Evidently not. Last year, we had Lee Anne Washington talking about how she was going to end in-state college tuition for illegal aliens, when illegals don’t receive in-state tuition to begin with.
This year, we have Catherine Crabill, who’s running for the Republican nomination for the 99th district versus Lee Anne Washington, talking about nonexistent “hate crime” laws. A couple quotes from her website [emphasis mine]:
Homosexual Hate Crimes Legislation:
First of all, some of the dearest people I know are homosexual. I treasure these friendships and I am grieved that my position on this matters may fracture these relationships. My grievance is not against those whose personal life is kept private, as is mine. My grievance is against the insidious legal maneuvers that have had the desired chilling effect on those who would dare to oppose their public, societal-redefinement agenda. To elevate a class of citizens defined by their particular sexual “expression” is clearly unconstitutional through the provisions of equal protection under the law. Peaceful protestors at such events as “Gay Pride” parades are threatened with fines and imprisonment. Those of us who take a stand against this aggressive agenda risk the loss of our freedom of thought, speech, and religion. The danger of these laws cannot be exaggerated. Further, the indoctrination of our children and many corporate employees through mandatory “sensitivity training” is clearly an assualt [sic] on personal moral convictions.
And [again, emphasis mine]:
I will stand against the Homosexual Agenda that threatens our very freedoms of thought, speech, and religion as embodied in the “Hate Crimes” Legislation.
First, there are no “hate crime” laws in the Code of Virginia which afford additional protections to people that victimized due to their sexual orientation:
Va. Code § 18.2-57(A) states:
Any person who commits a simple assault or assault and battery shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and if the person intentionally selects the person against whom a simple assault is committed because of his [the victim’s] race, religious conviction, color or national origin, the penalty upon conviction shall include a term of confinement of at least six months, 30 days of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement.
Va. Code § 18.2-57(B) provides that:
[I]f a person intentionally selects the person against whom an assault and battery resulting in bodily injury is committed because of his [the victim’s] race, religious conviction, color or national origin, the person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, and the penalty upon conviction shall include a term of confinement of at least six months, 30 days of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement.
Va. Code § 18.2-121 makes it a crime to enter someone else’s property for the purpose of damaging it and:
[I]f a person intentionally selects the property entered because of the race, religious conviction, color or national origin of the owner, user or occupant of the property, the person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, and the penalty upon conviction shall include a term of confinement of at least six months, 30 days of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement.
Va. Code § 18.2-423 makes it a Class 6 felony to place a swastika on a religious structure “with the intent of intimidating another person or group of persons”. Va. Code § 18.2-423.1 makes it a Class 6 felony “for any person or persons, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, to burn, or cause to be burned, a cross on the property of another, a highway or other public place.”
Note that in both § 18.2-423 and 18.2-423.1, the victims do not have to be a particular race, ethnic group, or religion; the state simply has to prove that the intent of the perpetrator was to intimidate the victim.
Va. Code § 18.2-423 also makes it Class 4 felony to conspire with someone else to incite one race in violence or war against another race.
As a side note, there’s Va. Code § 8.01-42.1 which allows a person who’s “subjected to acts of (i) intimidation or harassment or (ii) violence directed against his person; or (iii) vandalism directed against his real or personal property, where such acts are motivated by racial, religious, or ethnic animosity” to seek injunctive relief and/or civil damages.
As you can note in all those code sections, there is no mention of additional penalties due to the victim’s sexual orientation or “gender identity”. In addition, I can’t find a bill in the General Assembly that made it pass a committee that would have expanded the definition of a “hate crime” under those statutes.
Second, Ms. Crabill claims that such legislation is “clearly” unconstitutional. As the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) noted unanimously in 1993 (as a reminder, the court included, at the time, Chief Justice Rehnquist and Associate Justices Scalia and Thomas) in Wisconsin v. Mitchell:
[T]he Wisconsin statute singles out for enhancement bias-inspired conduct because this conduct is thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm. For example, according to the State and its amici, bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest. [citations omitted] The State’s desire to redress these perceived harms provides an adequate explanation for its penalty-enhancement provision over and above mere disagreement with offenders’ beliefs or biases. As Blackstone said long ago, “it is but reasonable that among crimes of different natures those should be most severely punished, which are the most destructive of the public safety and happiness.”
Third, Ms. Crabill claims that such legislation would infringe on her freedoms of speech and religion. Such hate crime legislation as enacted by the General Assembly does not criminalize speech, it just proscribes additional penalties when the intent of the perpetrator is to cause harm to someone or his property due to the victim’s race, nationality, ethnic group, or religion. Does Ms. Crabill believe that assault and battery and vandalism are protected forms of speech? Further, how would such legislation infringe on her freedom of religion? Does her religion mandate that she assault and batter homosexuals and vandalize their property?
Fourth, if Ms. Crabill thought it was wrong for such legislation to be enacted because it was criminalizing a “thought crime”, then she would condemn all hate crime legislation, not just (nonexistent) legislation designed to protect people due to their sexual orientation.
Fifth and finally, Ms. Crabill complains about “sensitivity training” classes required by certain businesses and corporations. Is Ms. Crabill saying that she would support legislation that would outlaw such classes? Should it be her job as an elected representative of the people to determine what’s proper training for employees of businesses and corporations, as opposed to the actual business or corporation determining for itself what is appropriate? If an employee doesn’t want to take such “sensitivity training” classes, then the employee can simply choose to not continue working at the business.
Now, I’m not agreeing with this type of legislation on moral grounds, I’m simply pointing out that the SCOTUS has ruled that such legislation is constitutional. There’s a difference between what has been determined to be a constitutional and what you could argue is moral or not. If a candidate wants to make an argument that it isn’t morally right to provide a certain group of people with more protections than someone else, then they can knock themselves out.
I’m also pointing out that, once again, we have a Republican candidate in the 99th district that doesn’t know jack about laws that she will be responsible for drafting, passing, and amending.
- Catherine Crabill. “Current Concerns.” Catherine Crabill for Delegate. Catherine Crabill for Delegate. 4 Apr. 2009 <http://www.catherinecrabill.com/catherine_crabill_for_del/2009/02/homosexual-issues.html>. [↩] [↩] [↩] [↩]
- Catherine Crabill. “Welcome.” Catherine Crabill for Delegate. Catherine Crabill for Delegate. 4 Apr. 2009 <http://www.catherinecrabill.com/catherine_crabill_for_del/2009/02/welcome.html >. [↩] [↩]