Friday, May 18, 2007

Nobody Listens to the Nuts

I haven't said much about it here, but the big Famiy Blah Blah groups have really been fighting the new hate-crimes bill, which will include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. They keep trying to say it will create thought crimes, but ... there are just so many things wrong with that. For one, you didn't hear them complaining when religion was protected, did you? For another thing, the law doesn't say anything about speech. You can say what you want: bigots are not required to suppress their utterances.

Well, you know, it's another wedge issue that the nuts can use to drive Americans apart. I'm sure we don't need to call up the CRC to see how they feel about it, by and large the line is drawn in the sand, and extremists like CRC know where to stand.

Not everybody is falling for it this time. Here's what Gallup reported this week:
PRINCETON, NJ -- A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed such legislation, which is now being considered by the Senate. Republicans, conservatives, and religious Americans are slightly less likely than others to favor the expansion of hate crime legislation, but a majority of those in each of these conservative and religious groups favors the proposed legislation. Public Favors Expansion of Hate Crime Law to Include Sexual Orientation

These numbers are surprising, even to me. Well, I guess I would admit that a certain part of me has become a little ... cynical ... over the past few years.

In general, 78 percent of the American public likes the idea of hate-crime laws, 18 percent oppose them.

And look at this (note: I am re-formatting the tables for display on the blog):
There is a proposal to expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim's gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Would you favor or oppose expanding the federal hate crime laws in this way?

2007 May 10-13
Favor 68%
Oppose 27%
No opinion 5%

Listen, that's not close. The big Christianist organizations can cry and scream all they want, but people think this is a good idea, overwhelmingly.

Ah, but you're thinking it's probably one of those red-state / blue-state things. I'll bet you find the Republicans, the evangelicals, oppose these things, and the liberals on the coasts like it.

TOTAL
Favor 68
Oppose 27

Republicans
Favor 60
Oppose 34

Independents
Favor 69
Oppose 27

Democrats
Favor 75
Oppose 21

Conservatives
Favor 57
Oppose 37

Moderates
Favor 74
Oppose 22

Liberals
Favor 82
Oppose 15

Protestant and other non-catholic Christians
Favor 65
Oppose 30

Catholics
Favor 72
Oppose 23

Other religion
Favor 74
Oppose 23

No religious identity
Favor 74
Oppose 25

Attend church weekly
Favor 64
Oppose 30

Attend church almost every week/monthly
Favor 67
Oppose 29

Attend church seldom, never
Favor 73
Oppose 23

They couldn't find any way to slice the pie that showed any group where the majority did not feel these things should be added to the hate-crimes law.

This is an extraordinary result. For years the extremists have used these kinds of issues to cultivate their "base." They could count on a certain knee-jerk reaction that resulted in votes at election time. In this case, the Dobsons, the Tony Perkinses, got out there and talked this up, ooh, the gay agenda is trying to take over the world -- and this time nobody bought it.

It's time for Americans to go toward the light. The divisiveness worked for certain political interests for a number of years. But my American people are not hateful. Everybody knows what it's like to be on the losing end of a no-win situation -- I mean, c'mon, you don't need to have the blues explained to you, do you? -- and we don't have any desire to put somebody else in that situation.

This is a good sign, a real good sign.

26 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

CWA reports that Bush has promised to veto the Matthew Shepard act.

On another matter, Utah has passed an Anti-GSA bill, more elaborate than the one that was defeated in Virginia this year.We're expecting another variation in next year's General Assembly. Here's the NYT story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/education/17utah.html?ex=1331784000&en=25b20fe76f61480b&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

I went to the Eagle Forum story through a link on the CRC website. Eagle Forum makes the same mistake as PFOX in referring to "GSA" as a unitary, national organization with local chapters. That is so not true: GSAs are local clubs started by students, without connections beyond their schools (unlike the Key Club, NHS or Fellowship of Christian Athletes). I wonder if these groups know this (we've told PFOX many times) and just remain willfully ignorant, or if they are being deliberately deceptive (again, those pesky commandmants!).

rrjr

May 18, 2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is a good sign, a real good sign."

No, it's a bad sign, a real bad sign.

Now, if some miscreant is lurking in an alley, trying to decide who to pistol-whip and rob, he'll go for the elderly gentleman or teen girl rather than the gay guy because the possible penalty if caught will be less.

And, thus, equality ends.

May 18, 2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous PTA said...

