hate crimes, homophobia, homosexual, gay, mormon, christian, legislation, beetlebabee, fred, phelps,
One of the oddest arguments against the new hate crime bill goes like this:
If a gay man slaps me, it’s a misdemeanor, maybe a fine. Under this law as proposed, if I slap him back, it’s a felony hate crime.
Understanding the law fail.
First of all, no, defending yourself from a physical attack is not a crime. One is allowed to engage in activities normally defined as crimes (i.e., slapping, punching, kicking, shooting) in the furtherance of self defense. In other words, if someone physically attacks me, I am allowed to physically attack them in order to make them stop. This has nothing to do with hate crimes.
Secondly, the author of this little rant is a Mormon, which means she is already protected under existing hate crime legislation. That's right, kids, hate crime legislation is nothing new. Currently, hate crime legislation protects people based on religion, race and country of origin. What we're debating now is adding sexual orientation and sex to the protections. So, people like our Mormon friend are essentially arguing that they want to have protection under the law that they don't want to share with homosexuals. (I don't see Beetlebabee arguing for dismantling existing hate crime legislation.)
Thirdly, was she planning on slapping people? Slapping people is against the law. If you slap people, you may be arrested. To whinge that you may get more punishment than you bargained for is a little . . . odd. "Not that I would shoot people, but if I do shoot people, I don't want to spend more than 15 years in jail. Adding an extra 9 years to my sentence would be completely unjust." Umm . . . what?
Fourthly, this is a complete misunderstanding of the point of hate crimes legislation. Beetlebabee is a Mormon. She is currently protected under hate crimes legislation. If the hypothetical gay man slapped* her because he finds her personally objectionable (who doesn't?), she's right, no hate crime. If, on the other hand, our hypothetical gay man slapped her for the purposes of terrorizing all Mormons, then yes, that is a hate crime. As the law stands, however, if Beetlebabee slaps the hypothetical gay man in order to terrorize all gay men, there is no hate crime. She would not receive the same punishment as he would in the same circumstance.
Lastly- Fred Phelps.
*yes, i know, slapping is not a hate crime whatever the reason, but i'd prefer not to discuss even hypothetical murders.