CommunityPam's House Blend

Hate Crimes Prevention Act passes, GOP shows its ass

[Been out for a short while with the on-the-mend birthday gal today; she’s now home resting comfortably.]

Here’s the breakdown of the House vote on the passage of the Hate Crimes Bill (H.R. 1592), which the Chimperor threatens to veto.

Democratic: Yes: 212 No: 14
Republican: Yes: 25 No: 166
Not voting: Dems: 6, Republicans: 10 (Tom Tancredo and Denny Hastert sat this one out)
Total: Yes: 237 No: 180

Watch Barney Frank as the bill passes:

Minnesota’s Keith Ellison:


My question is this, why do you want to protect thugs and hate mongers? Why don’t you want to stand with the civilized community and say hate is wrong and we must stop.”

My favorite part of this drama, however, was the way the GOP hate agenda was revealed by Steny Hoyer and John Conyers.  They called the Republicans on their railing that he bill didn’t include members of the military or senior citizens in its language. When Conyers said OK we’ll add them, then the GOP balked AND stopped the Democrats from adding them to the bill. Busted. It’s all about hatred against LGBT citizens. Bring it on. (John at Americablog has the video.)

Now for the dirty work. Joe.My.God has the list of Dems who voted against this bill. If you are in the districts of these people, think hard about whether you want to cast a vote for these people in 2008.

AlabamaBud Cramer
ArkansasMarion Berry, Mike Ross
IndianaJoe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth
LouisianaCharlie Melancon
MinnesotaCollin Peterson
MississippiGene Taylor
North CarolinaMike McIntyre, Heath Shuler [Do you know how many gay folks in Asheville cast a vote for Shuler in order to unseat the vile homobigot Charles Taylor in 2004? Jesus. Well, look at what the cat dragged in; another anti-gay Dem. BTW, my representative, David Price, voted yes.]
OklahomaDan Boren
PennsylvaniaChristopher Carney
TennesseeBart Gordon, Lincoln Davis.

365gay has a 50-state breakdown.

Comments by supporters of the bill as well as anti-gay organizations about the passage are after the flip.HRC:

“This is a historic day that moves all Americans closer to safety from the scourge of hate violence,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Today, legislators sided with the 73 percent of the American people who support the expansion of hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The Human Rights Campaign thanks Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and the entire House leadership, whose dedication made this vote a success. We also commend the bipartisan coalition of leaders who co-sponsored and supported the bill for so long, including Representatives Baldwin, Bono, Frank, Nadler, Ros-Lehtinen and Shays,” added Solmonese.

“I am personally grateful to the United States House for recognizing the grave reality of hate crimes in America,” said Judy Shepard, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

ACLU:

For the first time, the ACLU was able to announce its full support for hate crimes legislation. In the past, the organization has not been able to support hate crime bills because they were written in a way that threatened constitutionally protected speech. But the legislation introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) shows that it is possible to protect targets of hate crimes without jeopardizing free speech or association rights.

“Prosecuting violent hate crimes is critically important. This bill will also protect due process and the Constitution, especially our First Amendment rights to speak freely and associate with whom we’d like,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “When a person inflicts violence based on hate, it is important that they be punished. But defendants must have a fair trial, and should not be judged based on what they say and the company they keep, unless specifically related to the crime. While we may disagree with some people’s speech, it must be protected or all of our speech is at risk. “

National Stonewall Democrats:

“By issuing a premature veto threat, President Bush fails to understand that he is not the sole decider regarding the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act,” said Jo Wyrick, NSD Executive Director. “Once again, the majority of American oppose the position of the President, and that is why we are urging the Senate Leadership to quickly move on this important legislation. We need Senate Democrats to step up before President Bush can step down.”

PFLAG:

“PFLAG applauds the House for meeting our challenge to protect all Americans, especially our children,” said John Cepek, National President of PFLAG. “American families are concerned. Our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children of all ages deserve laws that protect them. With this vote, Congress is sending a message that when it comes to stopping hate-motivated crimes, everyone is included.”

“Clearly, the next step is that the Senate must also accept the challenge to protect our loved ones,” said Jody M. Huckaby, PFLAG’s executive director. “We hope that Senators, too, will rise to challenge by passing this historic expansion of civil rights.”

OK. Let’s get to the homobigot commentary.

Here’s the bible-beater news organization, OneNewsNow – check out the first unhinged inaccurate paragraph!

House passes ‘thought crimes’ bill 237 to 180. The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would punish offenders more severely if a criminal assault or murder could be proven to have been motivated by the attackers alleged hatred for the victim because of the victim’s “sexual orientation,” though that term is not defined in the legislation.

And here are the usual suspects…

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

“Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special categories of victims is unconstitutional,” said Tony Perkins, FRC president. “The actions of a majority of the House today undermine the promise of equal protection under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

“This legislation creates second-class victims and a legal system of ‘separate and unequal,'” he added.

Daddy Dobson:

Focus on the Family Action Founder James C. Dobson, Ph.D., today issued the following
statement in response to President Bush’s pledge to veto H.R. 1592, the Hate Crimes Act, if it reaches his desk:

“We applaud the president’s courage in standing up for the Constitution and the principle of equal protection under the law. The American justice system should never create second-class victims, and it is a first-class act of wisdom and fairness for the president to pledge to veto this unnecessary bill.”

A twisted bookend to this related to Bush — Jon Perr at Perrspectives, dug up something Bush said during a debate in the 2000 election. He spoke about hate crimes regarding the murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas — and revealed his bloodlust all in one statement.

On Thursday, the White House confirmed that President Bush will veto Congressional hate crime legislation extending protected status to victims of attacks based on gender and sexual orientation.  The announcement comes as no surprise.  After all, it was his bizarre discussion of hate crimes that almost derailed the election of candidate George W. Bush in 2000.

During his second debate against Al Gore in October 2000, Bush was asked about his position on hate crimes laws in the wake of the brutal dragging death of African-American James Byrd in his home state of Texas.  His disturbing response – accompanied by a sickening grin – produced gasps among the audience:

“The three men who murdered James Byrd, guess what’s going to happen to them? They’re going to be put to death. A jury found them guilty. It’s going to be hard to punish them any worse after they get put to death.

In this case when you murder somebody it’s hate, Jim. The crime is hate. And they got the ultimate punishment. I’m not exactly sure how you enhance the penalty any more than the death penalty.”

Go read the rest. I can’t wait until this man is out of office.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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