A notorious antigay group took out a deceptive full-page ad in today's Indianapolis Star trying to mislead people so they'd call Lugar and Bayh demanding a vote to kill the hate crimes bill now before them.
Fellow bilerico blogger and Indiana Action Network mover-and-shaker Jerame Davis has a photo of the ad up on the web.
I hardly know where to begin except to hope fervently that Bayh and Lugar will not let those swayed by it to sway them and that Hoosiers capable of telling truth from lies and deception will call Bayh and Lugar themselves.
The ad's authors ignore the fact that everyone, even so-called "ex-gay" hate-mongering trolls, has a sexual orientation and that the proposed federal legislation thus protects all suffering hate crimes motivated by bias against that sexual orientation -- real or perceived (as if there is a big problem of anti-het or even anti-trying-to-fool-self-and-others-that-one-is-het hate crimes and not that anti-LGBT hate crimes are the highest per capita of the populations studied by the U.S. Department of Justice's research arm, the Institute for Justice.)
This is the text of the full-page ad in today's Indianapolis Star:
Whatever happened to the constitutional guarantee of equal justice under law? The very notion that a homosexual who suffers a violent crime is somehow worth more than a former homosexual who suffers the same crime is absurd. But that's exactly what the current "hate crime" legislation in Congress will do...elevate one over the other based solely on one's sexual preference.
Such a law means that the two straight men who killed Matthew Shepard would receive a harsher sentence than the two homosexual men who raped, tortured, and killed 13-year old Jesse Dirkhising. There is no moral difference between these two crimes, but under new federal "hate crimes" legislation, one would be punished more severly than the other!
Something is terribly wrong when 11 people peacefully protesting a homosexual event in Philadelphia are arrested and jailed, but activist homosexuals disrupting a pro-family event in Maine are not. Something is terribly wrong when a Boston parent is arrested and jailed for merely objecting to pro-homosexual material being forced on his kindergarten child at school, but hundreds of homosexuals there using sound trucks and blocing the entrance to a church conference hosted by former homosexuals are not. Something is terribly wrong when federal law will make the punishment for one violent crime harsher than another, merely because of a victim's sexual preference.
Something must be done to protect equal justice! Call your Senators before they vote. Tell them the only true justice in American is EQUAL justice under law.
The people behind the ad routinely and knowingly break the law in an attempt to deny others their rights. The protesters they try to paint as equal counterparts did not break the law that day and they sought to expand human rights, not limit them. The ad's whiny proponents, by trying to cloud this difference, thus expose themselves/their protests as the actions of the hate-mongering thugs they are instead of the heirs of the great traditions of civil disobedience in pursuit of human rights they shamelessly and apishly mock.
Sexual orientation-inclusive hate crimes laws do not punish people because of their sexual orientation, they punish people who punish people because of their sexual orientation.
They recognize that the attacks are more serious than the base crime -- that they are terroristic in nature, targeting not just those attacked but the entire population to which the attacker believes that person belongs; are attempts to intimidate the entire group out of free exercise of their fundamental and civil rights; that they have a psychological component that makes recovery from them much lengthier and painful than for those suffering the same base crime sans a bias motive; that the criminals typically escalate in their hate criminality unless the state makes it clear to them that it takes the bias motivation seriously; and that the crimes themselves, particularly those involving physical attacks, are typically more serious, involving torture, mutilation, and other evidence of rage enacted on the victims' bodies -- and that it is only right, not to mention usual in our system of criminal law, that more serious crimes are accorded more serious sentences.
They recognize, too, that taking motive into account in criminal law is not just normal, it's considered essential in determining whether or what sort of crime something is. It is thus not a constitutionally impermissable punishment of expression. It just recognizes that expression can be properly considered evidentiary.
The ad's authors are well aware that substituting "sexual preference" for "sexual orientation" belittles and trivializes that sexual orientation is complex and so deeply entwined in a person's being that the risk of damage by attempting to change it is so high that merely to aid in someone's trying constitutes an ethical breach for health professionals. One prefers one flavor of ice cream over another one likes. One foundationally is gay or het or wherever else on the Kinsey diagraph one is at the core of one's being.
Shame on them for their belittling and trivializing and for all the other lies and deceptions in the ad. Shame on Lugar and Bayh if they do anything more with the calls it generates than educating the callers as to how they were deceived.