This is what hate speech encourages.

Photo credit: John Wright at The Dallas Voice

This is what hate speech gives people with violent inclinations license to do. When they are erroneously told, by someone like hate group leader Eugene Delgaudio, that gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people are threatening to something they value, such as their children or their right to worship freely, such people feel justified in resorting to violence. They are fearful, and feel that they are acting to protect something of great value.

Engaging in hate speech is not illegal. Lying is (usually) not illegal. But when hate speech is used to motivate people to make donations or to vote in a particular way, there are unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences. Anyone who engages in such behavior is unfit for public office, by definition. Such a person does not serve the public, by definition.

The three men (since taken into custody) who tried to kill Burke Burnett, pictured at left, were acquaintances of his. They attacked him at a community Halloween party because he is gay. You can read the things they said during the attack in the linked articles. Burnett has been openly gay in his small Texas town since he was 15.

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