Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Facts about hate crimes bill

On Crosswalk.com, Michael Craven is described as "Author, Speaker, Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture". His article, however, doesn't seem very Christian to me.

He writes,
Today, legislators in the House of Representatives are pushing for a “discharge petition” to force a vote on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2001, (LLEHCPA), H.R. 1343, another federal Hate Crimes bill that would add “sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability” to current hate crimes law. Introduced by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), this one has more than 100 cosponsors. LLEHCPA would authorize the Justice Department to conduct local law enforcement hate crimes training, and to conduct expanded hate crimes investigations and prosecutions.
So, let's start with some simple housekeeping: I think he has made some errors here. HR 1343 is the "Health Centers Renewal Act of 2007", which has nothing to do with hate crimes. And, I don't think a current bill in the House of Representatives would be titled with "2001". The House web site doens't list a bill by that title, but it does list HR 1592, "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007", with those sponsors Mr. Craven lists, so I'm going to operate under the belief that Mr. Craven has somehow got the numbers mixed up.

He continues,
This legislation will ban alleged discrimination based on sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived, as well as “gender,” which include the categories of transgender, cross-dresser, or transvestite.
Uh, no. It bans violent crimes. You can't ban alleged anything, only actual crimes. But that's not the half of it. Mr. Craven claims,
The purpose of “hate crimes” legislation, in this instance, is to apply this preemptive aspect mentioned above, in order to render any speech opposing the legitimacy and promotion of homosexuality illegal, because such speech or even expressed thoughts constitute “hate.” Thus it inhibits the rights of those who resist the imposition of homosexual morality to disagree and brings the power of the state to bear on those who do.
Of course, that's 100% factually false in every way. First of all, as Mr. Craven himself points out in the very same article, banning speech in the US is unconstitutional, so a law can't do that. Further, the actual text of HR 1592 very clearly spells out that it is only applicable to cases of violent crime:
`Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

`(a) In General-
`(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law , willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person--
`(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
`(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--
`(i) death results from the offense; or
`(ii) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law , in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of any person--
`(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
`(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--
`(I) death results from the offense; or
`(II) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

So, first of all, it's my opinion that Mr. Craven is bearing false witness about the actual text and purpose of the bill. Further, I question whether a real Christian would be attempting to claim that a bill with the exclusive purpose of prohibiting extremely violent crimes would violate the rights of those who "resist the imposition of homosexual morality". What sort of resistance is Mr. Craven trying to protect, anyway? Can he seriously claim that Christians should want the right to use firearms and incendiary devices against gay people? But apparently that's exactly what he's trying to get you to defend, since he writes,
I urge you to contact your representatives today and voice your opposition to this destructive legislation.
It's destructive to ban violent crimes against gay people? I think Mr. Craven has a very un-christian agenda.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Suffer for the rich

George Bush wants to cut the taxes of the family who own Walmart by 32.7 Billion Dollars. The owners of Mars candy corporation, which recently ran an anti-gay advertising campaign, are in line for an 11.7 Billion Dollar tax break from Bush as well.

How does he plan to make up for this, you may ask? Well, for a start, he plans to cut the budget of Medicaid by 28 Billion Dollars. Other programs he plans to cut or eliminate include education, grants for community service, heating assistance for the poor, and public television.

So, when you're old and sick and can't afford health care, take comfort in the knowledge that your suffering helped buy 5 or 10 members of the Walton family bigger mansions, yachts, and personal jets, and helped keep gay people the most hated minority in America.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Media bigotry

I ran into an odious article called "GAYS: THE YET IS WORST TO COME (REDUX)", by Norman Liebmann, through Google News.

The author begins by writing about Tim Hardaway, the NBA player who gave an interview in which he announced to the nation his hatred of gay people:
Hardaway is learning in today’s America you’re not allowed to dislike anyone who falls under the protective aegis of the ACLU’s list of acceptable genders, hues, or its virtual Baskin Robbins list of ethnic flavors.

Of course, this is blatantly false: Mr. Hardway remains quite healthy after his outburst, nobody has tried to kill him, nobody has assaulted him, nobody has burned a cross on his lawn. So, clearly he continues to live a life of privilege, in sharp contrast to most of the people he denounced.

It is every American’s privilege to decide for himself who to like or not to like. If the measure for likeability is Barney Frank, anyone who doesn’t endorse his sexual warp can only be cataloged as morally impeccable. Being black, something other was expected of Tim – but despite that, Hardaway learned the one uncompromising ethic of the political left: Everyone has a right to his opinion – as long as he doesn’t express it.

Again, Mr. Liebmann's remarks are belied by the fact that Mr. Hardaway is just fine after his outburst. In contrast, how long would the average gay person in the south stay employed if they publically announced they're gay? How long would they live if they went for a walk down the street wearing an "I'm gay" t-shirt?

And yes, it is every American's privilege to decide who to like or not to like. That applies to Mr. Hardaway, so I support his right to hate me. It is also the right of the NBA to decide they don't like him, and they're under no obligation to have him represent them at their functions. It is also the right of Mr. Hardaway's advertising sponsors to decide they don't like him, and that he doesn't represent their values, and as such they don't have to choose to hire him for future advertising. This is all the same right of association granted by the constitution. Why is it that it seems that Mr. Liebmann feels that Mr. Hardaway's right to feel as he feels about gay people should override everyone else's rights to feel as they feel about Mr. Hardaway?

Homosexuality is spreading across this nation like a pox.

Oh, we could only wish.

The poor, poor downtrodden heterosexuals: they make up only 90+% of the population, and about 99.5% of the legislature and 100% of the president, vice president, and supreme court. They must feel so disenfranchised by these terribly low percentages.

