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Viewpoint Enforcement: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force


Background:

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was formed in 1973 to “build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.” It does so primarily by publicizing LGBT issues, lobbying for public funds, and propelling “pro-LGBT legislation.” In 1983, it pressed the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which had been created in 1957 to secure rights for blacks, to begin counting offenses committed toward LGBTs as civil rights violations. In 1984, it began collecting data from LGBTs and publishing an annual report of “anti-LGBT” violence, including verbal abuse, “LGBT-bashings,” and intimidation. These efforts culminated in the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, which required the US Attorney General’s office to collect and publish annual data on crimes committed because of sexual orientation.

LGBT forces then went to work combating the newly documented “epidemic” of “anti-LGBT” crime. Success came in October 2009, with enactment of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, authorizing federal investigation and prosecution of a crime if it was motivated by sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. (Crime investigation and prosecution are normally state and local matters.) Its passage was viewed by the LGBT community as historic and monumental. “We look forward to the days ahead when we will join together again to celebrate full equality and recognition of our community, including in employment, the military and in the full recognition of our families,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the Task Force, on the day it became law.

Wanted For:

But, unlike blacks, LGBTs have always enjoyed the full rights of citizenship. What they lacked was full societal approval of their behavior. And Carey’s words reveal that this is what really drives LGBT politics. It’s not about crime prevention or civil rights. It’s about public opinion.
The fundamental problem with LGBT legislation is that it goes beyond censoring actions. An individual is punished, not for what he does, but for what he thinks. In hate crimes calculus, for example,

1 hate-crime = 1 crime + 1 thought-crime.

Hate crimes legislation didn’t alter criminal law. What did change is that, for the first time in US history, certain thoughts about sex and morality result in enhanced criminal sanctions.

Most Recent Assault:

And if LGBT activists get their way, more will follow. Next on the agenda is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which prohibits any refusal to hire or promote an employee based on such vagaries as his or her “gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics … with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” Here’s how it plays out: If a man who used to be a woman … or feels like a woman or plans to become a woman … applies for the position of, say, kindergarten teacher, but doesn’t get the job, he has a legitimate federal case against the school. And the law is on his side.

Enforcing ENDA, should it get passed, will be its lead author, lesbian law professor, Chai Feldblum, the President’s 2010 appointee to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ms. Feldblum made her intentions clear in 2006, when she wrote that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs” that may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”
Apparently, for LGBTs to enjoy their equality, those who have a moral opinion about their sexuality, other than full approval of it, must be silenced and shut out. By federal law. And they call it tolerance.

This article first appeared in Salvo 13, Summer 2010.

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  1. Les Zendle
    November 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    A few comments in response to your article on NGLTF.

    Firstly, you state that a primary function of NGLTF is “lobbying for public funds”. You make it sound like this is some kind of “pork barrel” spending. The only public funds that NGLFT concerns itself with are making sure that LGBT people are not excluded from health and human service funds appropriated by Congress. It is well known that Social Security discriminates against LGBT people in survivor benefits and qualification for Medicaid funds. For example, a heterosexually married couple does not have to sell their home so that one person in the couple can qualify for nursing home Medicaid funds. Also, as probably know, a surviving LGBT partner is not entitled to any Social Security survivor benefits nor spouse exclusions in inheritance after one partner dies. Also, government grants to non-governmental organizations that help address the community needs of the elderly have often ignored the unique needs of LGBT elderly (financial inequity, family support and health issues).

    Secondly, you state that NGLTF and other gay-rights groups seek “full societal approval of their behavior.” This is incorrect, what we seek is full protection and equal rights under the law. Not “special” rights (a term that the far right uses to diminish the legitimacy and acceptance of LGBT people) but “equal” rights — the right not to be discriminated against in housing and employment and the equal opportunity to serve our country, for example.

