Is Hate a Crime?

It’s time for another one of those posts in which I take an argument that’s been getting repetitive (very repetitive) and put the whole thing in one place in the hopes of moving forward instead of arguing in parallel. In this case, we’ve been talking about hate-crime legislation, specifically the bills that have passed in the House and are under consideration in the Senate that would extend the existing definition of hate crimes to cover crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The four quotes at the top of the post summarize the objections I’ve seen to the law. Well, the sane objections anyway. I’m not counting the people who argue that the law would protect pedophiles under sexual orientation (“sexual orientation” under federal law has a very strict definition) or who make it clear that they think anything that happens to homosexuals is fine with them. No, these are just the legitimate, if misguided, objections to the bill, and it’s time to tackle them in one place.

And that place, since today is Friday, is Quiche Moraine.