Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eric Miller Launches Bigoted Assault On Hate Crimes Bill

Advance America's Eric Miller has returned to the Indiana legislature this year with an anti-gay bigoted message to lawmakers to kill HB 1076, hate crimes legislation authored by Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) and co-sponsored by Rep. Jon Elrod (R-Indianapolis). "Should homosexuals and cross-dressers get special protection," Miller rhetorically asks in an e-mail to his followers entitled, "URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT!!!". The e-mail warns that "the bill establishes a very dangerous precedent because it would create two classes of victims and punish someone more because of their thoughts." It goes on to list these reasons for opposing HB 1076:

  • This bill sets up different standards for victims of crimes. For example, if a man walking out of a gay bar is mugged this would constitute a more severe crime than a grandmother who is mugged while walking down the street.
  • This bill represents an attempt to give special protection to homosexuals and cross dressers by stating that a crime against them is to be treated with more severity than a crime against a senior citizen, a child or a pregnant mother.
  • This bill represents a step in the wrong direction with regard to free speech. Will the next step be to prohibit speech that someone views as hateful? For example, will legislation be introduced to prohibit pastors from speaking out against the homosexual lifestyle?
  • All crimes involve hate and ill will toward their victim. All crimes, regardless who the victim is, need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Once again, as Miller did last year, he provides blatantly false information about HB 1076 to his followers to work them up in an anti-gay lather. Miller attempts to convey to his followers that the bill would allow different treatment of criminals who commit crimes against a gay person as opposed to a senior citizen, child or pregnant mother. In fact, current Indiana law already allows a criminal defendant to be punished more harshly when his or her victim is a senior citizen, a child or pregnant mother. Indiana's criminal statute provides a whole list of aggravating circumstances which support harsher sentences. This is nothing new.

The legislation does not in any way impede a person's freedom of speech or religion as Miller falsely suggests. A person's guilt is determined by an underlying crime, not the bias which motivated the crime in the first instance. The bias the criminal exhibited in choosing to target his or her victim may be considered by a judge, among other aggravating circumstances, as a reason for imposing a harsher sentence. And as always, while the legislation covers a number of possible bias motives, including race, religion, ethnicity and sex, among other, Miller only singles out a person's sexual orientation as a basis for opposing the legislation. Miller's bigotry for gay people once again raises its ugly head.

Last year, Miller and his religious right followers were successful in loading down the legislation with hostile amendments pertaining to abortion and other unrelated issues as a way of killing the bill before it could be voted on third reading in the House. Miller's alert this year urges members to vote no on HB 1076 "because we should not give special protection for homosexuals and cross-dressers." It is about time someone in the legislature stood up and called Miller out for spreading blatant lies to defeat this legislation as he does year after year. Registered lobbyists should be required to comply with a code of conduct, which would prohibit them from disseminating false information to citizens of this state in an effort to lobby members of the Indiana General Assembly to vote a certain way on pending legislation. Let's call it what it is: fraud.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Gary, you hit it right on the nose. And by the way, it sounds like he's using the exact same language as last year. No need to be original I suppose, since it worked last year.

What's your take on its ultimate passage?

Wilson46201 said...

What next? Assisting Nigerian bankers families getting millions from sequestered accounts?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, as my great-grandpa used to say, you have to give folks enough rope to hang themselves. And maybe Governor Miller has finally been given enough verbal rope.

His claims are ridiculous, of course. Whilst talking to an arch-conservative friend today, this subject came up. We agree on very little politically, but on this one, he said:

"Eric Miller is giving us a bad name. He needs to stop."

Anonymous said...

What next? Assisting Nigerian bankers families getting millions from sequestered accounts?

All I had to was send them my personal information. They depostied 7.5 million into my account the next day!

garyj said...

I hate it when Wilson is right! He knows what I'm talking about!
Score one point for Wilson!

Anonymous said...

The Democrats are the main sponsers of this issue. If you want this legislation passed, vote Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Eric Miller is a republican...what else would you expect?

Anonymous said...

I still don't think it is fair. Shouldn't we be sending murderers, thugs, rapist, muggers, etc. away for the same time? Why should someone who beats another kid because he doesn't like him get a lesser sentence than someone who beats another kid because the kid is gay? They should both be able to get the same sentence. If the thug who beats the kid just because of a personal dislike (outside the protected classes or whatever) gets a lesser sentence than the thug who beats a black person or gay man, justice in this country is nothing more than a joke.

Anonymous said...

This gives Eric Miller and the religious right another reason to oppose Jon Elrod's run for Congress.


