Hate-Crime Bill

August 2, 1999

A hate-crime bill is making its way through Congress which will actually do little to prevent crime, but will do a lot to legitimize homosexual behavior. Already the Senate has passed the Hate Crime Prevention Act by a voice vote, and now the House is feeling pressure to follow suit.

The bill would add sexual orientation, gender, and disability to the categories already protected under federal hate-crime law. Currently, the law only covers race, color, religion or national origin.

A similar bill died last year, but has been revived due to a number of incidents. These include the dragging death of a black man in Texas, the fatal shooting of a gay college student in Wyoming, and a white supremacist shooting spree in Illinois and Indiana. Congress is feeling pressure to pass an expanded hate-crime bill.

In past commentaries, I've tried to point out that hate-crime is hardly an epidemic. A recent book on Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics documents that "there is less prejudice-motivated violence against minority groups than in many earlier periods of American history." In fact, the latest FBI reports show 15 bias-related murders in 1992 and 13 in 1994.

The push for this bill has more to do with a desire to legitimize homosexuality than a desire to stop crime. By adding sexual orientation as a category, Congress is essentially equating homosexual behavior with race and gender, thus opening the door to other pieces of legislation. A pastor preaching against homosexuality could be found in violation of hate speech, and a Christian school that refused to hire a homosexual teacher could be found in violation of laws preventing discrimination. This will be the real impact of passing a hate-crime bill.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.