provision to keep spending unessessary money on the Military when they sould be cut dramatically. You”re right in saying that they had better get siomething organised at least by 2010. It’s so disgusting to say b8ut Deocrate means almost nothing anymore. Obama’s presumption of bipartisanism is only an encouragement to this insane, self destructive layout..

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