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Hate Crime Bill Is Violation Of Free Speech…Huh?


shape-writing_fabien_udr_01In todays Letters To The Editor, Warren Tribune Chronicle, a reader, Jim Koehler, stated he believes that the new “Hate Crimes” legislation (Matthew Shepherd Bill) was a violation of “free speech” and thereby un-Constitutional.

This same argument was expressed by 17th Congressional Democrat Candidate Dan Moadus in an email to Dare To Dream readers which was published in a September 10, 2009 DTD posting.

I do believe that all violent crimes are “hate crimes” and there seems there shouldn’t have to be a need to distinguish between crimes, but there is, and that’s where my agreement with Moadus and Koeler breaks down.

The Matthew Shepard Act is a measured and a very necessary action to address the problem of violence against people based upon actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.

Many criminal statues, including the murder statue, are what are referred to as “specific intent laws.” The courts are in the business of determining one’s “intent”; that is, what’s in one’s mind. It is a fundamental part of criminal prosecution. Worst of any part of the answer is that Mr. Moadus and Mr. Koehler feel it’s alright to hate, it’s perfectly acceptable and they have a Constitutional “right” to act upon that hate, which they feel is protected.

How sad and very frightening.

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