Monday, April 16, 2007

Kansas Congresssman Todd Tiahrt stands firm for the right to bash

By Diane Silver

Gay Kansas writes to his congressman about hate crime legislation and gets a reply. Oh my.

Gay Kansas writes:
Did he really say/imply that hate crime legislation would infringe upon the the basic liberty to bash my head in because I'm gay?
The newest hate crime proposal -- now called the Matthew Shepard Act -- wouldn't do anything more outrageous than add sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to existing federal law that gives the federal government authority to investigate and prosecute violent crimes. Tiahrt doesn't call for repealing the existing law, but seems to think that adding gay folk to any hate crime law amounts to sending in the thought police. Uh sure.

The Human Rights Campaign reports:
This authority already exists for crimes committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin and because the victim was attempting to exercise a federally protected right. The bill ensures a federal backstop to assist local law enforcement in those cases in which they request assistance or fail to adequately investigate or prosecute these serious crimes. The bill would also provide assistance to local law enforcement for investigating and prosecuting bias-motivated violent crimes.
Yup, that's pretty radical, or at least, Tiahrt thinks so.
Photo: Republican Todd Tiahrt

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