Hate crime legislation has been successfully passed in some form in almost every state since the 1980’s, with the exception of South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Arkansas, and Wyoming. Hate crimes are defined as any crime assaulting, intimidating, or threatening a person based on their age, sex, race, religion, color, sexual identity, or national origin. A crime designated a hate crime carries harsher penalties for the perpetrator(s). In 2016, Louisiana was the first state to add a profession to the list, with police officers and firefighters receiving protection under the hate crime statutes.
The hold-out states have mostly attempted to pass the same legislation, but they have been thwarted by religious fundamentalists. As long as the statute protects LGBTQ individuals, Christian Conservatives see the law as part of a larger “homosexual agenda”. Seriously. I am not joking. They are fine protecting people based on every other reason listed, but the gay people are out trying to get special dispensation to get themselves written into the law so they can argue for more protections. Apparently this would open the eighth seal in Revelations or something close to it.
The shocker is who is behind stopping these bills. (I’m kidding; it’s not surprising at all.) Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council and James Dobson and Focus on the Family. I love how these groups always have the word “family” in them. It’s like they want you to picture this Hallmark Greeting Card Perfect Family when you say their names…no? Yeah, I gag and want to vomit, too. What about their agenda? They are the only people who knock on my door and interrupt my dinner. Jesus.
Now read this excerpt from Pro Publica, because it is illuminating:
The oldest and most prominent is Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based ministry founded by James Dobson. The sprawling organization, which produces a vast array of media on biblical topics and funds anti-abortion counseling centers for pregnant women, operated on a budget of nearly $90 million in 2013, the last year for which full tax records are available.
Focus on the Family portrays hate crimes laws as part of a plot to marginalize Christians and ban them “from the public arena.”
Dobson’s ministry helped to spawn the Alliance Defending Freedom, a network of fundamentalist Christian lawyers who have argued that the laws infringe on religion while “creating additional legal protections for those engaged in homosexual behavior that are not available to everyone else.”
But it is the FRC, a third offshoot based in Washington, D.C., that has emerged as perhaps the most effective foe of hate crimes legislation.
When Congress took up the issue in 1999, an FRC leader told the Senate Judiciary Committee that revising the federal code to cover hate crimes could lead to the prosecution of “people who merely oppose homosexual activism.” Ten years later, as Congress debated the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the FRC decried the act as a “thought crimes” bill.
Since then, the “thought crime” claim has become a common talking point in conservative Christian circles and the FRC’s regional chapters have sought to halt hate crimes legislation at the state level.
There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t even know where to start. But I’ll take a few. First, how the living hell is this banning Christians? Are they out committing crimes against LGBTQ? Did he just admit something? Secondly, these laws are available to an entire list of people, including based on sex and race (which everyone has). So that’s just goddamn stupid. Lastly, when you include all those groups, how is this homosexual activism? Did these people go to Trump University? Or the Betsy DeVos School of Buying a Job?
Fundagelicals make no sense, then they wonder why their numbers are dropping and dropping. Maybe they should go back and read some of what they say. They embarrass themselves and everyone associated with them. God I hate this stupid shit.