Rep. Jackie Walorski has been drinking a little bit too much of the Kool-Aid Eric Miller and Micah Clark have been serving her concerning HB 1459, the hate crimes bill. She's worried about giving "special protections" to the "homosexuals" and "cross-dressers" which she's certain the bill does. She's also afraid ministers are going to be jailed for "hate speech." WFRN offered this news item today:
The Indiana House today could vote on a controversial hate crimes bill that has pro-family groups around the state up in arms. It would give special protections to homosexuals and cross-dressers who are the victims of crime. And Lakeville House Republican Jackie Walorski tells WFRN she's concerned it could also limit what pastors can say from the pulpit. Walorski says we should call our state reps and urge them to vote no to House Bill 1459, the Hate Crimes bill.
If Walorski had bothered to read HB 1459 she would understand it doesn't afford any group of citizens "special protections." It does provide that if you commit an underlying crime against a person because of their race, religion, national original, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation or sex, that is just one of several factors a court may consider in deciding whether to impose a harsher penalty for your crime. In the case of sexual orientation, it applies equally to straight and gay people alike.
It's funny that Walorski wasn't concerned about charging a minister with a "hate speech" last year when she and all her GOP colleagues voted for Sen. Brent Steele's bill which made it a Class D felony to protest within 500 feet of a funeral. That law targeted an extremist Christian minister from Kansas who conducted protests at military funerals, blaming their deaths on America's support of "homosexuality." Yes, Rep. Walorski supported legislation to jail Rev. Fred Phelps for preaching his "hate speech" at military funerals. Unlike that legislation, HB 1459 does nothing of the sort, unless of course the minister accompanies his "hate speech" with a criminal act, such as stoning a person to death in a public square because he's a "homosexual." Think about it, Jackie. You would be amazed what you could learn if you actually read the legislation you vote on in the General Assembly instead of just spewing the hate-filled rhetoric Eric Miller and Micah Clark pass on to you. Oh, and Jackie, if you doubt my word on the actual effect of HB 1459, you might want to call someone in one of the 45 states which has already enacted a hate crimes law.
As if to add further insult to injury, Walorski has filed an amendment to HB 1459 to drag the whole abortion debate into it by adding language making it a Class C felony only if there is "bodily injury to a viable fetus" in the commission of a hate crime involving a battery offense. Because she has already announced her intention to oppose HB 1459, offering this amendment is only further evidence of her mean-spiritedness respecting a serious piece of legislation.