I don't think any Republican can win in the 7th District without support of the complete Republican Party, Independents and even some Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Try as I might, I just really cannot wrap my mind around the kind of hatred and bigotry people like Miller espouse.

And now I read Fred Phelps is going to "protest" Heath Ledger's memorial service.

It's beyond all understanding.

Anonymous said...

Once again, these people prove our point. Let the crazies roll and we'll win every time. Most Hoosiers don't want to be seen as mean...

Anonymous said...

It is very unfortunate this guy even has a voice in our state legislature. Are our state legislatures really this simple-minded?

Anonymous said...

Quote.... still don't think it is fair. Shouldn't we be sending murderers, thugs, rapist, muggers, etc. away for the same time? Why should someone who beats another kid because he doesn't like him get a lesser sentence than someone who beats another kid because the kid is gay? They should both be able to get the same sentence. If the thug who beats the kid just because of a personal dislike (outside the protected classes or whatever) gets a lesser sentence than the thug who beats a black person or gay man, justice in this country is nothing more than a joke......>

I agree wholeheartedly. Protected classes for selective law enforcement is absurd and unjust.

A crime is a crime and should be prosecuted as such. Do not sweep the crime under the rug but adjudicate the wrong doers equally.

What next, "Hate Crime legislation for stamp collectors".

Remember beat, murder, rape and rob the straight Caucasian because he hasn't any rights or special protection.

All people should be protected equally under the law and let's not legislate a class society in America.

Donna said...

Anon 8:02 Think about what you're saying before you write such dribble:

"Remember beat, murder, rape and rob the straight Caucasian because he hasn't any rights or special protection."

Digest of HB 1076:
Bias crimes. Requires law enforcement officers to receive training in identifying, responding to, and reporting bias crimes. Allows an individual who suffers a personal injury or property damage caused by a criminal offense to bring a civil action to recover damages, including punitive damages, if the person who committed the offense knowingly or intentionally selected the victim because of the:
(1) victim's actual or perceived color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or homelessness; or
(2) actual or perceived color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex of an individual affiliated or associated with the victim. Makes commission of a crime because of the:
(1) victim's actual or perceived color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, homelessness, or any other characteristic or belief; or
(2) actual or perceived color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or any other characteristic or belief of an individual affiliated or associated with the victim; an aggravating circumstance that may be considered by a judge when the judge imposes a sentence for the crime.

"straight Caucasions" are covered in this bill. Did you even bother to read it?

Anonymous said...

The law should be equal for all and special exceptions should not be necessary or required. Prosecute the wrong doers equally.

donna said...

"The law should be equal for all and special exceptions should not be necessary or required. Prosecute the wrong doers equally."

Again I say, READ the bill. "All" is covered. Crimes committed based on Bias should come with a higher penalty paid just as there are with varying degres of murder.

And why is a Bias crimes bill needed? Because there is an epidemic of bias crimes in our country! Bias crimes are like a terroist attack. People who terroize targeted groups of people, i.e. Christians, Muslims, African Americans, Disabled, etc... should be punished more aggresively.

This bill also requires law enforcement officers to receive training in identifying, responding to, and reporting bias crimes.

Why is it that nobody is screaming about religion being a protected class?

You think we're civilized enough that bias crimes don't happen? Here's a factoid. During WWII when the allied forces were freeing prisoners they LEFT the gays and lesbians imprisioned! Make's me sick to my stomache.

Anonymous said...

The reason that Gays (very few lesbians were in the camps as they could be used by the SS for breeding) were imprisoned even after the war, is because the German civil government prior to 1933 had a paragraph 176 of the civil code which made homosexual relations illegal.

This law was not repealed until the 1970s. Certainly a mark of shame that they were treated as criminals and not victims. Of course, our own laws were not overturned until 2005 with Lawrence v Texas. So, we've nothing to brag about.

Anonymous said...

Again I say, READ the bill. "All" is covered.

"All" is only covered if you are attacked _because_ your affiliation with one of the "All" groups. This is a joke. Victims who want true justice will just start lying a little about the facts of their victimization. Say a black guy gets mugged by a white guy. The white guy says nothing during the mugging. It would be smart of the black victim to claim the white guy used racial slurs during the attack, saying that the money the white guy was stealing was just welfare money that all blacks get anyway. This way the victim might get their attacked painted as a hate crime, thus getting more punishment for the thug. This could work in many ways. Victims could lie about what was said, turning a simple mugging or purse snatch into a "hate crime," thus insuring an equal punishment that a true hate crime would get.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:18, your post is like a story about a unicorn.

"It would be smart of the black victim to claim the white guy used racial slurs during the attack, saying that the money the white guy was stealing was just welfare money that all blacks get anyway."

Are you serious?