President Bush should back off his ill-advised veto threat and clear the way for a long-overdue expansion of the federal hate-crimes
"Still, even though some states have hate-crimes
laws, what happens after the laws are passed is that [law enforcement] often doesn't have a strategy for actually making the law successful.
According to the March 18th issue of The Advocate, Republican supporters in the Senate of homosexual "rights," including Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, "say passage of a hate-crimes
bill would be the best way to prove that Republicans aren't bigots" in the wake of the Trent Lott fiasco.
[Shepard] died in a coma yesterday, in a state without a hate-crimes
Steven Schwalm, an analyst for the group, told The New York Times, "Hate-crimes
laws have nothing to do with perpetrators of violent crime and everything to do with silencing political opposition.
"We'll be helping disability groups understand and identify hate crimes, and we'll be working to make police departments and law-enforcement agencies more knowledgeable about disability and sensitive to disabled people," says James Nolan, the coordinator of hate-crimes
training programs for the FBI.
House of Representatives kill a hate-crimes
bill just one week after a bipartisan vote recommended its passage?
House Republican leaders object to lumping the hate-crimes
provision in with the "must-pass" 2005 defense authorization bill.
From Cheyenne, Wyo., to Washington, the immediate political response to Matthew Shepard's murder was a call for hate-crimes
statutes that included protections based on sexual orientation.
Years ago, when I first heard about hate-crimes
legislation, I could not believe my ears and thought to myself that no rational, logical person would go for this.
He has pitched the idea to Republican senators that "if you want to change your image, you should support hate-crimes
legislation." He thinks such legislation is "an opportunity for the Administration to pick up and expand the Republican Party base." And he thinks the GOP can "accommodate the gay community in committed relationships without harming marriage." Same message, new language: vote-getting image rather than substance, a strategy to expand the voting base, and grudging "accommodation" of gays, who are nonetheless viewed as somehow a danger to marriage.
Senate majority leader, but they may have also opened the door for the passage of new civil rights protections, including an expanded hate-crimes