This Homosexual Urban Legend is used by homosexuals to lobby for state and federal hate crime laws that provide enhanced penalties for crimes committed against homosexuals. These laws, in effect, make heterosexuals second class citizens under the law because they are not a protected class. A person who assaults a homosexual will receive a stiffer penalty than a person who assaults a heterosexual for the same crime.
FBI statistics show that there are actually very few “hate crimes” committed against homosexuals in the United States. Yet homosexuals claim they need federal legislation passed to protect them from what they maintain is an epidemic of hate against them.
Crime in the United States, 1997 (FBI crime statistics), for example, shows that so-called “hate crimes” constitute an extremely small percentage of overall crime. According to the FBI, in 1997:
- Out of 20,000 murders, nine were considered hate crimes.
- Out of every 20,000 rapes, 2 were hate crimes.
- Out of every 20,000 aggravated assaults, 24 were hate crimes.
In fact, the majority of these few hate crimes are not violent at all, but are listed as “simple assault” or “intimidation.” A person who “name calls” another person is considered to have committed a hate crime because his “victim” may feel “intimidated.” Name calling should not be a federal crime, but it is under many hate crime laws.
In 1998, there were 16,914 murders committed. Of those, 13 were considered hate crimes. The victims were all men, as were their killers. Four of these murders were committed against homosexuals. So out of 16,914 murders in 1998, only four were considered to be hate crimes directed against homosexuals.
The latest hate crime statistics available are from 1999
According to the FBI, in 1999 there were only 1,317 hate crimes directed against homosexuals and many of these were simple assault or intimidation. “Name-calling” rates equally with an assault in hate crime statistics.
Investigative reporter Fred Dickey, writing in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, October 22, 2000, describes the reality of hate crimes in “The Perversion of Hate: Laws Against Hate Crimes Are An Idea Gone Sour. Prosecutors Apply Them Unfairly and the List of ‘Special Victims’ Keeps Growing.” According to Dickey, news reports in 1999 in Los Angeles screamed that the city’s hate crimes had risen by 11.7% from 1998. The implication was that the city was experiencing an epidemic of hate crimes. But Dickey points out that in Los Angeles County, an area with 10 million people, there were only 859 hate crimes committed. Most of these were gang related and only 98 resulted in felony charges. This is hardly an epidemic.
Hate Crime Laws Criminalize Thoughts and Feelings
The effort to create a new category of crime, the so-called hate crime, is actually an effort to punish individuals who stray from the current politically correct orthodoxy.
Typically, hate crime laws have prohibitions against “intimidating” or “coercing” an individual. This could be as simple a thing as quoting the Bible to a homosexual co-worker or leaving a tract about sexual orientation on his desk. The Wall Street Journal recently decried the tyranny of hate crime laws. As the Journal observed in “The Hate Politics,”
Like all restrictions on free speech, bans of “racist” or “homophobic” expression rests on a slippery slope. Some Christian denominations believe that homosexuality is a sin. Are their clerics to be silenced by law because this view is unacceptable? … We aren’t there yet. But when people can be given additional time in jail for what they were thinking while committing a crime we are approaching rule by a thought police. A good many people, even some supporters of hate-crime legislation, might find that a hateful outcome.
Political scientist Ronald J. Pestritto, a professor at St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania and an Adjunct Fellow with the Claremont Institute has observed that hate crime legislation is a political fad that “seeks to criminalize all feelings, thoughts, or attitudes that run contrary to the trends of the day.”
Writing in “The Ideology of Hate Crimes,” Pestritto says hate crime laws assume that “…there are more serious crimes out there than murder, or the taking of human life.”
The advocates of hate crime laws believe that “crimes motivated by animus toward homosexuals must be considered the most hateful of all. Accordingly, we see that anti-homosexual murder is considered worse than other kinds of murder, yet beating another human being unconscious with a brick and dancing with glee about it, as several Los Angeles rioters did live on television a few years ago, is hardly considered a crime at all since it was motivated by rage over the racist Rodney King trial verdict.”
James B. Jacobs and Kimberly Potter, writing in Hate Crimes: Criminal Law & Identity Politics, note that hate crime laws are actually aimed at criminalizing a person’s personal opinions and beliefs. The authors note that the term “hate crime” is really not about hate at all, but about a person’s beliefs about right and wrong.
According to Jacobs and Potter, “By linking hate speech prohibitions to generic criminal law, many well-meaning advocacy groups and politicians seek to shake a fist at the kind of ideas, opinions, and degenerate personalities that ‘right-thinking’ people abhor. But we must consider whether punishing crimes motivated by politically unpopular beliefs more severely than crimes motivated by other factors itself violates our First Amendment traditions.”
Daniel E. Troy, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary in August of 1999 against proposed hate crime legislation. Troy told the committee that the fastest way for a group to achieve political power and status is to declare itself to be a victim. Troy writes: “Status as a disfavored group paves the way for special protections and special handouts. Thus, hate crimes legislation makes crimes into political footballs, further polarizing America on the basis of group and identity politics.” Troy believes that special interest groups want to be proclaimed as victims so they can have special laws, special handouts, and special treatment. Consider the highly publicized murder of homosexual college student Matthew Shepard. The killers, Russell A. Henderson and Aaron J. McKinney have already been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Should extra penalties be applied because of what Henderson and McKinney thought when they were killing Shepard? No one brutally murders another person out of love. Every violent murder is hate-motivated.
As National Journal editor Michael Kelly observed in a Washington Post column in October of 1998, what Henderson and McKinney did was a terrible thing, but “would it have been less terrible if Shepard had not been gay? If Henderson and McKinney beat Shepard to death because they hated him personally, not as a member of a group, should the law treat them more lightly? Yes, say hate-crime laws.”
Kelly rightly observes that, “Hate crime laws require the state to treat one physical assault differently from the way it would treat another-solely because the state has decided that one motivation for assaulting a person is more heinous than another.”
U.S. News & World Report columnist John Leo agrees. In a 1998 column, Leo noted that hate crime laws are ostensibly created to provide special protections for minority groups. Yet this violates the principle of equality under the law. Leo says, “Equal protection should mean one law for all, pursued evenhandedly regardless of our differences, not separate laws invented because of them.”
Hate crime laws are frequently expanded to include so-called “hate speech” or actions that might be perceived by a person to be hateful. This could include sharing one’s faith in the office with a homosexual co-worker or a child writing a report in school that is critical of homosexual behavior. Hate crime laws should not protect a deviant sexual behavior that many Americans oppose.
Current hate crime laws that provide special rights for homosexuals should be repealed and any new hate crime legislation should be defeated!
Exposed: Epidemic of Homosexual Hate Crimes?
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Exposed: Sexual Orientation- Fixed Or Changeable?
Exposed: Do Homosexuals Really Want The Right To Marry?