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An Open Letter to the U.S. Senate about the Matthew Shephard Act September 27, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in Constitution, crime, equality, freedom, government, human rights, law, violence.
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An Open Letter to the U.S. Senate about the Matthew Shephard Act

Dear Senators:

Today you will vote on Matthew Shepard … Act of 2007. As I understand it, Matthew Shephard was a gay college student who was robbed, brutally beaten to death by two men. Those two young men were justly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. One was given two life sentences, and the other was given life without parole. Justice was served according to existing criminal law punishing murderers of first-degree murder. However, many are obviously not satisfied with Shephard’s vindication at law. Like Edward Kennedy and the interests he serves, they want to create additional punishments for crimes committed against gays.

But why is special hate crime law needed? I submit to you that it is not. The financial provision may seem like a good idea, but states are more than capable of handling local law enforcement funding issues addressed by the bill. Current law already covers multi-state crimes, which was demonstrated in the prosecution of D.C. Snipers John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo. It is also evident by the language of bill that it is part of a larger effort—for example, ENDA–to make bias against sexual orientation and gender identity (transsexual) a national crime.

I would agree any unjustified violence against any American should be a punishable crime. Please do not think all Americans are dumb enough to believe that it is not already a punishable crime.

The Matthew Shephard Act is unjust law. It makes law for special interest groups like gays and transsexual under false cover of religion, gender, and race. America already has laws to prosecute crimes of violence listed in the bill. It is a known fact that all premeditated violence is motivated by the emotions of hate. Just law and punishment has never sought to determine who was emotional involved in their violent crimes, because all are. It has always sought to determine whether the act of hate was planned, provoked, or not. This type of legislation seeks to criminalize emotions. The bill gives pretense to protect all minority groups likes blacks, Hispanics, women, the disabled. Yet, criminal and Civil Rights laws already cover these groups mentioned. Besides being redundant, the Matthew Shephard Act actually attempts to give additional penalty for violence against only “one” group, gays.

Do you lawmakers have the authority to make unequal protections under the law for special groups? I thought all members of Congress pledged to honor the Constitution. I thought the rule of law actually meant something to American law. The fact that the Matthew Shephard Act, ENDA, and legislation like these elicits causes a deeply skeptical response.

The Matthew Shephard Act does not create the protection of equal justice under the law. It pretends to protect victims of bias based on immutable characteristics like gender and race that are already protected. However, the Act (and others like it) attempts to coerce society by law to accept aberrant behavior (homosexuality and transsexuality) as the equivalent of race or gender. Surely, not all Americans are so gullible as to believe the perpetual rhetoric of how normal gay sexual behavior supposedly is, or how their rights are violated because of bias due to their unacceptable behavior. Is legislation that protects unnatural and harmful behavior constitutional? It is not, and because it is not all sexual orientation laws like this one opposes the constitutionally protected natural and civil right of all others.

Those legislators who conjured up the Matthew Shephard Act are more than a great disappointment. In light of similar legislation, this is merely another underhanded attempt by legislative despots to force Americans to give up their right to disapprove, dislike, abhor, and even hate reprehensible behavior. In the end, all such law progresses government toward making any emotionally charged criticism of gay behavior a crime. At least, that is the way it appears to myself and many other Americans.

As representatives of all Americans, and not just the special interests of the well-educated, well-organized, well-financed gay special interests, I call on you to vote against the Matthew Shephard Act (S. 1105) today. I ask you to defend the rights of all Americans against the continued onslaught of gays, their corporate-financed special interest groups, and other legislators who care not about the rule of law under the Constitution. I also encourage you to find legitimate solutions to abuses in the military and funding issues for law enforcement rather than stealthing it into the National Defense Authorization Act.

Respectfully yours,



Daniel Downs
September 27, 2007

P.S. Please contact your Senators and inform them how you want them to vote on the Matthew Shephard Act. The Senate website is http://www.senate.gov. You can also call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

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