The U.S. Senate appears to be on the verge of passing "hate crime" legislation which would allow gender identity and so-called "sexual preference" to be included in the list of factors to be considered in prosecuting and punishing violent crimes against individuals. "Hate crimes" entered the criminal justice lexicon and the fevered ideals of liberals and gay rights activists following the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard who has become the "martyred saint" of the leftist sexual identity movements Shepard's murder was a tragic incident which, like other murders and violent assaults, can be prosecuted under a wide variety of federal and state legislation. His murder and murders like it should be plain and simple death penalty cases.
Unfortunately, that's not enough for Harry Reid and other gender and sexual identity sycophants. This legislation would essentially require prosecutors to factor in extraneous factors in their efforts to prosecute and convict violent criminals which would drive up legal costs in order to meet the leftist rage for retributive ideological justice. Those of us not subscribing to their ideological sense of victimhood could have our free speech, thought, and religious liberties endangered if we are not subservient to their world view that gays or other members of favored minority groups deserve special legal treatment if they are victims of violent crimes because they have "special status". Isn't being a human being sufficiently important? It's very easy to imagine that the "hate crimes" advocates would then seek to regulate speech that does not adhere to the liberal secularist worldview on issues of gender and sexual behavior. Is this the change you wanted when you voted for Obama and an increased Democratic Congress?
Another exceptionally despicable tactic used by Reid in this legislation is including it as part of the annual defense authorization legislation. Our troops fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq need to have legislation that will actually assist them in their efforts and our defense forces need to have legislation providing them with the equipment and financial support necessary for them to carry out their multifaceted missions. They don't need irrelevant and insidious leftist social engineering riders attached to defense spending legislation. Liberalism can become further entrenched through innocuous and insidious legal, legislative, judicial, and regulatory means that are difficult to uproot once planted. This "hate crimes" legislation is a perfect example of this process.