    Thirdly, your comments about hate-crime legislation being about punishing “certain thoughts about sex and morality” are ridiculous. A crime committed against an individual because they belong (or are thought to belong) to a certain group (race, religion, nation-origin, gender, disability or sexual orientation) are meant not just to punish a individual but to intimidate others in that group. These criminals want to send a message that people in that group are not welcome in society, and that they are less deserving of protection under the law and equal opportunity. That’s what hate-crime legislation is all about.

  2. November 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    On lobbying for public funds: Yes, lobbying for federal funds. In the form of (1) federal legislation to gather statistics, not on crimes, but on crimes committed against non-heterosexuals. (2) After the statistics were recorded, the “solution” appropriated funds that make “grants available to state and local communities to train authorities to better address bias-motivated crimes.” Not funds to address crime prevention, but funds to address crime prevention against non-heterosexuals. These are facts. I didn’t use the term “pork barrel spending.” In fact, I never thought of it that way until I read your comment. But, if it sounds like that to you, then it might be good idea to honestly consider whether or not it might fall into that category.

    About full protection and equal rights: This is rarely mentioned, but the fact is homosexual and heterosexual citizens in the US do enjoy the same rights and protections. Both have the right to law enforcement protections, and the right of due process. And both have the right to marry a member of the opposite sex and have the state recognize that marriage. This is different from blacks, who did not have certain civil rights like the right to vote and attend certain schools. What the LGBT movement actually seeks, in fact is not marriage equality. They already have that. They’re seeking to redefine marriage. That’s a different issue.

    About social security distributions: This makes an excellent case study in how government programs often don’t serve the people. I would join you in advocating for more freedom and choices and fewer mandates and taxes when it comes to social security. Just think, if there were an option for workers to opt out, or privatize some way, then homosexual couples could keep their earnings and dispense with them however they choose.

    About punishing certain thoughts: Your statement belies the fact that hate crimes legislation does, in fact, punish thoughts. “A crime committed against an individual because they belong (or are thought to belong) to a certain group … are meant not just to punish a individual but to intimidate others in that group. These criminals want to send a message that people in that group are not welcome in society, and that they are less deserving of protection under the law and equal opportunity. That’s what hate-crime legislation is all about.” (emphasis added by me)

    By what authority does one presume to know the motivations and intentions of criminals? That can’t be known unless the criminal tells you. This legislation presumes criminals’ motivations and intentions. Motivations and intentions exist in the realm of thought, not action. So, yes, this legislation does in fact aim to punish, and therefore suppress, certain thoughts.

    About discrimination:It is revealing that the hate crimes legislation was named after Matthew Shepard. The two offenders who killed him have been prosecuted. They narrowly escaped the death penalty for their crimes, and I think it’s safe to say they’ll be spending the remainder of their earthly lives behind bars. Of course that doesn’t bring Shepard back, and it doesn’t atone for their actions. But it does show that we have a system of justice that works, and Shepard’s homosexuality did not cause him to be treated differently in that system.

    The way he has been treated differently is he’s become the flagship case for LGBTs claiming to be the victims of crimes because of sexual orientation. The fact is, his killers both publicly stated that the crime was about drugs and money. In fact, this has been public information for many years. It’s downright dishonest to call the crime committed against him a bias-motivated crime, and use him as the poster boy for LGBT victimhood. So not only does the whole idea of “hate crimes” venture into the numinous territory of attempting to divine the thoughts and motives of criminals and punish them accordingly, the proponents of hate crimes laws are dishonest in how they go about even portraying what a hate crime is.

  3. Barb Hanson
    November 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Just a few points. The consitution does call to apply the law equally. Hate crimes was first brought about by George Bush, then Govenor of Texas. When I believe the man’s name( and I will check with Tims niece) Robert Black was drug behind a pick up truck to death. It was wrong then and it is wrong today.

    To apply ‘hate crime” deminishes the crime against other victims that do not fit neatly into someones agenda.

    We also have been allowed to have free thought and if we are to be punished by our thoughts, NO ONE would escape the judicial system.

