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Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Act infringes freedom of speech???

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fl_dem Donating Member (444 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-28-09 08:18 AM
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Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Act infringes freedom of speech???
Since Sally Kern is the obvious Queen of Bigotry in Oklahoma, Steve Russell just crowned himself King.


http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/18/oklahoma-tenther-ha... /


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Tenther Oklahoma Lawmaker Considering Bill To Opt Out Of Hate Crimes Act


EXCERPT: A common right-wing objection to federal health care legislation is that its unconstitutional. So-called tenthers argue that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution never explicitly gives the federal government the right to regulate health care, leaving that power exclusively in the hands of the states. To that end, officials in various states have raised the possibility of passing legislation to exempt their residents from federal health care reform if it passes.

Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell (R) is proposing to use the same argument and tactic to try to exempt his state from the recently-passed Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act which extends hate crimes protections to gays and lesbians because he claims it infringes on freedom of speech:

Russell said because the government has decided to intervene on issues of morality, he is worried that religious leaders who speak out against any lifestyle could be imprisoned for their speech.

The law is very vague to begin with, Russell said. Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to extremes like necrophilia. <...>

Russell said Oklahoma can opt out of the law on the basis of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The bill gives the federal government power that was not given to them in the Constitution, Russell said. I am aware of the supremacy of the federal government over state governments, but the federal requirements are vague enough for us to make actions. We just have to be very careful on how we proceed.


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