I am not anti-gay, nor am I opposed to gay rights. I believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry and to adopt children. Also, openly homosexual individuals should be eligible for service in the military.
Despite this acceptance of peoples homosexuality, I hold that the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is unnecessary in the United States. I understand that gays and lesbians live in fear of being attacked, but who can be sure that new legislation would deter criminals when existing assault and battery laws do not This bill will only complicate the overburdened legal system, confuse the law, and iolate constitutional rights.It is dificult enough for prosecutors to get convictions on criminals. This bill will add the complication of motive to the trials.
Instead of simply proving that a person committed a crime, the prosecutors will have to prove that the motive behind the crime was pure hatred of homosexuals. The motive element will place unneeded pressure on the lawyers and keep dangerous criminals on the streets. Another problem with the Act is that it will confuse the law. What, exactly, is a hate crime Who gets to decide Is it the victim The perpetrator The jury There are too any possibilities for conflicting judgments.
A mugging could be misconstrued as a hate crime and the offender could be sentenced more harshly than if his victim were a heterosexual. I understand that this is protection for the criminal instead of the victim, but criminals have the right to a fair trial and protection from double jeopardy.. A person can only be tried once for a crime, unless new evidence can be presented against him (or her).
The Act will allow the federal court to try a person, after he has been acquitted by the state court, without having to supply additional evidence. This legislation also calls for tougher sentences to imposed on proven hate crime offenders.This is unfair. I have a lot of troule with someone being treated more leniently for attacking me than they are for attacking a lesbian.
Assaulting or killing a homosexual should carry the same consequence as assaulting or killing a heterosexual. I do not believe that gays and lesbians should be singled out and beaten solely because of their sexual preference. Though, if they happened to be attacked then the offender should get the same punishment as if they had attacked a heterosexual. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act will give special protection to homosexuals.
Thus, it will violate my right to equal protection under the law. Homosexuals are seeking equal rights in other issues, such as marriage and adoption, so they must accept equal protection from assault. They cannot expect singular rights that ordinary American citizens do not enjoy. Assaulting or murdering a fellow human being is already illegal throughout the United States no matter what the motive behind the crime.
This new legislation will do more damage than good by infringing on constitutional rights, confusing the law, and hampering the already overtaxed legal system.