S.909 - Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

A bill to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as introduced.
  • Short: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 457 total comments.

AntonGolovin 05/09/2009 7:46pm
in reply to ryan713105 May 07, 2009 11:46am

Ryan, I do indeed read that. However, I am not stating that the persecution of Christians would begin with the passage of this bill. However, I am very concerned that a series of laws have been, are being, and will be passed that will create a framework that will create a framework for persecuting religious organizations that preach the Bible, which speaks very clearly on the topic of homosexuals and the Jews.

It is not hate to speak the truth: that the Jews crucified Christ, and that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

AntonGolovin 05/09/2009 7:32pm
in reply to RuthAnn May 07, 2009 6:09am

“The problem with this bill is that a state-mandated framework for eventually persecuting Christians is being silently put in place. If you do not begin to actively stand up now, your pastor, who recites the Holy Bible, and you, who listens to it and believes in it, will possibly end up in jail for inciting “hate”.

Notice the abstract nature of this word – “hate”. Sounds like someone really hates Christians – with real hate – and wants us persecuted, just like during the times of the Soviet Union or the ten persecutions of the Roman Empire.

Wake up now!!!"

Please, do not delete this comment. It was in 1st place on this site. If this bill passes, all that remains is to insert a clause that criminalizes “incitement of hate”.

Then, the New Testament can be declared “hate literature”, and pastors and God-fearing Christians sent to the gulags.

fosocrom 05/07/2009 12:03pm
in reply to RuthAnn May 07, 2009 6:09am

please clarify what you just said. If I understand you correctly, you believe it is wrong for Christians to preach the Bible if it says, “Homosexuality is a sin.” Am I right?

RebeccaReynolds 06/17/2009 4:11am

This bill will actually increase prejudice against minorities. Whenever certain groups receive preferential treatment, resentment toward those groups grows.

If we want equality in America, this bill prevents that. It differentiates between gays, racial groups, and religious groups. As a member of a minority group, I believe that this bill will only increase frustration toward minorities.

There are already laws in place which prosecute violent crimes. Use those to treat all citizens with equal respect and protection.

WyoPaladin 05/15/2009 1:51pm
in reply to WyoPaladin May 15, 2009 1:51pm

Or when a nicely written “THEORY-Darwins Law”, which has never been scientifically “Proven” becomes a “PROOF”. These things are more politically motivated than scientifically. Scientist are politically punished all the time for presenting “well researched data and conclusions”. All this misdirection on your part about this issue of “taking away” First Amendment Rights not to be confused with “Free speech” sounds too much like a political and personal “…I want it my way..” argument. Sorry but I won’t buy it until you can show some raw data and statistical conclusion. Nice Try but No Banana.

RuthAnn 05/09/2009 1:46am
in reply to shawnyboy69 May 08, 2009 12:39pm

Actually the bill does not suggest better or more privilages, it provides the same privilages as the other classes. I suspect you belong to one of the other; you have a religious affilliation, or you belong to a certain race, or you are of a specific gender, etc. So I suspect that you are covered should these be a basis of a crime against you. And I suspect that you would be happy if the prosecuter would charge someone who prosecuted violence against you, with a charge based in this law. Don’t look for more than what is there.

Hate crimes against gays are up and regardless of the statistics, if you are a victim or a family member of a victim it is no less.

WyoPaladin 05/15/2009 1:51pm
in reply to RuthAnn May 08, 2009 3:48pm

A college Stat & Economics course proved if real data and data sources don’t exist use generalities. Your generality of the entire population being in a perfect “Bell Curve” is rediculous. The population of heterosexual-homosexual is not a bell curve. It’s absolute because no-one has polled or done genetic validation of this point. Take for example where “political polls” declared a “winner” only to learn the next morning the wrong person one,statistical samples indicate a disease cause and effect only to fail when applied to the larger population.

