Barber: ‘Hate Crimes’ Bill Is Full of Swill

pink_dress-3.jpg matt_barber_in_the_ring.jpgFantastic “Findings”: Even as “queer” bloggers incongruously and hilariously accuse Matt Barber of being a latent, self-loathing closet-case (trapped in a former pro heavyweight boxer’s body no less), we don’t think Matt would be “pretty in pink.” But not to worry: something tells us that Matt is not going to lose this bet concerning the preposterous “findings” of Senate “hate crimes” bill, S. 909. Reminder: Matt, a Board Member of Americans For Truth, will be the keynote speaker at our banquet on Saturday, Oct. 10 outside Chicago. Save that date! — Peter LaBarbera, 

TAKE ACTION: Call your U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose S. 909, the “Thought Crimes” (hate crimes) bill; call 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 or go to


Hate crimes’ bill is full of swill

Matt Barber, 5/7/2009 10:15:00 AM

Senate sponsors and liberal activist proponents of the federal “hate crimes” bill, S. 909, have been caught in a series of bald-faced lies. So confident am I of this, that if they can prove me wrong (for real I mean – you know, with evidence and such) I’ll join their little soirée, don a very large pink evening gown and publicly voice support for the legislation.

To the express exclusion of other identifiable groups – including veterans, the elderly and the homeless – S. 909, in its current form, would grant special federal resources and preferred minority status to pedophiles, homosexuals, cross-dressers and – as Democratic sponsor Alcee Hastings recently admitted on the House floor – a host of other APA recognized “sexual orientations” (i.e., deviant sexual fetishes and perversions).

Not only is this legislation constitutionally dubious on First Amendment grounds, and a prima facie violation of Fourteenth Amendment required “equal protection of the laws;” it also flies in the face of the Tenth Amendment, which explicitly limits the federal government’s authority in such matters to those powers delegated by the U.S. Constitution.

Here’s how they’re doing it:

In order for the feds to usurp the States’ police power, liberals in Congress have had to openly place, within the very language of the bill, a series of transparent lies. To get around that pesky old Constitution and accomplish this brash federal power grab, they’ve been forced to misuse and abuse the Commerce Clause.

In a feeble attempt to constitutionally justify federal interference with local law enforcement, S. 909’s sponsors have made – within the bill’s “Findings” section – several outlandish and unsustainable claims relative to “interstate commerce.” So outlandish are these claims, in fact, that the same language was intentionally withdrawn from the House version before it was passed and referred to the Senate.

But since the bill’s Senate sponsors recognize that failure to include these fantasy “findings” immediately renders the legislation unconstitutional, the interstate commerce language has quickly and quietly found its way home.

First, while addressing “hate crimes” allegedly motivated by so-called “sexual orientation” bias, the bill asserts that existing law is “inadequate to address this problem.” This is patently untrue.

When the legislation’s 1968 “hate crimes” forerunner was introduced, there were multiple and verifiable cases of local prosecutors refusing to indict whites for violent crimes committed against blacks. Moreover, the 1968 law was actually conceived and passed with the primary purpose of righting this specific wrong.

The exact opposite is true today. As FBI statistics reveal, in the relatively few instances where bias motivated crimes are committed against homosexuals or cross-dressers, those crimes are, without fail, zealously prosecuted under existing law. Victims are granted “equal protection of the laws” regardless of sexual preference or proclivity.

Yet these same victims are, nonetheless, shamelessly and publicly exploited by homosexual activists and the mainstream media as the latest “hate crimes” cause célèbre. This, even as hypersensitive local prosecutors bend over backwards to take-down alleged “gay-bashing” assailants as to avoid kneejerk accusations of systemic “homophobia.”

To illustrate the point, one need look only to the most famous supposed “hate crimes” victim of all, Matthew Shepard, who, as it later turned out, was killed during a robbery for drug money gone awry.

This fact notwithstanding, the left continues to disgracefully politicize Shepard’s memory by claiming he was murdered simply for being “gay.” Indeed, this very legislation, S. 909, is cited as the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

The bizarre irony is palpable. The two thugs who killed Shepard are currently serving life sentences for their crimes – and rightfully so – in the complete absence of any discriminatory and unnecessary “hate crimes” legislation. Justice prevailed and existing law was undeniably “[adequate] to address this problem.”

In fact, I challenge proponents of S. 909 to provide one verifiable example of a prosecutor refusing to charge a violent criminal because the victim was a homosexual or a cross-dresser.

They won’t. They can’t.

But back to the interstate commerce charade:

Here, the federal government’s own statistics serve to derail the “hate crimes” gravy train. According to the FBI, in 2007 – out of 1.4 million violent crimes in the U.S. – there were a mere 247 cases of aggravated assault (including five deaths) allegedly motivated by the victim’s “sexual orientation.”

Yet S. 909 makes the fantastic claim that there is an epidemic of such “hate crimes.” So many, in fact, that it “poses a serious national problem.”  The bill hysterically declares – while providing zero evidence – the following nonsense:

  • Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in many ways;
  • [T]he movement of members of targeted groups (homosexuals, pedophiles, cross-dressers, etc.) is impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence;
  • Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or participating in other commercial activity;
  • And, here’s the kicker. Wait for it ….Wait for it:
  • Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.

So there you have it, folks. If it weren’t so serious, it’d be comical. But let’s make sure we have it straight. According to Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama and their S. 909 cheerleading cohorts, we must pass S. 909 immediately because right here, right now in America, it’s not at all unusual to witness terrified hordes of fabulously dressed – yet wrongfully unemployed – “gays” and otherwise gender-confused blokes in lipstick and Jimmy Choo pumps, frantically fleeing Dolce & Gabbana before they’ve even had a chance to make a purchase, while inbred, homophobic, bat-wielding rednecks hotly pursue them across state lines.

Don’t think I’ll be wearing that pink evening gown any time soon.


Matt Barber ( is director of cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel and associate dean with Liberty University School of Law. He also co-hosts the nationally syndicated “Liberty Live” talk radio program on AFR Talk. This column is printed with permission.

This article was posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 1:00 pm and is filed under Candidates & Elected Officials, Government Promotion, Hate Crimes Prosecution, News, Pending Legislation. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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