    “Hate crime” , is no more than attempt to silence opposition.

    Les, there is one point in your reply. When two non related people live together and one goes into a nursing home, the remaining non related person is not required to sale their house. If you want more about qualifications, I can add more. However, you made it sound like the remaining person would be.
    So if there is more to your comment, and has to do with civil unions ( I am just guessing, ) you may want to follow your state statutes more closely.

    As far as medical care and directives, here in Indiana-medical representatives are the ones that are allowed to make the decisions. They can be obatained by an atorney, override power of attorneys and are not set side based on bias.

    It may be interesting that Indiana maybe more progressive for gay rights than California. Just a thought.

    Also, you also mentioned earlier in a post that more attention has been paid to gays within the last 100 years. Is that because the role of the federal government has been more expansive in the last 100 years.

    When George Bush, tried to steer 3 % of social security into private IRA,s the democrats threw a fit. However, that would have been a helpful answer to YOU deciding who your beneficieraries (sp) would have been, for at least a portion of your social security.

    How do you feel about the democrats < Harkins and Sanders, putting forward a plan to remove tax deductions from IRA's, and mandating Guaranteed Indidvidual Retirement accounts, to be allocated by the Federal Government and only half of what was left could be given to your beneficary.Isnt that more counter productive to your ability to designate your inheritance to the person of your choice.

  4. Barb Hanson
    November 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    One more point a valid, on record medical representative paperwork takes precedence over your hetrosexual spousal relationship.

    Barb

  5. Les Zendle
    November 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Terrell, you ask:
    “By what authority does one presume to know the motivations and intentions of criminals? That can’t be known unless the criminal tells you. This legislation presumes criminals’ motivations and intentions. Motivations and intentions exist in the realm of thought, not action. So, yes, this legislation does in fact aim to punish, and therefore suppress, certain thoughts.”

    Actually, for the person to be convicted of a “hate-crime” a jury has to find (beyond a reasonable doubt) that hate against a class of people was the motivation and the intention.

    I guess we’ll just have to continue disagreeing on the issue of same-sex marriage. The reality is that the only justification for not allowing gay couples to get married is a “religious” one. The “state” has no other interest in passing such a prohibition, and therefore it is by definition unconstitutional. The constitution guarantees all of us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — unless it can show that such activity harms other people. Same-sex marriage harms no one!

    As for the comments regarding Social Security, the current system is supported by that vast majority of Americans. The Republicans may talk about wanting to change it, but if they actually tried to do it, they would be “slaughtered” by the electorate. Even a Republican President with a Republican House and Senate couldn’t do it in 2004.

    As for the Harkin/Sanders issue, I think you need to stop listening to lies from Rush Limbaugh. Here’s what the truth is: Rush Limbaugh claimed that Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have a “proposal” to eliminate 401(k)s in favor of a retirement plan administered by the government. In fact, they have not made such a proposal. Rather, the idea of guaranteed retirement accounts — which was distorted by Limbaugh — was mentioned by a panelist from the Economic Policy Institute during a hearing held by Harkin and Sanders on retirement security issues.

  6. November 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Les, are you unable to see that if a jury is determining whether or not an individual committed a crime because of “hate against a class of people,” then the jury is, in fact, attempting to discern the thoughts and motives of the perpetrator? Not whether or not he committed the crime, but why – and then punish him accordingly? Your own words confirm the hate crime equation I used to illustrate what’s going on here:

    1 hate crime = 1 crime + 1 thought crime.

    In hate crimes calculus, a crime calls for one penalty. A hate crime calls for an enhanced penalty. The reason for the enhancement? The thought that is thought to have motivated the crime.

    About same-sex marriage, to my knowledge I’ve never told you what my thoughts are on it, unless my memory fails me. You’ve never asked me, and I haven’t volunteered them. If you have a copy of an email exchange somewhere where I did, then show it to me and I’ll stand corrected.