Tepahtiani 05/24/2009 5:14pm
in reply to Tepahtiani May 24, 2009 5:08pm

Let me rephrase that. I oppose this, because I do not believe this bill is necessary. There are laws against those who kidnap victims, drive them off to a faraway place, and then left hung to die! There are similar hate crimes legislation already that similarly say the same thing. It is not necessary when law enforcement can go and arrest kidnappers whether the victim is gay or not. I hope I am clear.

cateyes200 06/26/2009 12:43pm


ryan713105 05/07/2009 11:37am

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909) is supported by a wide range of Christian churches and other interfaith partners. The purpose of this bill is to help prevent hate crimes, one sixth of which are committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation. These crimes are on the rise, and are intended to create an atmosphere of fear and terrorize entire communities. Sexual orientation is already defined by federal law and does not include any of the criminal acts that right-wing groups are claiming it does. Additionally, no church will be hushed or persecuted in any way because of this bill. If you don’t believe me, review our list of coalition partners. You might even find you church on the list!

krystaltgirl 05/17/2009 3:56pm

Thanks Gene…. Trans people really are the strongest people I know.. hands down. I was thinking about moving to Utah..someone said there were more-men there…LOL.

fosocrom 05/11/2009 8:03am
in reply to RuthAnn May 08, 2009 3:49pm

Thomas Jefferson used those words in terms of protecting religion from state and federal intervention. He wrote those words to a baptist minister. He explained that government had no right to prohibit religion, but he himself believed that religion should be a part of government. As proof I would invite you to look at the record of congress. When Jefferson was president, he attended church in the Capital building in D.C. His name is multiple attendance records and his personal writings indicate that he went often to church in the treasury department building as well. Hopefully this will shed some light on how words and laws can be very misleading.

RuthAnn 05/08/2009 3:39am
in reply to fosocrom May 07, 2009 12:17pm

Please identify in the bill the line that suggests that “free speech of those who preach the Bible” will be limited.

WyoPaladin 05/15/2009 1:54pm
in reply to RuthAnn May 08, 2009 3:49pm

Reading his actual letters also prove it was not to be interpreted as “EXCLUSION of Church and State”. It was written about by every founding father that it was about not having a “Government Church” which was part of the Governing Ruler(s). This rewritting of history is really a Progressive idea run amok. Sorry but you really need to do a better job of reading all the documents and become an American!

Tepahtiani 05/24/2009 5:08pm

I oppose this bill, because I do not believe this bill is necessary. There are laws against those who kidnap victims, drive them off at a faraway, and then left hung to die! There are similar hate crimes legislation already that similarly says the same thing. It is not necessary when law enforcement can go and arrest kidnappers regardless of sexual orientation the victim may be.

Gene9223 05/10/2009 6:18pm
in reply to AntonGolovin May 10, 2009 5:42pm

Um… ‘organized’ homosexuals… is that like unionized gays? Like the AFL-CIO? …does it come with full medical and dental? What’s the benefit package? If I join, can I get a pay raise?

AntonGolovin 05/15/2009 9:57pm
in reply to RuthAnn May 08, 2009 3:12am

In reading the comments, you will notice that some comments are “filtered”. If you unfilter them for yourself, you will discover that most of them are from conservatives. I do not think this site is so liberal; rather, I think we are witnessing someone who is purposefully “deleting” Christian opinions, for the most part.

JOLENE 06/27/2009 4:49am

This Bill makes it all right for adults to have sex with minors. also, if you are Christian, you can’t quote the BIBLE for that would be construed as a hate crime. It appears that if you have strong feelings about the type of people you are protecting, we can’t speak about it in a group outside my house for fear of reprisal of being arrested for a hate crime. I feel like my country is becoming COMMUNIST RUSSIA !!!

Gene9223 05/07/2009 1:44pm

I really wish people would sit down, slow down and read this bill with out listening to someone spewing hate and dis-information. I’ve heard so much BS about what this bill will do and the only thing it appears to be doing it providing the states with additional funds.

It neither curtails the Freedom of Speach or Relgious observace. You can still be a hater and burn your crosses if this bill passes. And if you are a ‘Christian’ then you aren’t hating or hurting anyone to get in trouble over.

sefraser 05/06/2009 11:03am

Are we reading the same bill? Did the other commenters actually read it? Section 10 of this bill addresses, explicitly, the intent to preserve free speech. And the main thrust of this bill is to expand existing hate crimes classification to include sexual orientation and gender identity while providing grant assistance in prosecuting all hate crimes. Unless you are planning or inciting violent crimes against someone based on the qualifying criteria, you should be able to retain your liberties.

Jana 07/09/2009 3:53am

This is simply another attack on Free Speech. Unacceptable.

