Senate leadership has abandoned, at least for now, attempts to fast forward the federal hate bill to vote in the Senate as an amendment. A hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT, Thursday, June 25. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, who recently came out strongly in favor of the hate bill, is the only witness yet listed at the SJC's website (http://judiciary.senate.gov/).
KENNEDY ABANDONS HATE BILL AMENDMENT! SENATE JUDICIARY WILL HOLD HEARINGS By Rev. Ted Pike 18 June 09
Dropping the plan to smuggle the bill through is a positive, but Pike points out that the Senate Judiciary Republicans did a feeble job of opposing this legislation in the last Congress. He supplies their contact details.
In an interesting development, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has denounced the legislation
While the title of MSHCPA suggests that it will apply only to ”hate crimes,” the actual criminal prohibitions contained in it do not require that the defendant be inspired by hatred or ill will in order to convict. It is sufficient if he acts ”because of” someone’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Consider:
*Rapists are seldom indifferent to the gender of their victims. They are virtually always chosen ”because of” their gender...
One of the members of the Commission has posted the letter on National Review’s blog The Corner. This appears to be NRO's only recent coverage of the issue. Unsurprisingly, the Neoconservatives over there aren’t interested.
The Left has responded to the prospect of being denied the promised privileges with screams of rage, sometimes revealing useful information (see the end of Who Could Vote for Hate? Why, the Fundamentalists and the GOP Right Wing, of Course. By Christine Bowman BuzzFlash.com 06/18/09)
Generally MSM coverage remains extremely slight. A measure of the situation is that one of the best discussions Google turns up is from The Edmond Sun from Oklahoma: Edmond pastor rallies faithful Mark Schlachtenhaufen June 12 2009
Paul Blair, pastor of Edmond’s Fairview Baptist Church, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, said he has heard stories about how hate crime legislation has turned some speech into ”thought crimes” in other countries where it has been implemented.
Blair cites the case of Swedish pastor Ake Green who was sentenced to one month in jail for showing ”disrespect” against homosexuals by preaching a Bible-based sermon about homosexuality.
He also cites the case of a Canadian pastor who wrote a letter to the editor denouncing homosexuality as immoral and dangerous, calling into question gay rights curricula permeating the province’s educational system.
In 2008, the pastor, Stephen Boissoin, was found guilty by a provincial panel of having exposed homosexuals to ”hatred and contempt” by publishing a letter to the editor warning against the dangers to the social order of homosexual activism.
The pastor was banned for life from preaching sermons critical of homosexuality, ordered to pay $7,000 in fines and commanded to personally apologize by public statement in the local newspaper
The stakes here are extremely high. If the bill - which as Buzzflash.com puts it
would provide for grants to help state and local communities combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers or assist in investigations and prosecutions
passes, we can expect a surge of activity by ambitious fashion-conscious law enforcement officials which will soon transform the thing into a monstrous engine of political repression. If it fails, it will, like the defeats of the Bush Amnesty efforts, be an immense grass roots triumph and a possibly lethal blow to the reputation of the Obama Congress.
As I asked yesterday, where are NumbersUSA, FAIR and CIS? Do they want the Immigration debate shut down?