A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

If Anon's miscreant were to attack the teen girl because she's female or the elderly gentleman because he's male, he could be prosecuted for a hate crime because gender is one of the protected characteristics. Similarly Anon's miscreant would have to attack the gay because he's gay in order to be prosecuted for a hate crime.

May 18, 2007 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Similarly Anon's miscreant would have to attack the gay because he's gay in order to be prosecuted for a hate crime."

And how will we know why he did it?

May 18, 2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I believe the purpose behind hate crimes laws is to stop acts which terrorize a group of people.

For example, if someone spray-paints my classroom door with "Mr. Rigby should die," it's vandalism, and terrorize only me, but if the same person were to spray paint "Faggots should die" on the door, then it would be a hate crime because it would terrorize all the lgbt people in my school. Personally, I'm sure what I think about hate crimes laws. Then again, I have mixed feelings about we all in unison saying the Pledge of Allegiance and having a moment of silence in the morning.

rrjr

May 18, 2007 1:45 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

That should have been "I'm not sure how I feel about hate crimes laws."

rrjr

May 18, 2007 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Similarly Anon's miscreant would have to attack the gay because he's gay in order to be prosecuted for a hate crime."

And how will we know why he did it?


The only way a criminal will be convicted of a hate crime is if the prosecutor's evidence convinces the judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the motivation for the crime was hatred for the gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, etc. of the victim.

May 18, 2007 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only way a criminal will be convicted of a hate crime is if the prosecutor's evidence convinces the judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the motivation for the crime was hatred for the gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, etc. of the victim."

How reassuring!

We've been letting people out of jail for years who have been convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt" and were later found by DNA testing to be innocent.

People's statements will be part of the evidence used to build a reasonable case about why they did it. People will have to begin to watch and worry what they say and how it might be interpretted later.

And why is this necessary? It's already a crime to assault and vandalize. Why not just enforce these laws?

Truthfully, gay advocacy are just trying to get the government to endorse the legitimization of homosexuality. Same as with the gay marriage for gays who could really care less about societal norms and empathy curriculums.

May 18, 2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "Now, if some miscreant is lurking in an alley, trying to decide who to pistol-whip and rob, he'll go for the elderly gentleman or teen girl rather than the gay guy because the possible penalty if caught will be less.".

This is laughably ridiculous on so many levels. First off, how would he know the elderly gentleman or teen girl aren't gay? How would he know the guy is gay? And of course, if he's attacking to rob it wouldn't be a hate crime even if the victim was gay - its only a hate crime if he attacked BECAUSE that person was gay (or straight).

May 18, 2007 2:16 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, imagine that somebody would go around beating up Christians as they leave their churches on Sunday morning, just because they're Christians. Do you think that might be a worse crime than beating someone who has made you angry for a personal reason, or the same crime?

JimK

May 18, 2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "People will have to begin to watch and worry what they say and how it might be interpretted later.".

Not unless they're planning on assaulting someone - are you planning on assaulting gays? Unless you are you have nothing to worry about from the hate-crimes law.

Anonymous said "And why is this necessary? It's already a crime to assault and vandalize. Why not just enforce these laws?".

Then why is it necessary to protect the religious with hate crimes laws, its already a crime to assault them. You hypocrite.
I'll tell you why, because when someone's assaulted because they are religious, or gay, or straight everyone else who is religious or gay or straight is a victim as well. They are victimized with the fear that they could be next simply for being who they are.

May 18, 2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so is wearing a teach shirt to school which says "homosexual behavior is a sin" or quoting the bible verses which say so...

now a hate crime ? It could be interpreted as malacious speech, I think, based on these new laws...

May 18, 2007 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could be interpreted as malacious [sic] speech, I think, based on these new laws.

You know that old lawyers' saying that a man who represents himself will have a fool for a client, don't you? I think you should ask a lawyer.

May 18, 2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Andrew B. said...

Oooh ooh! Pick me, pick me! Your friendly neighborhood future lawyer!

Amedment I of the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Making a law against wearing a t-shirt that quotes the Bible is patently unconstitutional. But that's not what hate crimes legislation is about!!!! You are doing your typical changing-the-subject bait-and-switch routine, Anon. Hate crimes laws set stricter penalties for those who commit crimes out of hatred. Surely you believe in punishing people who break the law. Surely you are against hatred. Then surely you believe those who break the law out of hatred should be punished more severely.