WyoPaladin 05/15/2009 2:13pm
in reply to ryan713105 May 07, 2009 11:37am

Reference the Matthew Shephard Act – As a University of Wyoming graduate, born in Boulder, CO, so forget the Redneck stuff. I worked with quite a number of business people and legal professionals (including a former City Attorney, Public Defender and local law enforcement personnel). This case was tried in the National media as a political case. There was documented evidence that this tragedy was not predominantly about being homosexual. There were some substantiated issues relative to a drug deal that went badly and the result was a terrible loss of life. But as someone once said…Don’t let a Crisis or Terrible situation go to waste. I think those two should have gotten the death sentence as did a lot of legal people. But why the misdirection and fabrications? Go take the time to read all the transcripts and reports, you may find a different picture.

daringone 05/11/2009 8:29am
in reply to slw May 05, 2009 6:49pm

Agreed. It is already illegal to beat up/kill/rape someone, this bill tries to (incorrectly) say that we can know what someone was thinking when they committed a crime. A crime is a crime, regardless of motivation. Use the laws we already have.

Garrybledsoe 05/11/2009 5:39pm

Comments by RuthAnn on May 09, 2009 (2 days ago) “I suspect you belong to one of the other; you have a religious affilliation, or you belong to a certain race, or you are of a specific gender,”
This sounds more like hate speech and would fall under the same type of attitude she is trying to condemn.

Telling a person they do not agree with their life style is no more a hate crime than someone telling another person you don’t agree with type of music they listen to. It is a personal opinion. Because a person has a personal opinion does not make them a evil person or a crimimal. The carring out of violent acts makes a person a criminal and we already have laws that punish criminals.

Gene9223 05/09/2009 5:04am
‘What’s a hate crime?’.

A hate crime is when a person is targeted because they offend someone by their very existence. Traditionally that’s been Blacks and Jews, but now days its frowned upon by general (Hetro-WASP-GOP) society to hate them. Those that hate seem to need something to hate and have turned to hating the fringe elements in our society. GLBT types, immigrants, people that are not ‘christian’. (to me it mirrors the KKK and Nazi’s stance way too much for my comfort level)

Typically a Hate Crime is punctuated by violent act(s) that is/are extreme. Think shaving off someone’s face off or splashing their face with acid, or chopping off fingers one joint at a time, hanging them upside down and being treated like a piñata, being doused with gasoline and lit on fire or dragged for miles behind a pickup truck.

From my experience, the only people that are afraid of hate crime legislation are those who may serve additional time in prison from committing a hate crime.

RuthAnn 05/09/2009 1:49am

I want to thank everyone for their insights. I have learned from all of you and wish you all well.

fosocrom 05/08/2009 6:26am
in reply to RuthAnn May 08, 2009 3:36am

Our churches only teach the Bible. The Bible never compares a homosexual to a pedophile. I am completed against judging others. I would not want to be judged myself. I am against sin, because I have seen what it does to people. “Hate the sin and love the sinner.” Hating others is wrong. Jesus told us to love everyone. He was the ultimate example of this. However of you read Proverbs Ch 6 you will see just one example of Jesus hating particular sins.

RuthAnn 05/09/2009 1:48am

Finally, I would agree with you; in a perfect world there would be no reason to clarify who is protected, everyone would have equal rights and crimes would be equally prosecuted. I just am not that nieve. I for one have lived in the south and was told to get rid of my “yankee” plates unless I wanted to receive numerous traffic citations. So much for equal prosecution of the law. Its the world we live in.

ryan713105 05/07/2009 11:46am
in reply to AntonGolovin May 05, 2009 9:28am

AntonGolovin, please read number 3 and 4 of section 10 of the bill.

3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

slw 05/05/2009 6:49pm

This bill is frightening. This will elevate one class of citizens to ‘protected’ status while slashing the free speech of everyone not in that ‘protected’ class. It not only shreds the 1st amendment AND the 14th & 16th amendments it enables pedophiles to freely molest our children! All crimes or acts of violence against another person are already illegal and thus don’t need any special ‘protections’ for anyone. This is a completely unnecessary bill unless you are seeking to persecute one segment of the population which is unconstitutional.

All this bill does is enable one segment of the population to commit crimes without fear of consequences because they are now in a specially ‘protected’ class, while punishing the other segment of the population for merely thinking something the newly ‘protected’ class of citizens perceives they ‘might’ be thinking! This is classic fascism. Except now the Christians are in the crosshairs instead of the jews. Wake up America!

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