web-hate-crime.jpgMay 8, 2009
By Andrea Lafferty
Executive Director
Traditional Values Coalition
 The U.S. Senate is expected to take begin consideration on passage of Ted Kennedy’s ridiculous “hate crime” bill known as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act” (S. 909)  Kennedy’s bill is a rehash of the same absurd and dangerous legislation he’s been trying to ram through Congress for more than a decade. The “Findings” section in the legislation, which is used to justify passage of the S. 909, uses the same ridiculous claims that have been used for years.

Those “Findings” listed in Section 2 of the bill solemnly state (without any basis in fact) that:

Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in many ways, including the following: (A) The movement of members of targeted groups is impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence.

(B) Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or participating in other commercial activity.

(C) Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.

(D) Channels, facilities, and instrumentalities of interstate commerce are used to facilitate the commission of such violence.

(E) Such violence is committed using articles that have traveled in interstate commerce.

Traditional Values Coalition exposed these fraudulent findings in H.R. 1913, the House version of this legislation. Democrats were so embarrassed by these embarrassing and untrue claims that they removed them from H.R. 1913 during the mark up of the bill.

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) apparently has no shame. He’s including these false findings once again in this bill to justify federal involvement.

Let’s briefly analyze these “findings.” First, no Representative or Senator has ever tried to justify these findings as factual. Why? Because these findings are clearly false.

Kennedy claims, with a straight face, that LGBT persons (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) are so persecuted by angry bigots that they are fleeing across state lines to avoid being beaten up.

These mythical LGBT persons also have trouble finding employment or engaging in “commercial activity.”

But, it gets worse, according to the esteemed Senator: Not only are LGBT persons regularly fleeing in large numbers across state lines, but they’re being pursued by angry bigots across these state lines. These bigots are also apparently using “instrumentalities of interstate commerce” to commit these mythical crimes against LGBT persons. I wonder where these bigots purchase their “instrumentalities of interstate commerce” – at Wal-Mart?

I suspect that if there were large numbers of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and drag queens fleeing across state lines for the past decade, there would be some record of this mass migration. Surely, Highway Patrol officers of the 50 states would have seen these mass exoduses from one state to another.

All of this nonsense in the findings is a pretext to justify federal intervention in state law enforcement by invoking the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

Senator Kennedy should be forced to provide actual evidence of his claim that there’s been this mass migration of LGBT individuals across state lines for a decade. And, he should be forced to prove that bigots are pursuing these poor terrified persons across state lines. Can he provide us with a bigot’s  “instrumentality of interstate commerce” seized by a Highway Patrol officer?

Senator Kennedy Won’t Let Facts Get His Way!

As TVC has stated repeatedly in our battle against passage of so-called hate crime legislation: There is no epidemic of hate against LGBT persons in America.

FBI hate crime statistics prove our point: FBI statistics on “hate crimes” against a person’s sexual orientation from 2007 (the latest available) reveal the following: In 2007 there were 1,521 victims of “sexual orientation” bias (Table 7). However, the breakdown of these crimes is listed as:

  • 335 were crimes of intimidation (shouting or name-calling)
  • 448 were crimes of simple assault (defined as pushing or shoving without physical injury)
  • 242 were crimes of aggravated assault (defined as bodily harm)
  • 9 bias murders were committed.

    (Source: FBI statistics 2007)

In short, there were only 242 crimes against a person’s sexual orientation that could be considered “violent.” And, twenty-seven of these bias crimes were directed against heterosexuals! All together, there were 9,535 victims of bias crimes in 2007. This includes bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, disability, or multiple-bias incidents. 

The FBI statistics do not indicate how many of these “violent hate crimes” were committed by homosexuals against other homosexuals – or what provoked the violence.

 Out of a total number of 855,856 cases of aggravated assault in 2007, only 242 were directed at LGBT individuals. This is only 0.02827578411446785% of all aggravated assaults! This is not an epidemic of hate against LGBT individuals.

So, in a nation of 300 million people, there were only 242 “violent” crimes against homosexuals, bisexuals or drag queens in 2007. This is no epidemic of hate and local law enforcement does not need intrusive federal intervention to deal with such a miniscule number of crimes. 

TAKE ACTION: Contact your two U.S. Senators immediately and ask them to vote NO on S. 909 or any variation of H.R. 1913.