    About Social Security, my goal was not to have a discussion about SS, but merely to use your dissatisfaction with the distribution of SS funds to illustrate how this particular government program, which takes your money and then decides how to return it to you, does not serve you well. It was just food for thought. Do with it as you chose.

    You failed to address the point about the crime committed against Matthew Shepard being about drugs and money, not homosexuality, and the dishonesty of his case being used as the flagship case for hate crimes legislation. But that fact is still out there, and it casts doubt on every single charge of “hate crime.”

  7. Les Zendle
    November 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Terrell:
    When you wrote: “What the LGBT movement actually seeks, in fact is not marriage equality. They already have that. They’re seeking to redefine marriage. That’s a different issue.” I assumed that you were against redefining marriage as being recognized by the state as only between one man and one women. If that’s not the case, then I stand corrected.

    As for Matthew Shepard’s murderers, they were not charged with a hate-crime — probably because there was not proof that his assailants were motivated by hate toward gays. Surely, you are not saying that there is not violence directed against gays because they are gays, are you?

    Do you think that the murder of James Byrd was a hate crime? State law enforcement officials, along with Jasper’s District Attorney, determined that since Brewer and King were well-known white supremacists, the murder was a hate crime. King’s body bore several tattoos: a black man hanging from a tree, Nazi symbols, the words “Aryan Pride,” and the patch for a gang of white supremacist inmates known as the Confederate Knights of America. In a jailhouse letter to Brewer that was intercepted by jail officials, King expressed pride in the crime and said he realized in committing the murder he might have to die. “Regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history. Death before dishonor. Sieg Heil!”, King wrote.

    I understand that you believe that those convicted of “hate-crimes” shouldn’t face stiffer penalties that those convicted of similar non-hate crimes. We disagree, and so did the majority of the elected Congress and the elected President who signed the legislation. You are entitled to you opinion.

  8. November 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Oh, okay. I did note with a little bit of surprise that you didn’t take issue with that statement – that gays already have marriage equality and are in fact seeking to redefine marriage – but I guess it didn’t occur to me that you would divine out of it what my view on the issue might be.

    I am aware that Matthew Shepard’s killers weren’t charged with a hate crime. What I was referring to was the fact that LGBT forces have used his murder as the flagship case for hate crimes when the killers admitted their crime had nothing to do with his homosexuality. I also provided a link where you could read the ABCNews 20/20 report dated all the way back in 2004, for yourself. But despite this long known fact, LGBT forces not only still consider it a hate crime, the hate crime bill was named after him. That’s dishonest.

    Which leads me to your question about what I think about the murder of James Byrd. What was done to him is abhorrent and should be punished. But I cannot divine the motives of the killers, and with all due respect, you can’t either. Nazi symbols and “Aryan Pride” – sure those words are fightin’ words, but they’re not actions. Your arguments still indicate that my original statement is not ridiculous, but is in fact quite accurate. This legislation punishes certain thoughts about sex and morality. We may have a difference of opinion about whether or not that’s a good thing, but the fact of what it is remains.

    Is there violence directed toward gays simply because of their homosexuality? Perhaps there is, perhaps there isn’t. People are individuals and do things out of their own individual motives. A system of justice that truly seeks justice will treat each case as it actually presents itself. But what the Matthew Shepard case indicates, if nothing else, is that LGBT forces have a tendency to see gay hatred where it does not exist.

    This is sort of an aside, but here’s a great story about how to confront overt hate: The Heart of Reconciliation. True story. Read it and ask yourself if you have that kind of strength of soul. If not, I dare you to ask God for it. It’ll make you a better person.

  9. barb hanson
    November 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for the correction on James Bryd’s name. We will have to disagree, I think the maximum penalty should be instituted for heinous crimes, because to get to that level someone has to be seriously derranged. So to term it and have it become a “hate crime” to recieve a harsher sentence, that would mean that someone else conducting the same act not deemed a “hate crime” would recieve a lesser sentence.
    Torture is torture, pain is pain and loss is loss. I dont see why some people should have a lesser sentence because of the victim they picked.
    The Sanders Harkins bill will be coming up, I think you payer closer attention to Rush than most people I know.

