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Shut up! They Said

Leading up to Justice Kennedy’s fateful 5-4 decision, there was plenty of debate on both sides, and the proponents of same-sex marriage emphasized that they just wanted to be treated the same as heterosexual couples.  They even coined the deceptively simple slogan, “Marriage Equality.”  That was then.

As soon as the proponents of same-sex marriage prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court, it became clear that the rules of engagement had changed. Debate seems no longer permitted, and “equality” is no longer the goal—neither the reasoning nor result of Obergefell is subject to challenge. Liberals may give lip service to the rights of free speech and religious expression, but like the Orwellian logic of Animal Farm, some rights are “more equal” than others.

For example, following Obergefell, Austin City Councilman Don Zimmerman, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, posted a message on Facebook (and later elaborated in a radio interview), stating his concern that the open-ended reasoning of Justice Kennedy’s decision could lead to the extension of constitutional protection to pedophiles, who could claim that their desire for “intergenerational love” required the elimination (or lowering) of the age of consent.  Zimmerman’s concern is a big stretch, but then the holding of Obergefell was also unimaginable a decade ago. Certainly Zimmerman’s comment is a valid opinion constituting protected speech under the First Amendment.  Or is it?  Austin resident Mark Walters filed an ethics complaint against Zimmerman with the city’s Ethics Review Commission, alleging that his remarks violated the city’s personnel policies because they were “unprofessional” and “disrespectful.”  Walters’ complaint received sympathetic treatment in the local media.  Walters reportedly wants Zimmerman removed from office, but would settle for making him attend “sensitivity training.”

A more troubling example is the LGBT community’s response to Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s non-binding, advisory opinion, issued at the request of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (also a Republican) concerning the potential religious objections of government employees (such as county clerks) to the issuance of marriage licenses and performing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in the wake of Obergefell.  Paxton’s opinion was a mainstream overview of the principles governing religious accommodation in the government workplace, ultimately concluding that employees with bona fide religious objections to participating in same-sex marriages (a highly fact-specific inquiry) should assign such tasks to other employees who do not have such objections.  Paxton did not advocate nullification of or civil disobedience to Obergefell, but merely explained the relevant legal authorities under the First Amendment, applicable employment laws, and state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Yet Paxton now faces a State Bar complaint alleging that he violated the rules of professional conduct by instructing county clerks to “break the law.”  And approximately 150 lawyers signed a letter threatening to bring charges against Paxton if he doesn’t withdraw his legal opinion. Acknowledging the existence of religious objections to Obergefell, it seems, is tantamount to violating the Constitution and allegedly constitutes grounds for disbarment.  This may be nothing but a publicity stunt, but it was widely (and credulously) reported in the local media in Texas.

After Obergefell, LGBT activists are apparently revising their slogan to “Shut Up and Obey.”

Reader Discussion

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on July 06, 2015 at 09:07:17 am

Dark days ahead for our nation when conscientious objection to this pernicious trend as expressed by non-violent, non-participatory citizens becomes criminal. We witnessed this with the ACA in mandatory enrollment or face penalties, fines, imprisonment.

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Current User
on July 06, 2015 at 09:09:06 am

Mr. Pulliam nails it again.

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EGO
on July 06, 2015 at 10:29:47 am

Dark days ahead for our nation when conscientious objection to this pernicious trend as expressed by non-violent, non-participatory citizens becomes criminal. We witnessed this with the ACA in mandatory enrollment or face penalties, fines, imprisonment.

First, who has been imprisoned due to the ACA? Where does the ACA even provide for incarceration as a penalty?

Second – who could have ever imagined that non-violent conscientious objectors might face imprisonment? Pretty much anyone who knows anything about conscientious objection. Thoreau, Gandhi, MLK – they ALL went to prison for their beliefs. The First Amendment defends free speech and free exercise, but not the freedom to flout the law with impunity. The law may be a poor guide to morality, but good intentions are not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

I regret that people must pay a price for living with integrity. But anyone who thinks that this is a rare circumstance clearly hasn’t talked with any gay people.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 11:03:38 am

Or. for that matter, Brandon Eich (sp?) of Mozilla or the small Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for choosing to NOT participate in a SSM event. One could go on and on - but you are correct, integrity / conscience does come with an occasional heavy price.

oops, forgot, Doctors have been subject to criminal penalties for certain "workarounds" on Medicare. could it be that this is in our future with Obamacare? Just asking!

And the individuals you mentioned, to my recollection, did NOT insist that everyone else "Shut Up and Obey" - nor did they resort to the incessant hurling of epithets at those with whom they disagreed. I think the common trait amongst those fine folks (and others) is that they did not possess the arrogance required to insist that all others are wrong and infected with the "animus" (however Mr. Kennedy wishes to define it) that is actually more prevalent among the "new liberty warriors" than in the opponents of SSM.

