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Audio: Wherein Matt Barber seeks a more internal rights rollback

by Jeremy Hooper

Ladies and gents, hold onto your hates, because we are about to give Matt Barber a genuine compliment. That's because we actually 6A00D8341C503453Ef011168987Ba7970C.Jpg-1applaud him for, in the first half of the following clip, admitting for the first time (to our knowledge) that his antipathy for LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation actually means that he doesn't support extra hate crimes protections for ANYONE -- including on the basis of religion. For the "pro-family" movement in general and Matt Barber in particular, this actually comes across as a semi-refreshing moment of candor.

Now, Matt then goes on to spin all sorts of convoluted nonsense about homosexuality being as "changeable" as religion, gayness being a "sin that dare not speak its name," and the supposed way that the founding fathers' support for religious freedom negates potential support for LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation. And of course he overlooks that while yes, in a utopia, hate crimes laws would not be necessary, they are unfortunately all-too necessary for an America where the 14th amendment has somewhat failed to suffice. But for one shining moment at the beginning, perhaps inspired by his idiosyncratically pro-gay caller, Matt seems to seems to display genuine recognition of the hypocrisy displayed by so many of his "pro-family" who oppose LGBT protections yet proudly embrace ones that apply to their own life. Listen in:

So if Matt believes what he speaks, then perhaps he should slow down the aggressive campaigns to deny hate crimes protections that are inclusive of LGBT people, and instead start a campaign to convince evangelicals that the measures that currently protect them on the basis of their faith constitute "special rights," create "thought crimes," punish preachers, limit free speech, or any of the other claims that he uses against our protections. We'll see how much mileage he gets out of such a campaign when there are no LGBT people to exploit for $ocio-political gain$ or stigmatize through fear-mongery code words.

Liberty Live, 4/21/09 [AFR]

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Your thoughts

I checked around the house, and I'm reasonably sure I didn't wake up in a parallel dimension.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Apr 22, 2009 9:30:18 AM

Ha! No, you're still here on Planet G-A-Y.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 22, 2009 9:33:33 AM

I've seen this line by some social cons before, yet they never follow through. I can respect an honest philisophical disagreement over hate crimes legislation in general, but that's not what we see. Instead, they mouth the rhetoric yet only voice objection to hate crimes laws when it involves gays. They are almost completely and utterly silent when it comes to all other categories. I myself am reluctant about hate crimes laws but when I see the opposition only single out gays that evaporates. Lead a campaign to abolish ALL hate crimes laws and that's something I can respect and make up my mind about, but not when just one group is targeted. Imagine their reaction if we were using their own arguments against hate crimes laws for just religion and nothing else. Better yet, just hate crimes protection for Evangelical Christianity.

Posted by: John | Apr 22, 2009 9:40:42 AM

Matt "Junkie" Barber did something good? Gold Star!

Posted by: Harrison | Apr 22, 2009 10:52:08 AM

Whoa, hold up. "Actual or perceived sexual orientation" includes heterosexuality, right? Does the legislation protect everyone with a sexual orientation, or only LGBTQQIALMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ people? Because if it also protects heteronormal people from hate crimes based on their sexual orientation, then I don't see how anyone can complain.

Posted by: Cookie Monster | Apr 22, 2009 11:32:24 AM

Jeremy, I again have to give you kudos for listening to this mess.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Apr 22, 2009 11:42:06 AM

He says that he opposes all hate crimes legislation because "special" protections for Religion are already included in the First (and his inference being "most important") Amendment to the constitution.

First, in reference to his "most important" argument, it is important to realize that freedom of religion is not referred to in the Constitution - so if it were the basis for the Constitution, it would have been mentioned there. It was added as a "Right" that all men have in the Bill of Rights, not the Constitution.

But I doubt the sincerity of any of those jackasses because they know that this congress would never (NEVER) strike down hate-crimes legislation. The conservative congresses of the past 12 to 14 years didn't eliminate the legislation, and they certainly would have been much more likely to strike down ALL hate-crimes legislation. So it is easy to say that you support the repeal of a "special protection" that you enjoy WHEN you know that your protection is never going to be repealed.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 22, 2009 1:11:08 PM

One more thing about the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Not only is the First Amendment NOT just about freedom of religion, but notice all of the other groups lumped into this particular amendment. All of those other groups are ones that can be considered (at least somewhat) to be subversive toward the government - and that subversion (more of a check-and-balance probably) is what they wanted to protect.

So, if anything, the "Founding Fathers" considered religion to be subversive. Just remember where they hung the lantern when Paul Revere rode through the streets.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 22, 2009 1:32:45 PM

I'm with Matt on hate-crimes laws... to some extent.

I am not in favor of enhanced penalties based on hate crimes. For anyone. Yes I know the argument (it's a crime against a community to instill terror), but I still don't favor enhancement.

But for as long as we do have hate crimes enhancement for race, religion, etc. etc., then we must also have it for sexual orientation. Orientation based hate crimes are - I believe - the third most frequent category and as a percentage, the most violent.

So to have enhanced penalties for other hate crimes and NOT for orientation based hate crimes sends a message that they are condoned. Y'know, kinda like the message Barber is sending.

Personally, I'd remove them all.

However, I do think it is important and necessary to have Federal and state hate crimes tracking. And to allow feds to assist local police on such cases.

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 22, 2009 2:19:21 PM

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