Throwing Hate Crimes Baloney at Our Troops

Homosexual activists are playing politics with the war on terrorism by re-exploiting a murder victim. They've nudged their Senate accomplices, Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), to file their hate crimes bill, “The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007,” as an amendment to the pending defense authorization bill.

Just weeks ago, the anti-war left in Congress delayed passage of the Iraq emergency spending bill by adding $351 million dollars worth of earmarks for the dairy industry, peanut and spinach farmers, even though President Bush said he would veto it because of the earmarks, which he did.


Anybody who's willing to hamstring the troops for the sake of peanuts isn't above using baloney.

The Kennedy-Smith bill, SB 1105, is baloney no matter how it's sliced. Trying to stick it on a defense bill is disgusting, devious, inappropriate and gratuitous.

In 2004, ABC's 20/20 broadcast an interview with Shepard's killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell A. Henderson, who are both serving consecutive double life sentences in Wyoming for the robbery-murder. They debunked the claim that the murder was motivated by Shepard's homosexuality.

Even so, Kennedy, Smith, the media and homosexual activists continue to spread the Shepard hate-crime myth with their baloney bill.

Hindsight, however, will probably prove their bill was aptly named after all, but not because Shepard was targeted because of his homosexuality. What will happen is that any time a homosexual, bi-sexual, transsexual, transvestite, or cross-dresser happens to be a crime victim, it will be prosecuted as a hate crime. Never underestimate the lure of federal grant money to local law enforcement.

SB 1105 claims: “The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim poses a serious national problem. Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of communities and is deeply divisive.”

The Kennedy-Smith answer: Throw money at it in the form of federal grants up to $100,000 per year, per jurisdiction, which means each city, county and state in the country. You do the math. The bill also creates a new federal hate crime apparatus, which will eventually lead to the punishment of politically incorrect thoughts, religious beliefs and speech.

Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are threatened with horrendous violence at every turn and need every provision the defense bill will provide. By filing their amendment, which puts the entire bill in jeopardy of a presidential veto, Kennedy and Smith are saying that promoting the homosexual agenda is more important than supporting our troops in the field. 

Since 1990, the federal government has been collecting statistics on so-called “hate crimes” from states and local governments. According to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics, hate crimes, including nonviolent crimes, based on sexual orientation have decreased each year since 2002:

    2002: Of the 8,825 single-bias incidents reported:

16.7 percent were listed as sexual orientation bias

    2003: Of the 7,485 single-bias incidents reported

16.6 percent were listed as sexual-orientation bias

    2004: Of 9,021 single-bias incidents reported:

15.7 percent were listed as sexual orientation bias

    2005: Of the 7,160 single-bias hate crime offenses reported:

14.0 percent were listed as sexual-orientation bias

ABC'S 20/20 also featured a segment on hate crimes on July 25, 1999, which documented that many so-called hate crimes were nothing more than individuals who damaged their own property or injured themselves and tried to make it appear to be a hate crime for the purpose of committing insurance fraud.

It calls into serious question the figures reported to the FBI as hate crimes.

In the June, 1991 issue of California Lawyer magazine, a prosecutor explained how she determined whether to charge an individual with a hate crime as opposed to a non-hate-motivated crime. She said her “rule-of-thumb” is: “If they shout an epithet, then punch you—that's a hate crime. If they punch you first and follow with the epithet—it's not.”

How's that for due process? It's a chilling example of how difficult it is for a prosecutor to properly determine an individual's motive.

No, we're not saying that crime victims who are targeted because of their actual or perceived “sexual orientation” or gender identity shouldn't receive equal protection under the law. What we are saying is that a 6'10” 270 lb player in the NBA shouldn't get better protection than a 5' pizza delivery guy, or grandma.

If you're fed up with political opportunists hamstringing our troops, contact your Senators and tell them to oppose the Kennedy-Smith hate crimes amendment to the defense authorization bill.

Our troops deserve better than peanuts and baloney.

Jan LaRue is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Culture and Media Institute.