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Home Page Contents Congressional Record
16 October 1998
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, October 16, 1998
1998 Ron Paul 122:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I commend to my colleagues in Congress as well as citizens everywhere an article authored by Richard Sincere, Jr., President of Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty. Mr. Sincere aptly describes how the very essence of hate crimes undermines a pillar of a free and just society; that is, equal treatment under the law irrespective of which particular group or groups with whom an individual associates. Ours is a republic based upon the rights of the individual.
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GAY STUDENTS MURDER IS NO REASON TO
MAKE BAD LAW
(By Richard E. Sincere, Jr.)
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Shepard, an openly gay University of Wyoming student who had been widely praised for his talents, ambitions and personality, last week was beaten senseless and left for dead, tied up like a scarecrow along a fence on a
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Local law enforcement officials in Laramie, WY, where the crime took place, quickly arrested the alleged perpetrators — two men who performed the assault and two women who helped them hide their deed — and it looks like they will be punished to the full extent the law allows if they are convicted. With Shepards death, they face a possible death sentence.
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Laramie, a university community of 27,000 people, is feeling both shame and outrage, a sentiment shared by all
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The crime against Shepard has renewed calls for passing
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This would be a mistake. It would be a mistake because
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Hunter College Professor Wayne Dynes, editor of the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, notes that
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Dynes adds: In seeking to exculpate the killer, we would get into the question of whether some hate is justified and some is not. He concludes that
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Under our system of justice, everyone is equal before the law. Those accused of crimes are entitled to certain constitutional protection, which we must cherish, and the victims of a crime — whether a Bill Gates or the poorest
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So, too, with class- or
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Hateful thoughts may be disagreeable, but they are not crimes in themselves. The crimes that result from hateful thoughts — whether vandalism, assault or murder — are already punishable by existing statutes.
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In a speech at the University of Texas last year, libertarian activist Gene Cisewski said: We should be
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Cisewski acknowledged the good intentions of those who propose
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The answer, Cisewski suggested, and I agree, is that we hold every law enforcement official and every court official who administers justice to the standard that every American is guaranteed equal protection under the law.
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Hate-crime laws set up certain privileged categories of people, defined by the groups to which they belong, and offers them unequal protection under the law. This is wrong. It is sad to see a young mans personal misfortune used by various
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We are all shocked and dismayed by the assault on Shepard. Such brutality cannot, should not be countenanced. Let us not multiply the crimes of his attackers by writing bad law in response.