Additional hate-crime laws won't protect homosexuals

October 21, 1998|By GREGORY KANE

MATTHEW Shepard wasn't even buried a week before the national Liberal Alarmist Machine went into its predictable frenzy. The fatal beating of Shepard was a "hate crime" against gays, they wailed. These hysterical ninnies, ever inclined to kill a cockroach with a bulldozer, howled for federal hate-crime legislation. Then they went further.

They decided to name those they consider accessories to Shepard's murder. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Majority Leader Dick Armey have been singled out. Members of the Family Research Council have been trotted out among the usual suspects.

Trent, Lott and company have committed the unspeakable thought crime of voicing their opinions about homosexuality. They're agin it, proclaiming homosexual conduct sinful and against the very grain of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition.

Imagine that. Religious folks clinging to the notion that there is such a thing as sin. Whatever is this country coming to? There indeed exist Christians who believe that adultery is a sin, as are premarital sex, drug addiction and gambling.

Being against adultery, they would argue, doesn't make them "adultophobes." Their proscriptions against gambling don't make them "gamblophobes." Viewing homosexuality as a sin doesn't make them homophobes. In fact, they would insist, there are devout Christians who have gay family members and treat them with the utmost tolerance and kindness, all the while claiming that homosexuality is sinful conduct.

The Machine is having none of it. Viewing homosexuality as sinful conduct, they insist, encourages, aids and abets gay-bashers. Yessiree, the suspects who beat Shepard to death loaded up on a mess of anti-gay propaganda from Lott, Armey and the Family Research Council and decided to go out and beat a gay guy to death.

There isn't a shred of evidence to suggest that the suspects listen to Lott and Armey on a regular basis, or that they have read the anti-gay ads that the Family Research Council had placed in newspapers nationwide. But there is evidence aplenty that violence against gays comes from the same source as violence against blacks, or whites, or Asians, or Jews, or Hispanics or Native Americans: men and boys in the 14-to-25 age range.

Both the suspects in Shepard's killing are 21, which should surprise no one except those who want to cram federal hate-crime legislation protecting gays down the throats of the nation.

Such a bill, proponents claim, is needed to deter "hate crimes" against gays. Laws do not deter criminals. That's the definition of a criminal: someone who breaks the law. If you break a law, you're clearly not deterred by it.

The suspects in Shepard's slaying have been charged with an assortment of crimes, ranging from robbery to murder. They can get the death penalty if convicted. But if you listen to the members of the Liberal Alarmist Machine, they will tell you that the suspects who weren't deterred by Wyoming's laws against robbery and murder would somehow have stopped dead in their tracks if faced with a state or federal hate-crime law.

Gay-bashing by definition is a crime. We call it felony assault and battery. What extra protections are needed? And why does the beating of a gay or lesbian warrant more punishment than the beating of those of us who are not?

It's all about agenda. The gay agenda has several goals. One is to keep government out of their bedrooms. That's the noble one. The others are suspect. Having told government to butt out of their lives, gay activists then unwisely invite government into them.

"Give us laws prohibiting discrimination against gays in employment and housing," they plead, ignoring how such laws might affect gay landlords and employers who wish to hire only gays. Does that requirement work both ways? Can heterosexuals force gay employers and landlords to hire or rent to them?

"Give us hate-crime laws to protect us," they demand. They know full well such laws won't protect them. But they will demonstrate the political clout gays have. And political clout is important. With it they can accuse a Trent Lott or a Dick Armey of inspiring the killing of a Matthew Shepard, and thus try to intimidate them into muting their comments about homosexuality. What the gay lobby wants more than a federal hate-crime law is for guys like Lott and Armey to shut up.

Pub Date: 10/21/98

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