The lies just never stop. I just finished reading the Letters to the Editor at the S.F. Chronicle and here is a message that could have been written by Randy Thomas at Exodus. It is the same, tired old lie that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of our justice system. I’ve written a response, which I’ve tacked on below. First the letter:
Stop all hate crime
Editor — It’s not often that I agree with President Bush. But a veto of the proposed federal hate crime law now before Congress would be the right thing to do.
The problem with the law is that it makes one victim’s life more valuable than another’s. If a gay person is murdered because the killer hates gays, the penalty would be more severe than it would be for a killer who murders someone in a robbery. That makes the gay person’s life more valuable than that of the robbery victim. That is just plain wrong.
The main reason why so many people are upset about this newer version of the Hate Crime Legislation is because it will include gays and lesbians, pure and simple. Thus there have been many lies and misunderstandings regarding the proposed Hate Crime legislation. Some anti-gay groups claim it punishes thoughts, which is a total lie and all it takes is five minutes to read the proposed legislation to see that it only punishes violent actions based on hatred—not violent speech based on hatred. Another lie is that it would make the life of a gay person more valuable than someone else (Charles Amundson, Stop all hate crime—May 8, 2007). Our system is based on motivation, which is why we have 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder and so on. The life of a person who is killed by someone who planned out the murder is not more valuable than someone who is killed accidentally. But the penalties for these two crimes are different. The same goes for hate crimes. Crime motivated by hatred against a religion, against a race, or against a sexual orientation is not based on who is more valuable. To say this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the justice system.
Maybe this time it will make it into the paper..