This May Cost Me My Place in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy...
But Andrew Sullivan is right about Hate Crimes
I am sympathetic to the argument that all assaults are effectively hate crimes. But I do think that there is a difference between hearing that the guy down the street got beat up because of an argument over a parking space, and that he got beat up because he was black, or Jewish, or gay. And it is that in the latter case, it sends an implicit message to other blacks, Jews and gays, that you could be next.
And as Andrew points out, non-gays are not uncommonly attacked because they are perceived to be gay. When I lived in SF, I remember one evening when a gang of 4-5 punks were harrassing several (probably gay) men on the bus. I guess the driver had radioed in that there was trouble going on, because a cop car pulled us over and removed the youths from the bus, to much applause from the passengers.
Labels: Hate Crimes