I had just finished watching the news report on the vicious anti-gay beating of Jack Price (complete with an defense of the beating from a man sporting a Leviticus tattoo) when I came across this piece by Concerned Women for America’s Ken Ervin claiming that the beating proves that gays don’t need hate crimes protection:
The New York Post is abuzz with the story of Jack Price, a 49-year-old man who was viciously beaten by two twenty-somethings last week. While in the College Point store, two boys (why call them “men”?) hurled insults at Price, waited for him to leave the store and then jumped him. According to the Post, “Price suffered a fractured jaw and ribs, and a lacerated spleen.” He remains in a medically-induced coma in serious but stable condition.
So, to recap, two adolescently-minded wanna-be-men ganged up on a man more than twice their age, beating him so severely that his jaw and ribs were broken, his spleen was damaged, and he required hospitalization. Pretty bad, yes? Horrific and absolutely unconscionable, right? Are you outraged? Do you want to see justice done? Do you want these two jerks to spend a lot of time in some dark, dank hole in the New York prison system? Good. That’s how it should be.
And yet, for some, the mere fact of broken bones and a lacerated spleen wasn’t worthy of outrage. Oh no. What was truly outrageous about this unthinkable crime, and what seems to some to be more horrific than broken bones and life-threatening injuries is that — horror upon horror!! — the assailants hurled “anti-gay slurs” at the object of their torment.
C’mon people. Can you seriously look me in the face and tell me that these hoodlums should get a harsher sentence for calling Jack Price nasty names while they beat him? If so, you’re also saying that it’s okay with you if they had kept their mouths shut while beating him and got away with a lighter sentence. Preposterous.
Homosexual or not, who really cares? These hooligans deserve prosecution to the fullest extent of the law — the regular law, not the “special” ones. We don’t need “hate crimes” laws. We need law enforcement. We need these guys to be afraid of more than a slap on the wrists. And if that isn’t happening with the regular law, then making “special” laws isn’t going to do it either.
Let me ask, for seemingly the millionth time, if the Religious Right would be making this argument that hate crimes laws are unnecessary if the victim had been attacked because of his race or religion?
If “special” laws are so unnecessary, then why aren’t they calling for the repeal of the existing hate crimes protections for race and religion, instead of merely trying to prevent gays from getting those same protections?