Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hate crimes legislation passes!!!

And a Republican puts her foot in her mouth - talk about two for two

I know you all have heard by now:


The House this afternoon passed an expanded hate crimes bill that would protect gay victims, and its chief sponsor in the Senate called for prompt final action.

The measure passed 249-175 over the objections of conservatives, the Associated Press reports.

The bill -- named for Matthew Shepard, the gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998 -- is a stronger version of a bill that died two years ago under a veto threat from President Bush.

And this story gets more interesting. In an attempt to speak against the bill, several Republicans made asses of themselves, The big booby prize goes to North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx:

If you didn't vote for this bill -- against this bill and against this rule for anything else, you could vote against it because we are spending additional money. i also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the matthew sheppard bill is named afte a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. it wasn't because he was gay. this -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.

The idea that Matthew Shepard's murder was not an anti-gay crime but a robbery gone wrong is not an old one. The religious right have been batting that lie around ever since ABC's 20/20 featured a report on Shepard's murder a few years ago. For the record, the report only hinted at this idea of the robbery motive, offered no proof, and was highly criticized.

But the most important thing was that it didn't change anything. When ABC's Primetime news program investigated the murder of Medgar Evers, it led to a new trial and the conviction of his murdered, Byron de la Beckwith.

The 20/20 program on Shepard's murder accomplished nothing but bad contributing to factoids by the religious right.

By the way, go here for the truth behind Shepard's murder and yes, he was killed because of his sexual orientation.

Someone should tell Foxx that there is a difference between telling a lie to excite your base and trotting that lie out in the public eye. In the latter case, you usually have to provide proof.

And in other news:

We won't be getting hearing the last from Miss California for a while - It was bound to happen. She will be helping NOM in their anti-gay marriage campaign. Tomorrow, they will unveil a new ad featuring her. Oh boy! Someone please ask her about her junk science citing church.

And I mentioning this last because I want to end this entry with good news:

The state Senate voted Wednesday to move New Hampshire a step closer to becoming the fifth state to allow gay marriage, but made a distinction between religious and civil ceremonies, bringing back an idea the House rejected in March.

The bill, which passed the Senate 13-11, goes to the House, which can agree with the Senate, kill the bill or ask to negotiate something different.

Gov. John Lynch would only see a bill if both chambers agree. Lynch has said marriage is a word that should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman, but he has not specifically said he would veto a gay marriage bill.

Wednesday midday newsbriefs

Updates on hate crimes legislation vote courtesy of Twitter - Bear with me because I'm not sure how this Twitter thing works.

Obama pushes for hate crimes legislation - Amen!

Reading, writing, and requesting notification when a teacher so much as mispronounces Uruguay - Sorry but learning about lgbt families is not the same as sex education and therefore requires no parent notification, no matter what the religious right says.

Rev. Irene Monroe: When queer communities of color are not needed to win marriage rights - Rev. Irene Monroe lays it down again and generates much needed discussion in our community.

Gays have right to attend high school proms - With the dates of our choice - you have better believe it!
Hate Crimes Legislation Vote Today - keep your fingers crossed

Congress will be voting on hate crimes legislation today and hopefully it will pass.

Our friends at the phony news site, One News Now, is already conceding this point.

If it does pass (and hopefully it will), some of the credit has to go to the religious right. Organizations such as the Traditional Values Coalition and the Liberty Counsel are encouraging their supporters to inudate Congress with emails and phone calls speaking against hate crimes legislation.

But their information is not only wrong but alarmingly wrong:

Hate Crimes Bill Protects Cross-Dressers and Pedophiles but Not Veterans or Grandmas

Contact: Liberty Counsel Public Relations Department, 800-671-1776

WASHINGTON, April 28 /Standard Newswire/ -- On Wednesday, April 29, the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on so-called "hate crimes" legislation, which would give "actual or perceived" "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" the same federal protection as race. Last week the House Judiciary Committee refused to exclude pedophiles from the bill's protection. The Committee also refused to include veterans. Moreover, the bill does not include the elderly. H.R. 1913 (Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009) is not about stopping crime but is designed to give "actual or perceived" sexual preference or "gender identity" (which is still classified as a mental disorder) the same legal status as race. The DSM IVR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychologists and psychiatrists to diagnose mental disorders) lists more than 30 "sexual orientations" and "Gender Identity Disorders," including pedophilia. The hate crimes bill does not limit "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" and, thus, includes all these disorders and fetishes. The use of "actual or perceived" includes those with disorders or deviant sexual preferences and those who do not have such disorders or fetishes, so long as it is alleged that the person charged allegedly "thought" the other person had such disorder or fetish.

It's one thing to inudate your representative with emails and phone calls, but it's quite another to do such using bad information. Elected officials are not stupid and just how many of them will be swayed by information that they know to be inaccurate?

I have a feeling that the information put out by the religious right may have the opposite effect, i.e. alienating members of Congress and demonstrating the need for lgbt inclusive hate crimes legislation.

At least I sincerely hope so.