Skip to comments.Exclusive: Sen. Allen Withdraws 'Hate Crimes' Support (Shades of John Kerry?)
Posted on 12/09/2005 11:52:02 AM PST by areafiftyone
(CNSNews.com) - Republican U.S. Sen. George Allen will no longer support "hate crimes" legislation that includes "sexual orientation" as a protected status, even if the proposal is identical to a bill he voted for in 2004. The Virginia senator acknowledged Friday that such legislation could be used by federal courts to extend civil rights protections to homosexuals and to squelch free speech.
"Senator Allen is going to vote against adding 'sexual orientation' to federal 'hate crimes' laws," Mike Thomas, Allen's state director, told Cybercast News Service Friday.
Thomas said Allen has two serious concerns after monitoring how the federal courts have applied similar laws.
"The first is, he feels that those changes to hate crimes laws could have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights," Thomas said.
"Secondly - even though he doesn't feel that the legislation that was voted on in 2004, in and of itself, would elevate 'sexual orientation' to civil rights status - it's becoming clear that there are some courts that would use that as a building block toward civil rights status, which he is opposed to."
Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, shares Allen's concerns.
"These are the warnings that the pro-family groups ... have been making for years to politicians like George Allen," Glover told Cybercast News Service. "We're just happy that George Allen has seen it, now that it's actually coming to fruition, before it's too late."
Both Glover and Thomas referenced an October 2004 incident in Philadelphia where a group of Christians were arrested and each faced 47 years in jail for publicly reading Bible verses condemning homosexual behavior during the city's "Outfest," a "gay pride" celebration.
"He's seen religious liberties being threatened in Philadelphia," Glover said, "because of a 'hate crimes' law there that includes 'sexual orientation.'"
There are other cases as well, Thomas said. "There are indications that the courts are willing to use 'hate crimes' statutes to go after free speech and that is of great concern to Senator Allen," he said.
Glover had previously criticized Allen for what pro-family advocates saw as a reversal on this issue. As Cybercast News Service previously reported that Allen wrote supporters during his 2000 Senate campaign, telling them that he would "take no action that would have the effect of elevating sexual orientation to civil rights status including, but not limited to, adding sexual orientation to Federal Hate Crimes legislation or any other similar legislation."
Allen denied changing his position when he voted in favor of a 2004 bill that included "sexual orientation" as a protected class, because he believed, at that time, that the law would not provide civil rights protections to homosexuals. Thomas said it is now the potential effect of the legislation, not the senator's position that has changed.
(Go George! Allen 2008)
There is truly room to change one's mind on things. And as we all know, politicians do it way too much for politican ends. I don't know about Allen yet and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But he bears watching. I hope that he doesn't twist in the wind, because I like him. But I don't want to vote for a double-minded man.
I don't understand the whole "hate crime" thing.
If you do the crime who cares what your motivation was?
Punish the action not the thought.
Punish the action not the thought.
Allen is wrong on other things too. He needs to get back in line as a conservative.
"Punish the action not the thought"
Libs will never allow this, free thought, no way.
Seems like Allen is too worried about his election and scoring brownie points more than his convictions. I'm not saying he isn't voting the right way now but I don't want someone who farts whichever way the wind is blowing.
prep for 2008.
I caught george allen's stump speech recently on CSPAN. I'm afraid he was dull as ditchwater.
you dare to use logic in the arena of politics, shame on you! ;)
LOL! depends on who's down-wind.
In order for conservatives to really, really accomplish some changes in this crazy PC world we find ourselves, lots of people are going to have to be changing their minds on issues such as this one.
There's nothing wrong with realizing the error of one's ways and acting accordingly to correct it.
I can understand how we got into this Politically Correct BS; we wanted to be kind and considerate. But now that we see where it has led us, it is going to take a lot of courage, such as exhibited by Sen. Allen.
I agree. I'll have to start paying more attention to what he says and his consistency. I'd rather someone be wrong than change a lot. EXCEPT: 1) when they have a genuine change of heart; and 2) when there's a huge uprising and they know they need to rethink things (like Pres. Bush did with Harriet Miers). Otherwise, I want someone who stands by his convictions. That way, I can vote for his convictions with confidence.
Allen stated reasoning on hate crimes legislation in general:
He understands the opposition to it, since it treats people differently, but he has been a "tough on crime" politician for a long time and says he'll vote for most anything that increases criminal penalties.
I won't pretend to claim Allen is above political calculation, and he's not my #1 choice in 2008, but he does seem to have a set of principles that he tries to apply to each piece of legislation as it arises. If you realize you're wrong about something and change your position, one or two things like that doesn't make someone a flip-flopper.
Care to explain?
Yeah yeah, he's not a radical pro-gay pro-abort gun-grabber like your hero Rudy, spare us the snide comments.
Who died and made you moderator? For you info I never mentioned Rudy
I haven't heard him that much, but from what I've heard he's more of a smooth, relaxed speaker and not as energized as GWB. But he seems to have a good memory for the status of all the key political issues and legislation and he answers questions in calm, understandable language. I think he'd make a good contrast to the stridency, anger, and barely-contained radicalism of Hillary. Allen would beat Hillary like a copper kettle drum, 53-46 in the popular vote...not even close.
Well, the prosecutor, for one. Establishing motive is important, but it should be an element of the crime itself, not a separate charge tacked on.
A "hate" motivation can be used to help secure a conviction, and could be an element of sentenicng (premeditation, remorse, etc.) -- there doesn't need to be a separate charge for the perp's motivation to be used against him.