I can get out of the way very quickly the sneaky fact that the Democrats tacked this piece of garbage onto the defense bill as an amendment. Nice, guys. Very Washington. Let’s put a piece of controversial legislation in with a “bigger” issue so maybe no one will notice that we’re doing it! (As evil laughter echoes through the halls of Congress).

While, thank God, Bush has vowed to veto this bill, let’s talk about why that’s a good thing. Hate crimes statutes are not only unnecessary but also unconstitutional. Unnecessary because the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment already prohibits states from denying any person in their jurisdiction equal protection under the law. Unconstitutional because said statutes offer special rather than equal protection. Any hate crimes statute, whether it protects gays, blacks, whites, Christians, Muslims, or purple-people eaters should be taken off the books because we’ve already got it covered with the 14th Amendment. If any state refuses to prosecute someone who assaulted a *fill in the blank*, then that jurisdiction is guilty of violating the 14th Amendment and shall be sent to the principal’s office accordingly.

So why is it that Congress feels that we need this Hate Crimes bill to pass? Easy. Political pressure. And from where is this political pressure coming? Gay lobbyists and special interest groups. Any why do they want such a bill passed? Matthew Shepherd (the murder victim whose name is attached to the bill)’s mother is quoted as saying, “”This crucial piece of legislation is an important step in the ongoing effort to erase hate.” Oh, there it is. I don’t like that you don’t like me, so I’m going to pass a law to make you be my friend.

Well, that’s it, people. All of you who say mean things about me because you don’t like my politics or religion, well, you can’t say mean things about me anymore because it hurts my feelings. It’s not enough that there are laws that will punish you if you murder/rape/burgle/assault me…I want to make sure you really get it because you don’t want to be my friend. So there.

Despite the fact that this bill has a clause that – at least for now – ensures that speech will still be protected (i.e., we will not be put in jail for preaching against homosexuality in churches unless it is directly related to violence against a homosexual), this bill still gives special protection to a class of people who deserve no more protection than the rest of us. I don’t particularly appreciate the fact that Jim-Bob down the road will receive more vigorous justice if he is assaulted than my mother if she were to be assaulted. And that’s what this boils down to – special prosecution for people who want to feel special at the expense of others.

Assault is assault is assault. Rape is rape is rape. And murder is murder is murder. All are evil. All are a crime. And all should be prosecuted equally, no matter the motives.