Bil Browning

Oklahoma to ignore new hate crimes law?

Filed By Bil Browning | January 04, 2010 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Al McAffrey, anti-gay, hate crimes law, hate crimes legislation, Matthew Shepard, Oklahoma, Sally Kern, Steve Russell

Representative Sally Kern isn't the only right wing fundie nutjob in the Oklahoma state legislature. tantrum3.jpgRepublican state senator Steve Russell is now proposing legislation to exempt Oklahoma from the recently passed hate crimes law.

This proposed measure would forbid state and local law enforcement from cooperating with Federal authorities investigating a gay hate crime in Oklahoma. As Senator Russell stated, "Basically if Oklahoma decided a case that the Feds wanted to overturn, they would be on their own. We would not share evidence or manpower." Russell did state further that his proposed bill would not interfere in cases Oklahoma deemed appropriate in accordance with existing state hate crimes laws which do not include sexual orientation.

Among those in opposition to this legislation is State Representative Al McAffrey, a Democrat representing District 88 and Oklahoma's only openly gay legislator. As he puts it, "Senator Russell is employing the same tired arguments from yesteryear. Preventing crimes against Oklahomans because of who they are is in no way an attack on freedom. That argument is nothing but empty rhetoric used to scare and mislead folks." McAffrey also added that should this legislation pass it would be superseded by Federal law anyway, elaborating that " I believe this is a political ploy because of his position and probably that of his church in opposition to gay rights."

There's no way this will pass Constitutional muster. I highly doubt that the state legislature will even waste time considering it. McAffrey nails it on the head when he calls it out as a political stunt meant to please the religious right.


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Lynn Miller | January 4, 2010 5:00 PM

Although Russell's campaign website suggests that he was given the Bronze Star while in the military, there is no suggestion that he is a lawyer or has any understanding of the US Constitution.

Russell is just grandstanding for political gain. I sincerely hope residents of his district see through his deception.

Actually in these economicly tough times, they should bill him for the waste of resources. This useless boondoggle will cost the Oklahoma tax payer how much money in real tax dollars wasted on the actual legislation? How much in tourism dollars? How much in, well, how much money is he planning on wasting? As much as he wants too?

Draw up the bill and give it to him. I'm sure it'll be close to or over a hundred grand of wasted money.

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | January 4, 2010 5:23 PM

It's unconstitutional for states to ignore federal law. This is just teabagger grandstanding.

It will pass and they will make a grand point of defying the Federal Government. This state passed one of the "sovereignty bills" when President Obama was elected

And , this is just a step away from defying Lawrence just as Mecklenberg County NC does.

LOL, I was going to post about this until I saw that you already did, Bil.

This is an old idea in the US, with the right not thinking any federal law is legitimate unless they like it. They called it "nullification" back in the day, with an entire legal philosophy set up around the idea that states don't have to follow federal law if they determine that law to be unconstitutional. And usually these laws that were so unconstitutional had to do with fighting racism and slavery.

On some level, it is surprising to see it applied to LGBT legislation because historically nullification is about taxes or race, but then this is the first federal LGBT bill to get passed. Imagine what it's going to be like when ENDA gets through, since that doesn't put more people in prison. how many states are going to say it doesn't apply to them, making a small huss fuss for the benefit of the teabaggers?

I grew up there, so I'm not surprised at all by this garbage. SO glad I escaped, and I'm sorry for the good people still stuck there.

haha! i live in Oklahoma and this sounds like something we would try to pull off! GOOD FOR US! unlike most states in this country Oklahoma is still filled with pretty much "good ole folks"! this is pretty funny though, gave me a laugh!

anyway, hate crimes concerning "gays" would just back the courts up for meaningless crap. just because a gay guy was murdered doesnt mean his murderer should be punished more severely. murder is murder. (and if you're wondering why im talking about murder, it's because this is how this whole new hate crime was pushed to be law)