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 11:21:43 am

Of what does free speech consist?

Austin City Councilman Don Zimmerman, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, posted a message on Facebook (and later elaborated in a radio interview), stating his concern that the open-ended reasoning of Justice Kennedy’s decision could lead to the extension of constitutional protection to pedophiles, who could claim that their desire for “intergenerational love” required the elimination (or lowering) of the age of consent. Zimmerman’s concern is a big stretch, but then the holding of Obergefell was also unimaginable a decade ago. Certainly Zimmerman’s comment is a valid opinion constituting protected speech under the First Amendment. Or is it? Austin resident Mark Walters filed an ethics complaint against Zimmerman with the city’s Ethics Review Commission, alleging that his remarks violated the city’s personnel policies because they were “unprofessional” and “disrespectful.” Walters’ complaint received sympathetic treatment in the local media. Walters reportedly wants Zimmerman removed from office, but would settle for making him attend “sensitivity training.”

Let me see if I’m following this: Mark Pulliam defends Zimmerman’s right to express his views – and attacks the right of Walters and the local media to express their views? It may well be the case that Walters’ claim is meritless – perhaps as meritless as Zimmerman’s. But until I see a ruling from the ethics panel, I find no violations of free speech.

That said, First Amendment jurisprudence deals with questions that balance free speech with the goal of avoiding the creation of a “hostile work environment,” wrongfully deterring employees from exercising their rights to organize, etc. These are tricky questions – but hardly novel.

I share Pulliam’s view that the response to Paxton’s advisory opinion is more troubling – although again I have not observed that anyone has done anything other than express opinions or exercise legal rights. But if Paxton had written an advisory opinion saying that clerks could decline to serve blacks or Jews, and simply refer these people to other clerks, what would have been an appropriate response?

I will again trot out my Market Power Theory of accommodation: Let people bring complaints for discrimination, but let defendants offer an affirmative defense that they told the complainant where she could get comparable benefits and comparable terms. In meeting the terms of this affirmative defense, the discriminator would redress all the harms of his discrimination except dignity harms. I sense complaints against bakers, photographers, pizza parlors, and clerks are efforts to redress dignity harms. At least where private parties are concerned, I question whether government’s efforts to guard against dignity harms tread on free exercise.

That said, clerks fulfilling a public role may not be entitled to the same leeway as people acting in a private role. If gay/black/Jewish/etc. couples were forced to endure longer lines than other couples to get marriage license (or perhaps infinitely long lines, if no clerk was willing to serve them), I’d conclude that the state had become an agent for implementing private discrimination, potentially subjecting the state to liability. This would then turn the willingness to serve gays/blacks/Jews/etc. into a bona fide occupational qualification, justifying the state to refuse to hire people who are unwilling to serve these people.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 11:25:28 am

As we follow the commentaries of Mr. Pulliam (and others) on these particular matters we can observe the effects of the trends (which have been intensifying over the past 70 years) to adapt "our" legal system into an instrumentality for attaining objectives.

Those trends leach into other social institutions (ethics of Bar Associations, e.g.) and have long penetrated into the coercive powers of governments (at all levels).

The burgeoning results are a legal system and governments that no longer serve in their original capacities as a defense for individual liberty; but now function to provide means to particular (especially collective) interests for seeking and attaining Economic, social and political objectives.

The Legal System and the Governments can not provide both their historic and their trending functions. The results, while disastrous for liberty should not be surprising.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 11:33:55 am

nobody.really.says:

I have no problem with citizens debating issues. Mark Walters should be allowed to say what he wants, as should the 150 lawyers. However, unlike Don Zimmerman and Ken Paxton, the "statements" of Walters and the state bar complainants are attempts to inflict punishment on the opponent, because they disagree with their opponents' point of view. This is a big difference.

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Mark Pulliam
on July 06, 2015 at 11:35:36 am

'@ N B

And would you use the legal system and governmental mechanisms (coercions) for resolution of those ends?

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 11:48:00 am

Nobody:

" But until I see a ruling from the ethics panel, I find no violations of free speech. " - As I see this, your comment I reference may appear to be a contradiction of your Market Theory (which I rather like, BTW). And as Mark Pulliam observes, the difference in this and many other instances is that someone disagrees with the opinion of some other actor. The very fact that there is an Ethics Panel, presumably charged with determining whether certain speech is offensive, etc should give one pause regarding 1st Amendment protections. The complainant is performing the usual trick of attempting to silence another person for possessing and professing a different opinion - this is generally effective whether charges / determinations are made by the ethics panel. Our little progressive friends are quite found of citing the "chilling effect" phenomena - but it appears that the chilling effect is a defense only for those opinions favored by the *proggies.*

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 12:19:38 pm

Or. for that matter, Brandon Eich (sp?) of Mozilla or the small Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for choosing to NOT participate in a SSM event.

