Friday, October 9, 2009

Crying Foul

When I read about the Republicans complaining about the amendment to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Hate Crime Act to the Department of Defense appropriation bill, saying it wasn't fair or right, I couldn't help from laugh. Laugh so much I almost couldn't stop. It's hypocracy at its finest, the Republicans. They've added so many irrelevant amendments which would not pass on their own to bills certain to pass, it became hard not to know what they were voting on.

This last spring after the Supreme Court overturned some gun laws, especially in Washington D.C., they added a rider (amemdment) to the Credit Disclosure Act to allow guns in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges in compliance with local and state laws. The amendment wouldn't pass by itself. The public doesn't want guns in NP's beyond the then current rules (unloaded and secured in vehicles) which dates from President Reagan, so they snuck it into this bill.

They knew the Democrats would pass this bill because they wanted and it was a good bill. No one cried foul then and few representatives and senators have cried foul over all the years of amendments and riders attached to bills. But now the Republicans are crying foul, and loudly too. Like American civilization is at stake.

Unfortunately the amendment isn't perfect, but there are thousands of hate crimes committed every year, and that's only those reported and recorded. But it's a start to protecting people specifically targeted by individuals and groups for being themselves. Critics say it's special protections, but they fail to say they need the protections because they are targets and their status is a motive in the crime.

And they forget to say our democracy is about the rights of the majority for the protections of the minority. We built this country protecting everyone, and if that doesn't happen, then we have to add laws to ensure equal protection and rights. That's what the Civil Rights Act and other similar Acts provide, based on race, sex, ethnicity, religion and other catagories of individuals. Adding homosexuals and transgender people is just another who deserves the protections.

So the Republicans should get off the religious soapbox and join the real world of people. Or are they afraid to be human and normal like the rest of us?

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