  10. Barb Hanson
    November 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Social Security is a racist program anyway. Since black males have the lowest life expectancy and white females have the highest. Black males can pay into social security their whole lives and their families wont see the benefit.
    So much for fairness and equality, so you rather have a program that people cant designate for the welfare of their loved ones.

  11. Les Zendle
    November 8, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Barb: I guess our definition of racism is different. Violence, accidents and homicide, are the leading causes of death for black men ages 15 to 34. However, for every decade that follows, for every leading cause of death, the rates of disease for black men are disproportionately high. Once they become sick, they are more likely to suffer worse consequences and die sooner of the disease. Some of the culprits may be smoking (black men have a higher smoking rate), hypertension (probably genetic) and disparities in access to health services (higher rates of not having insurance, for example).

    Before social security, a large percentage of the elderly (white and black) lived below the poverty level. Social security stopped that. It’s not a perfect system, but a society that allows elderly people who worked their entire lives to live poverty is an immoral one.

    BTW, I realize we don’t agree on what’s moral and what’s immoral.

  12. Barb Hanson
    November 9, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Allowing people to pay into a system that they will not recieve a benefit from is immoral as well. But hey as long as the white guy gets his, why look at better options.

  13. Les Zendle
    November 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    That’s the nature of insurance — some people get more than they put in, and some people get less. The important thing is that elderly former workers aren’t allowed to live in poverty. I know you don’t believe in social justice, but that’s what it’s all about!

  14. Les Zendle
    November 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Terrell: You write, “Is there violence directed toward gays simply because of their homosexuality? Perhaps there is, perhaps there isn’t.”

    I can’t believe that you don’t believe that there is violence against gay people (and others, including Christians — just look at what happened in Iraq recently). The point is, when a crime is committed not only against the victim but in order to intimidate others of his/her group, then it should carry a stiffer penalty.

    It is ALWAYS up to the jury to decide motive in any trial. I’m not a lawyer, but “motive” is a necessary element of any prosecution. Lack of motive raises “reasonable doubt” and therefore some defendents are acquited due to the lack of motive.

    As for the Shepard/Byrd hate crime law: Yes, the criminals in each case denied that hate was a motive. Yes, 20/20 raised questions about the motive in the Shepard case, but there were many who disagreed. I suggest you stop blaming the victims and focus on the perpetrators of crime and what role society plays in fostering the kind of hate that leads to many of these crimes.

  15. November 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Les, you suggest that I “focus on … what role society plays in fostering the kind of hate that leads to many of these crimes.”

    What exactly would that “role society plays” be?

  16. Les Zendle
    November 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Intolerance to people of other races, religions, country of origin, sexual orientation. We all have been intolerant to others’ differences at times. We should not only look inward at our own prejudices, but also promote the benefits of brotherhood and tolerance in society.

  17. November 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Okay, that’s nice. I wouldn’t argue with that. I don’t see where I’ve exhibited intolerance to anyone of another race, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation. And I agree, we should all examine ourselves first. In fact, I referred you to an outstanding example of how one person responded to overt hate in The Heart of Reconciliation. I don’t know if you took a look at it, in the interest of examining yourself, but I wrote up that story. That’s how much I believe in the importance of overcoming hate. So I’m unclear as to why you have such a big problem with me.

  18. Les Zendle
    November 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I do NOT believe that you are intolerant (to people of another race, religion country of origin or sexual orientation). The only disagreement I have with you is that we evidently disagree that society has the right to dissuade crimes against groups who are targets of hate by making “hate-crimes” (that are intended to intimidate others in a group) have higher penalties.

  19. November 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Dissuading crime is a good thing. If society is selectively dissuading crime, though, I fail to see how that amounts to equal rights and equal protection. It’s definitely special rights and special protection.

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