Recently the House of Representatives passed a measure that would expand the Hate Crimes Act to include crimes committed against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.
Soon the Matthew Shepard Act will be voted on in the Senate. Check this out:
Guess who is threatening to veto the bill if it passes? Never mind. Sorry. No guessing required. And what is the rationale that our reverend leader offers for his stated intentions regarding this bill? That such a bill would restrict first amendment rights of people opposed to the above mentioned lifestyles.
And who is it that likes to rail against gays? Why, it's the religious right, of course. And who do you think donated more money to Bush's '04 campaign? Far-right Christian organizations or GLBT advocacy groups?
So basically all those Christian leaders who are constantly bashing gays are afraid they won't be allowed to bash gays anymore. There are a lot of ways I could react to this, but I will try stay on task by saying that this is simply not the case. Though gay bashing is tantamount to bashing anyone who is born black or with blue eyes or with curly hair, our first amendment rights shall not be trampled upon. Fear not, James Dobson! Don't worry, Pat Robertson! Put your mind at rest, Fred Phelps! Gay bashers will have free license to keep bashin' away.
The aim here is not to shut people up, but to eliminate crimes that are committed based on one's sexual orientation. We're trying to make sure that no more 21 year old boys are tortured and left to die on a fence in the middle of nowhere, as happened to Matthew Shepard in 1998, all because he was gay.
So, McBone urges all of you to please, please click here to sign the Human Right Campaign's letter to the senate. It only takes a minute and could help make a law out of this common-sense bill.
PS. As scripted, Bush vetoed a bill this week that would have expanded research on embryonic stem cells.