“I have personally been a victim of hate speech because of who I love. All it will take is a couple of people drinking beer on a Saturday night and deciding they want to ‘kill a queer.’…This is obviously a very personal issue with me. When I made my decision to run, the first thing my mother said was that she was concerned about my safety”
— Alabama’s first (and only) openly gay state representative Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), speaking on behalf of a bill that was killed in a procedural vote before it could go to floor debate. The measure would have added sexual orientation to the state’s existing hate crimes law.
In a state that is incredibly hostile to LGBT rights, the fact that the vote to prevent a floor debate on the bill sponsored by Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) was close, 45-43. (NBC15):
Most of the opposition came from Republicans, who said the legislation was not needed because it’s already a crime to assault or kill someone, regardless of the reason.
“We don’t believe in trying to get into the head of a criminal and figure out why he committed a crime,” said House Minority Leader Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn. “It’s a crime to target any person, regardless of whether they are gay or straight or have green eyes or blue eyes.”
Again, does Hubbard and the rest of those opposed to this bill want to repeal the state’s existing hate crimes law that protects race, religion and gender — or are do they simply believe that LGBT citizens deserve less protection than those other groups?
Kathy @ Birmingham Blues has been covering this. See her posts:
* This Week in the House
* Update on AL Hate Crime Amendment
* Alabama House Will Consider Adding Sexual Orientation to Current Hate Crime Law