Beaver County Paper: Hate is a Thought not an Act

The Beaver County Times has taken a stand on the expansion of the federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as motivations for attacks.  In their estimation, hate crimes laws punish thoughts not deeds.

Please understand that we in no way condone the vitriol that spews out of the mouths of bigots. The anti-homosexual hatred of some people does create a hostile environment that can lead to violence.
However, criminals should be punished and convicted for what they do, not what they think.

That's great.  And what do you do when that vitriol and its underlying bigotry is connected to crime?  When someone is attached because they are gay or appear gay?  How can you neatly separate the word from the act in that case? 

I just don't get why people are so opposed to this legislation. Sigh.



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  • Sorry. I see their point. For some “hate crimes.”
    However, I think there are certain kinds of ugly actions that are meant to “teach a lesson to those people.” I think it is appropriate to consider a hate crime in the context of whether it was intended not just to commit the crime, but to intimidate a population, to “teach them all a lesson.”

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