In its last word on the subject, the Exodus blog on Oct. 26 opposed the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing federal hate crime law.
Exodus executive vice president Randy Thomas previously had equated punishment of violent crime with punishment of “thought crime.” Now Thomas said that he didn’t feel that thousands of violent crimes, which are committed each year against Americans because they are assumed to be gay, lesbian or transgender, “rises to the level of passing bad federal public policy” — even though Thomas and Exodus refuse to support repeal of the same policy as it’s applied to violent crimes against black or Christian persons. Instead of clearing up this self-serving inconsistency, Thomas thanked the Christian Right’s litigation-happy Liberty Counsel for opposing equal punishment of violent felonies committed against GLBT Americans.
Lest Exodus make us forget: This is a reminder of what hate-crime victims look like. And here are some shocking numbers behind the human faces:
In 2007, according to the FBI, 7,621 violent incidents were reported by local law-enforcement agencies that chose to cooperate with monitors. They involved 8,999 offenses, 9,527 victims, and 6,962 offenders. 1,460 reported hate crime offenses were based on sexual-orientation bias, or 16.2 percent. Of these offenses, 96 percent were classified as anti-homosexual. Antigay victims, as a percentage of all hate-crime victims, constituted double the percentage of LGBT people in the general population. No hate crimes were reported against “ex-gays.”
Just days after the Hate Crimes Protection Act was signed by President Obama, three men in Long Island were accused of beating two men who were dressed in drag for Halloween, as the assailants yelled antigay slurs. One assailant who was apprehended, Robert Bellamy Jr., 23, said, “God made me hate gay people.” Bellamy was charged under a state hate-crime law, rendering federal intervention unnecessary. But in many other states and localities, law-enforcement agencies have let violent thugs know that they may batter or kill LGBT people with impunity; in their view, the notion of religious freedom includes a right to commit acts of Biblical extrajudicial punishment against sexual and religious minorities.
Just two days after the Long Island assault, World Net Daily and Gary Cass of the “Christian Anti-Defamation Commission” on Nov. 3 implicitly called for acts of violence to be committed against GLBT people in order to test the new law, with a goal of weighing the law’s opposition to felony violence against its explicit protection for religious freedom.
As with the thousands of other similar violent crimes and violent threats each year, Exodus offered no objection to this chain of events — and continues to offer no support for equal punishment of violence against GLBT Americans. Perhaps this is because, in Exodus’ view, orientation and transgender biology do not exist and must not be recognized, no matter how many bodies pile up in hospital ERs and morgues.