Homosexuals no longer regard America as our country, but their country - The United States of Gay - and they view heterosexuals as an occupying army.

That's ridiculous on the face of it: we're a minority and we know it. That should be obvious to all observers, or we wouldn't have anything to fight for, we'd be running the place already.

Homosexuals do not want equality.

We want the special pink triangle parking spaces at the supermarket.

In his time, Michelangelo got as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield and Walt Whitman would be writing cuddlesome verses for Hallmark cards. When looking for someone to smarten up the Sistine Chapel, Pope Julius II probably said, “Get some homo to do it. Interior decorating is their bag.” It seemed a tall order to get Michelangelo up to the ceiling until they realized all you had to do is touch him in the just right place.

I believe this illustrates what sort of person Mr. Liebmann is.

Once arguably the nation’s most beautiful city, the homeless and the prurient have made San Francisco into Sodom-on-the-Sea, Bangkok-by-the-Bay, Haiti on a Hilltop, and Disneyland for Perverts.

What, no Provincetown?

Put it this way - San Francisco is a charming city, but no heterosexual can get a fair trial there.
That's strange, given that the vast majority of the population there is heterosexual. Why is it that so many heterosexual people would choose to live there if they would be second class citizens by doing so?

One couple celebrated their coming out of the closet by adopting a baby and naming it Armoire. Isn’t that precious?

Not according to the census bureau they didn't.

Increased homosexual activism has made most Americans nostalgic for the time when a “gay bar” was just a five-cent candy eaten by choreographers.

I thought most Americans were too busy trying to take care of their families and figure out how to pay for the bills to concern themselves much with political activists.

God, in His Infinite Wisdom, ordained one gender to a customer.

Except for the ones where he changed his mind and made them born as hermaphrodites, apparently.

Nature has thrown San Francisco more genetic knuckleballs then it did the Galapagos Islands.

I hear San Francisco smells better.

In San Francisco, it is not uncommon to hear a parent say, “Never mind the diapers, dear, it’s time to change the baby’s sex”.

Again, I think this shows what kind of person Mr. Liebmann is, and how truthful, given that it was worldwide news when a german 12 year old went for gender reassignment surgery.

Hence sex change surgery in the Bay area is a thriving business.

Ask any transsexual, and they'll tell you how stunningly hard it is to make it through the screening process to actually get to surgery. Consequently, hospitals in the US aren't going about making big profits on gender reassignment surgery. Hospitals that do it for profit do so in other countries where the screening process is dramatically less stringent, like Thailand.

In the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military, chances are your drill instructor will be Tommy Tune.

I seriously doubt it: I doubt many people in the military could handle his practice regimen.

Gays have a puerile need to call attention to themselves. Their Gay Pride Parade suggests what must have been Dorothy’s reaction to seeing Munchkins, “Look Toto, they all look like tiny Elton Johns. They must have come out of the closet through the keyhole”.

I advise Mr. Liebmann to be careful in considering the consequences of his words: the last time someone gave us a hard time about Judy, it resulted in Stonewall and the entire contemporary gay rights movement.

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom, determined that The United States Constitution is immaterial, but an illegal cardboard wedding certificate is binding.

The United States Constitution protects people's right to be gay, and says nothing whatsoever to prohibit any consenting adults from marrying.

The current marital deterioration in San Francisco tends to corroborate a growing conclusion throughout the country, that in the future, the prime cause of homosexual divorce will not be cruelty - but absurdity.

I guess we can live with that, since our divorce rate is 1/3 that of heterosexuals.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rights radicalism

I have long considered it proof of the superiority of the gay rights movement over our opponents that while bigots regularly attack and occasionally murder gay people, the most prominent bigots of the anti-gay leadership seem to have little to no fear of us.

I suppose it was inevitible that an anti-gay leading bigot is now claiming that his life is in danger from gay people. It had to happen sooner or later, either from reality or from them manufacturing it so they can claim the false martyrdom that they're so fond of.

I was watching a PBS documentary a few nights ago which explained that in the 60's, african-americans were somewhat divided between those who felt that slow and steady progress toward societal acceptance was the right way, both morally and tactically, to win their civil rights, and those who believed that they had suffered long enough and that it was time to demand their rights immediately and settle for nothing less. Dr. King was a leader among the latter, and channeled the movement almost entirely into peaceful means of standing up against the oppresive might of a bigoted culture.

I see the parallels today. The gay community, after 30 years of slow acceptance, of officially "demanding" our rights while in practice accepting a long series of small steps, has decided to go for the brass ring: marriage. Certainly I understand: I've felt for 20 years or so that if I meet Mr. Right, I will accept a "civil union" over my dead body, and that I will never accept second class citizenship in my own nation. It seems to me to be the sign, though, that the gay community has reached its breaking point: gay people have become sufficiently self-empowered that we are no longer willing to accept the shackles of bigotry, and as a community we are beginning to stand up an refuse to do so.

My fear is that while culture is in some ways rushing to embrace us, it may not be moving fast enough to reach the end point when we do, and that there may conseqently be a successful backlash against gay rights. I fear the bigotry of America, I fear oppressive laws designed to make gay people's lives difficult or impossible, I fear the re-criminalization of homosexuality, and yes, I fear that the detention camps the Bush administration has been setting up could be turned into concentration camps in which to put us to our deaths.

The hate and bigotry of so-called "conservative" America can no longer be tolerated. It must be opposed to our last breath. We must never, even for a moment, allow the statements of hate and intolerance to stand unopposed, un-denounced, silently accepted. They called for a "cultural war" - it's time they get one.