Along with other Republicans, Roy Blunt made his case that somehow the right to free speech and religious freedom would be violated by the Hate Crime Bill that just passed the House. Watch the video here:
It’s a strange argument. All sorts of laws and regulations scrutinize intent – why should we exempt beating gay people to death from that same scrutiny?
I understand why Blunt is making these points when I put them side by side with the views of the woman who preceded Blunt on the video. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) believes that Matthew Shepard was a gay man who happened to be the victim of a crime, and his attackers just happened to hate gay people, but he was just a random victim of a random crime.
Here’s a fact-check of her odious speech:
Well, Matthew Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation, and he was tortured and killed for the same reason. He’s not alone, either. In 2007, there were almost 8,000 incidents reported to the FBI, including assault, rape, and murder. In Blunt’s view, people don’t target gays, women, people of different faiths, etc. for violent acts. In his world, there are only random crimes, none motivated by prejudice. Needless to say, this is not the world we live in.