As expected, Loudoun’s Congressman Frank Wolf voted ‘No’ on the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Wolf has consistently voted against this legislation since it was introduced in the 105th Congress. His vote is also unsurprising because (despite his false presentation as a “moderate”) he consistently votes in opposition to the most basic GLBT rights, and consistently with Christianist organizations such as the Family Research Council.
Congressman Wolf hasn’t published a statement on the legislation, but we can easily derive his position from that of his co-haters such as Loudoun’s Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who calls this bill the “Thought Control” bill. Delgaudio’s outlandish and comical language is not really very different from the more mainstream anti-gay spokespeople. Here’s Delgaudio:
This bill, also called the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act,” would grant special rights to homosexuals, cross dressers, and transgender individuals. The bill would enshrine freakish and strange perversions under federal law by adding sexual orientation and bizarre practices to federal hate crimes statutes. Public Advocate has informed its members and the public that you are about to vote on this bill and, if you were in the Senate, how you voted previously. Our group is asking you to vote “no”. This bill is “anti-Christian” and a vote for it is considered an attack on all Christians.
And here is the FRC description:
The enactment of so-called “hate crimes” legislation is a long stated objective of the homosexual agenda. What “hate crimes” legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith….Adding “sexual orientation” to thought crimes legislation gives one set of crime victims a higher level of protection than it gives to people like you and me.
Ok, we can understand why uneducated anti-gays would fall for this. This sort of language is what gives them their identity; but why would our Congressman Wolf, who has a law degree from Georgetown University support this nonsense? He’s now joined the idiocy of fellow Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes, who apparently doesn’t know a thing about the legislation but isn’t shy about spouting off anyway. Unlike Forbes, Wolf must surely be able to comprehend the language of the bill. He knows that a pastor can quote verses from Leviticus as much as he likes.
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Lev 20:13 NIV
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:13 KJV
There, see? We just did it twice. Reciting Bible verses isn’t a crime. It isn’t a physical crime and it isn’t a thought crime. The following verse can be found just 17 verses before Lev 20:13.
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
Lev 19:33-34 NIV
We suspect that Congressman Wolf’s anti-gay backers don’t take that one seriously; Mr. Delgaudio certainly doesn’t. It’s also likely that some of them are gardeners who plant tomatoes, peppers and basil in the same bed, or they may wear cotton-poly blends, or they may think that mules are ok.
My statutes shall ye observe. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with another sort; thou shalt not sow thy field with seed of two sorts; and a garment woven of two materials shall not come upon thee.
Lev 19:19 NIv
These admonitions are not taken literally, so why would the preaching of Leviticus 20:13 be taken as an actionable instruction to “kill the gays“? We may question the priorities or sanity of the preacher who gets worked up about this, but said preaching certainly isn’t a crime.
Hate crimes are acts of terrorism. Their intention is to strike fear into entire communities. Hate crimes legislation provides a vehicle for the Federal government to assist in the investigation and prosecution of such bias crimes. This is common sense legislation, and it’s sad to see that our Congressman, who purports to be a leading advocate for human rights turn his back on the GLBT community in his own district. We’ve tried to speak to him over the last six years. As a matter of fact, he personally witnessed the anti-gay frenzy at the June 30, 2003 Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting and remained silent. He’s deaf and blind to our community. After six years of interactions, I get the feeling that he would rather we didn’t exist.
All crimes are hate crimes. This legislation is the solution to a problem that does not exist. When someone commits a violent crime against another, we should prosecute that case to the fullest extent of the law. It is the act, not the prior thoughts we are prosecuting. Hate crimes legislation is generally feel good redundancy.
I don’t remember the outcome of the Shepard case in that it was some time ago. However, if whoever killed that young man was captured, I hope they were issued a state induced dirt nap. Their actions against Mr. Shepard were hateful, murder is hateful. Whether they killed him because of his sexuality, nationality or the way he parted his hair is frankly mute. They took his life and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
If you really believe that “all crimes are hate crimes,” here is what you can do: Draft legislation to repeal the existing federal law that covers crimes of bias on the basis of race, religion, national origin, etc. Then ask Frank Wolf to sponsor it.
Please let us know what he says.
opps……. mute might be moot
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