These are interesting cases – but pretty distinct cases.

Brandon Eich chose to resign as CEO of Mozilla when it became known that he had supported a California referendum against same-sex marriage, and this triggered a public backlash. I have no evidence that anyone fired him. I don’t regard Eich’s political views to be related to his work at Mozilla – any more than I regard Paul Ruben’s sexual practices to be relevant to his role in Pee Wee’s Playhouse, or Adrian Peterson’s child-rearing practices to be relevant to his role as a football player. Nevertheless, each of these people is a public figure. If the public finds someone sufficiently objectionable that it leads them to want to avoid some good or service, that becomes a fact that a firm must address. It is far from clear to me that I should care more about the capacity of billionaires to express political views than I should care about the others.

In contrast, being subject to a fine is a matter of law, not public opinion. States generally prohibit firms from engaging in “undue discrimination” in the provision of services to the public, and different states may define “undue discrimination” and “services to the public” differently. Again, I offer my Market Power theory, which I note elsewhere.

Doctors have been subject to criminal penalties for certain “workarounds” on Medicare. could it be that this is in our future with Obamacare?

What you call “workarounds,” courts call “fraud.” No doctor is required to accept Medicare patients. But if they do, they must comply with the terms. Doctors that get paid to comply and then don’t are subject to legal consequences.

I don’t see how this dynamic could apply to doctors providing services under Obamacare.

And the individuals you mentioned, to my recollection, did NOT insist that everyone else “Shut Up and Obey”

Fair enough. I’m not aware of anyone specifically saying “Shut Up and Obey.”

But the analogy would not be to Gandhi saying this, but to government saying it to Gandhi metaphorically by refusing to capitulate to Gandhi’s demands. Of course, Gandhi eventually prevailed in many respects. But there’s nothing in civil disobedience that says that protestors must prevail. Daniel Berrigan used civil disobedience to protest taxpayer financing of nuclear weapons, and was told to “Shut Up and Obey” (i.e., sent to prison). And he went to prison. And tax dollars continue to finance nuclear weapons.

In sum: Sometimes the causes you believe in lose. If you have sufficient self-pity, feel free to claim that you are being told to “Shut Up and Obey.” Homosexuals felt that they were being told to “Shut Up and Obey” until they won. That’s the nature of a zero-sum competition such as a lawsuit. It’s a bummer but, as far as I can tell, and unavoidable one.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 12:41:50 pm

I struggle with these questions: When should we find it wrongful for people to exercise their rights?

If the ethics panel finds a violation, was it wrongful for people to bring the violation to the ethic panel's attention? And if the panel finds no violation, was it wrongful to ask for a ruling? Arguably the harm Pulliam identifies is the harm of creating an ethics panel in the first place. But if we're going to have such panels, I have difficulty regarding it as wrongful to ask them to rule on issues -- even if the panel ultimately finds no ethical violations.

Admittedly, this is analogous to SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) suits, in which private firms allegedly bring litigation not to prevail, but simply to intimidate. These suits work because they exploit the inefficiencies of the legal process. They're kind of like strikes or wars: It may seem illogical to start such an action, knowing that you are imposing costs on yourself. But you are also imposing costs on your rival -- and if you are in a better position than your rival to bear such costs, it may prove to be a rational strategy. Ideally, the remedy for SLAPP suits is 1) to make it cheaper for people to defend themselves, and 2) to impose sanctions for frivolous litigation. The solution to bad speech is more speech!

It's also analogous to boycotts, which wield public opinion to impose conformity. I don't have a real solution to this. Nor do I have any strong sense whether the harms of this practice exceed the benefits.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 12:44:40 pm

Which ends?

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 12:56:10 pm

Before I attempt to respond, let’s clarify your point: Are you seriously arguing that throughout history gays have suffered less opprobrium than have people opposed to gays?

If you want to argue for greater accommodation for minorities, we may find much to agree about. But if you’re suggesting that only conservatives are concerned with defending minorities, I think you’re just going to embarrass yourself.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 13:23:06 pm

The burgeoning results are a legal system and governments that no longer serve in their original capacities as a defense for individual liberty….

Whose individual liberty? Slaves? The poor? Women? Children? Ethnic minorities? Religious minorities? Gays? People with physical disabilities? The poor?

As an exercise, identify any period of history which you believe provided greater “individual liberty” than today. Quantify the number of people you think would find the policies of that era preferable to today’s policies, and quantify the number who wouldn’t.

Perhaps you could identify some people who actually would be better off under the policies of some prior era – but I suspect you will be identifying a minority. Perhaps it is a minority to which you belong. Perhaps you are prone to generalize from your circumstances to everyone else’s circumstances. If so, you may want to reconsider the wisdom of that heuristic.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 13:32:31 pm

'@ N B

@ N B

"I struggle with these questions: When should we find it wrongful for people to exercise their rights?"