Hate crimes laws go after murderers who tie human beings up to their pickup trucks and drive for miles, dragging their victims until they die. Hate crimes laws go after terrorists who blow up churches. These laws go after the monsters who paint swastikas on synagogues. Surely you are not defending the evil criminals who intend on committing these most heinous acts?

May 18, 2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, the KKK and Neo-Nazis rail against blacks and Jews with all manner of filth despite blacks and Jews having been protected by hate crimes laws for 40 years. By the same token Christians will continue to rail and speak filth about gays long after gays are protected by hate crimes laws.

May 18, 2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"so is wearing a teach shirt to school which says "homosexual behavior is a sin" or quoting the bible verses which say so...

now a hate crime ? It could be interpreted as malacious speech, I think, based on these new laws..."

I always know I've made a good point when TTF resorts to the fake anons to confuse things.

I can't believe you guys now think people should get punished more severely for assaulting gays than strolling into a rest home and punching out some elderly ladies.

Extremism in the defense of tolerance is a vice.

May 18, 2007 6:04 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

And yet you have no problem with a a person assaulting a 260 lb Christian line backer getting a more severe penalty than the guy who punches out an elderly lesbian grandmother.

Works both ways. Hypocrites like you haven't complained about Christians being protected by hate laws, its just when gays are to get the same rights as Christians that you kick up a fuss.

May 18, 2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you taking about, Randi? Not that you asked before making one of your wild-eyed nutty assumptions, but I agree that assaulting Christians shouldn't be punished any more severely than anyone else. I think most Christians agree.

Not that I think that's happening. Can you think of any instances of someone being prosecuted for hate crimes against Christians? I mean, really.

Laws should be applied equally not parcelled out to protect certain groups more than others.

May 18, 2007 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Andrew B. said...

Sorry, Randi, but I think you're heading down the wrong path.

The issue is not whether one crime better or worse than another. The issue is that hate crimes are different and should be covered under different laws.

If someone comes into your store, threatens you with a baseball bat, and steals money out of the cash register, that's burglary. If someone comes into your store and says you can either pay up for "protection" or get your knees smashed, that's extortion. Very same incident; very different crime.

If a man murders his ex-wife for leaving him, that's murder. If a woman is murdered because she is gay, that's a hate crime.

When mobs were lynching blacks, no one talked about a rise in the murder rate. Instead, the discussions were about hatred and racism.

In sum: Different crimes. Different laws.

May 18, 2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 18, 2007 10:27 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "Laws should be applied equally not parcelled out to protect certain groups more than others.".

And that being the case gays deserve the same hate crimes protection that Christians have had for 40 years. No surprise Christians like you never pushed for repeal of the existing hate crimes and don't talk about repealing it when it comes time to add gays to it, you only complain about the addition of gays.
Yes, Andrew B. you're right. I was just pointing out the disingenousness of Anonymous's BS.

May 18, 2007 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon

Oh, anon- we never which one of you crazies it is but one week you are complaining that Christianity is under attack and people should boycott Walmart because their employees say Happy Holidays. Oh, my goodness-when your religion is defined by commerce and shopping malls!! And Johnny G claims he could be arrested for reading certain bible verses in church on Sunday. You throw out silly things that don't affect anyone and things that have no basis in truth to deny the reality of what happens to others who are really persecuted. And I think if a kid comes up to another kid and says my church says you will burn in tell kid no. 1 waht to dowith him/herself. Personally I think kids who use religion as a front for hatred and bigotry(and telling other people how bad they are- so HTT) are more likely to end up in the hell I don't believe in. We see and hear the hatred and fear in your writings and your voices. I wonder where you will end up - with your certain conviction that you are right and bound for heaven. If I was really totally righteous(but unlike you, I am just not there yet) I would pray for you to grow in understanding and love of others.

May 19, 2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Oh, anon- we never which one of you crazies it is"

Is this a response to something particular or just a general nervous breakdown?

May 20, 2007 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a response to something particular or just a general nervous breakdown?

Anonymous, May 20, 2007 8:50 AM

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:8

Is this how you keep the Sabbath holy?

May 20, 2007 10:19 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Sunday's just another day anonymous, nothing special about it.

May 20, 2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Well, if we are talking about mental issues here- anon seems to answer anon- and for all the rest of us know- it is just the same anon's multiple(but oh so similar) personalities talking to each other on the blog. And yes, I see things anon(s) has written that do not seem like the writing of a normal person.

Andrea

May 20, 2007 7:52 PM  

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