I got word a few minutes ago from a friend who works on the the Hill that H.R. 1913 titled Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, the so-called hate-crimes bill, passed in the House 249 to 175. (You can read it here.) While this bill primarily addresses violent crime, it marks the beginning of criminalizing speech and thought. Remember when abortion was allowed for the hard cases? Rape and incest were the wedges that led to Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand.
H.R. 1913 offers bait (i.e., grant money) to get local governments to call crimes against certain groups "hate crimes." They can collect hundreds of thousands of dollars to "help" them in their investigations. What does that mean? I think it will do two things: first, encourage local governments to designate more crimes as "hate crimes" (Guess who will be demanding that?), and, second, get them to put more effort into investigating the crimes that are eligible for grants. (Remember, "Love of money is the root of all evil.")
Think about it. If your six-year-old or your grandmother is kidnapped and murdered that won't qualify as a "hate crime" (unless Granny is a lesbian or little Tommy is attending gay pre-school). But if a homosexual is beaten up and robbed, the gay community will demand it be designated a "hate crime" even if the robber mugged the guy in the dark down the street from the Dairy Queen.
This is a totally unnecessary bill. It is already criminal to commit acts of violence. The law already takes motivation into account by charging the accused by degrees. First degree murder is not treated the same as manslaughter, for example.
But that is irrelevant because this bill is really all about the next step which is criminalizing speech condemning homosexual behavior. We've already seen gay activists attack those who supported Proposition 8 in California as hate-mongers. Any woman who disagrees with them is a "dumb b****" as misogynist gay activist Perez Hilton so eloquently informed us. The gay community wants legislation to shut their opponents up and prevent any criticism of their agenda. This bill moves the law a giant step in that direction.
We already have the template for what this means - Canada. Preachers there have been fined and imprisoned for quoting the Bible. A Canadian acquaintance emailed me that she has to be very careful about what she puts on her blog. There is no free speech on homosexuality in Canada.
Don't think it can happen here?
N.B. Two years ago a similar bill was vetoed by George Bush. Read about it here. You can see the text of that bill here.