Friday, May 1, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Andrew Sullivan's Intellectual Dishonesty Continues Unabated

Responding to this... -- I doubt that my dissent will get published, but you never know.

My response:

You say: "I want the same laws against the same acts enforced equally on everyone. If police don't enforce the law equally, get on their case. But leave the laws alone."

Honestly, have you even read the Matthew Shepard Act or listened to Judy Shepard at all?

If you had, then you might be interested to note that the focus of this legislation is not, repeat not, on sentencing enhancements. The primary focus of this legislation is to ensure that local law officials have the ability (whether financial or testicular fortitude, or both) to do just what you are asking: enforce the law equally.

In some jurisdictions, they simply do not have the money to handle major crime investigations and prosecutions. Such was the case in Laramie. In Jasper, on the other hand, the Byrd investigation and trial was almost entirely paid for by the Feds -- and would have been taken over by Justice Department if the local authorities had not applied the current law with equanimity.

When someone is targeted for a criminal act because they belong or are perceived to belong to and identifiable group (in this case those who are GLBT or perceived to be GLB or T) -- that motivation has to be investigated to see if the crime really is simply a crime or if the crime is masking the broader intent to essentially terrorize a segment of our society.

You get so twisted up in this notion yourself as the standard bearer of post-gay, libertarian, conservawhatever that you seem to forget that reality is messier -- or to quote you, "more human -- than some want it to be."

We may, some day in the future, get to the point where we can wipe these statutes from the books... but for now, today, when 1 in 6 reported hate crimes target people who are gay, this legislation is not only needed by necessary.


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