Because, y'know Hate Crimes are something we certainly need more of...
Now exactly why would the President and Conservatives have a hard time with this bill? Could it be that they think they have a right to be bigots? From USA Today
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House issued a veto threat Thursday against legislation that would expand federal hate crime law to include attacks motivated by the victims' gender or sexual orientation.The hate crimes bill, with strong Democratic backing, is expected to pass the House Thursday. Similar legislation is moving through the Senate.
But the legislation, which also would increase the penalties for bias-based violence, has met outspoken resistance from conservative groups and their Republican allies in Congress, who warn that it undermines freedom of speech, religious expression and equal protection under the law.
"Equal protection?" - hm, seems some people are a bit more equal than others in the Conservative mind.
The White House, in a statement, said state and local criminal laws already provide penalties for the crimes defined by the bill and "there has been no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement."
Although the vast majority of Hate Crimes reported in 2005 were cases of Racial Bias (4,691 offenses), the level of Sexual-Orientation Bias is still quite significant with 1,171 offenses. That is only slightly less that the incidents of Religions Bias (1,314) and more than bias based on National Origin (1,144) - not counting of course the recent Police Riot against immigrants on May Day in Los Angeles.
One point that should be emphasized is that this legislation also protects people assaulted for their gender - even if they happen to be straight - which is a statistic which isn't recorded by the FBI Hate Crime stats. In other words, it would protect women and as we've seen in the wake of the I-Mess the attitudes that continue to be projected onto women are no small contributor to violence perpetrated against them.
Somehow I'm not exactly surprised that conservatives who have evicerated Civil Rights Enforcement, attempted to change the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and gave us the so-called partial birth-abortion ban which won't save a single child, but will put far more women at greater risk or serious injury and possible death, especially those who are only 17-years-old and younger - really don't give a rat-ass about protecting women from Hate Crimes either.
I mean, let's not make a Federal Case out of this stuff...
It also questioned the constitutionality of federalizing the acts of violence barred by the bill and said that if it reaches the president's desk "his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."
That's right - y,see - people like Ann Coulter have a Constitutional Right to call John Edward's a "f*ggot" in reference to Isiah Washington's onset rant, or to say Al Gore is "Totally Gay". Rush Limbaugh is constitutionally protected when he wonders who would design Edward's "Inaugural Gown."
But if some violent religious nutbag like say - Eric Robert Rudolf - should take things up a notch from a few fighting words and - I don't know - decide to plant their own IED near a Women's Clinic or a Gay Bar - we wouldn't want to bother the FBI with it would we?
Even so, the legislation in question doesn't address hate speech - vile as much of it may be - it addresses hateful actions, not that James Dobson or John Boehner seems to know the difference.