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January 3, 2009

Hate Crimes

   I recently read several news stories about a lesbian woman who was raped by several men in the San Fransisco area.  The idea of what this woman went through truly horrifies me.  I have the most beautiful wife and daughter, and can't imagine if something like that were to ever happen to them.  In my role as father, husband and protector of my family, I honestly don't know if I could prevent myself from going after the attacker on my own.  Just the idea of someone being willing to violate a woman like that makes me angry.  As I read the story further, police are classifying the crime as a "hate crime," and for some reason that got me upset too.

   I understand that there are people in this country that have consistently and historically been attacked based on certain prejudices.  The problem for me is that a crime committed against someone who is of another race, sex, or sexual orientation might possibly be charge more harshly and given tougher punishment, solely based on those differences.  Is it somehow less offensive or damaging for a straight woman to be raped than for a lesbian?  In one way, it feels as though we make the straight woman's rape less important because she is straight.  There's probably a number of statistics that contradict my thoughts, but I don't think it is going to cause fewer rapes in this country against lesbians by punishing them more harshly.  That's like saying that drugs are no longer an issue because of three strike laws or mandatory sentencing.  To me, it feels that working to protect one type of class, we've made another somehow seem less important.  


Matt Coulter said...

Holy crap, when did you write all these new blogs?

I agree with this one completely. A crime is a crime, and it is disgusting and horrible no matter who it was against, especially the example you use. Hate crime legislation makes one person's life worth more than another's - which just isn't right.