A Clue: First determine the countervailing obligations that must be met in order for the "Rights" to exist. Example: right to freedom of worship; obligation constrains interference with worship by others.

Next "balance" (in terms of **how** wrongful) that "exercise" by the manner and degree of what "exercise" of obligation is required (comparative impact).

Consider those elements in terms of place and time (occasion).

If there are natural rights should we not also expect there are natural obligations/

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 13:40:22 pm

You may miss Mr. Pulliam's point. Consider this:

In its institutional framework (part of a guild system) what is the function of an ethics panel; why does it exist; what is supposed to achieve?

If some attempt to expand, extend or change that function, should that attempt not be examined first for its objective, and then whether that objective fits within the institutional framework?

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 13:51:32 pm

Sometimes it is better to be quiet and thought a fool .....

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Not impressed
on July 06, 2015 at 13:53:39 pm

In its institutional framework (part of a guild system) what is the function of an ethics panel; why does it exist; what is supposed to achieve?

If some attempt to expand, extend or change that function, should that attempt not be examined first for its objective, and then whether that objective fits within the institutional framework?

Fine questions. I'd ask a logically prior question: Who should decide? These questions seem to provide a foundation for passing judgment on the ethics panel, not on the people making a report to the panel.

We may disagree with the ethics panel's rulings, if and when it issues one. But can we impute any error on the part of the ethics panel to the people who made a report to the panel? Indeed, in some states lawyers are under a duty to report behavior by other lawyers that they think violates legal ethics. Should we fault a lawyer for fulfilling his duty as he understands it, even if the ethics panel ultimately rules it has insufficient grounds to find a violation?

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 14:16:21 pm

Oh come off it, nobody. This has nothing to do with self-pity other than perhaps in your case where you continually lament the unfair treatment afforded gays. I simply pointed out that integrity, no matter what belief system is being proffered, does, in fact, have a high price.

And as to the "social (media?)" aspect of it - isn't that THE POINT. Whereas, in the past, folks, of all persuasions were somewhat more tolerant of others foibles, eccentricities, etc - this is clearly not the case any longer. No, it wasn't perfect in the past - but I would assert that it was a damn sight better than the current situation where someone like Brandon Eich (who had an exemplary record) can be "urged" to resign.

As for Medicare fraud - correct, one should go to jail for this - BUT that is not what I had in mind. More specifically, in the past, Doctors could be both fined and imprisoned for providing medical service to an otherwise qualified Medicare recipient WHO DID NOT WISH to use the (highly effective?) governmental system with its significant wait times (up to 2 years) and / or as is currently the case may have chosen to not accept the fact that a septuagenarian SHOULD (by government edict) NOT be covered for certain procedures. (And for a potential outcome for the US, look to Canada for the treatment of medical providers).

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 14:17:58 pm

If so, you may want to reconsider the wisdom of that heuristic.

translated: Shut up and obey - with a healthy dose of universal pity for the plight of the disadvantaged thrown in.

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 14:23:25 pm

Oh again, nobody - Stop it.

Is it that important to impute to me that which you may perceive to be prevalent in others. I made no such claim AND you know it!! You are smarter than that - unfortunately, you may be too clever!

My point is simply this: For all the "new liberty" lovers, what is good for the old goose is also good for the gander. I do not ask for consistency but rather a constancy in defense of speech / conscience and the free expression of both.

Heck, I don't even tell my little chocolate lab to shut up!

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 14:30:44 pm

The First Amendment protects free speech and religious belief. Filing "ethics complaints" or making disciplinary charges against someone for their speech is an attempt to invoke the coercion of the state to retaliate against and suppress the "offensive" speech. This is repellent to a free society, especially when the complaints are transparently frivolous. Only a disingenuous troll would contend otherwise. Ed Whelan captured the essence of the issue today on NRO. See http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/420785/frivolous-attacks-texas-ag-ken-paxton-ed-whelan?target=author&tid=1117

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Mark Pulliam
on July 06, 2015 at 14:53:04 pm

Heck, I don’t even tell my little chocolate lab to shut up!

Oh, then how do you explain that video on Youtube of you yelling at that poor chocolate lab puppy for howling (if you can even call it a howl when a puppy does it) -- while completely ignoring the yellow Labrador puppy that was doing the same thing?

Iron-clad proof of your prejudice -- lab-tested!

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 14:59:09 pm

And BTW, dismissing the example of Brendan Eich (the Mozilla CEO was was forced out due to a years-old contribution to the successful Prop 8 campaign) as a "spontaneous" display of customer preferences is risible in the extreme. Eich was the target of an organized campaign by the vicious LGBT crowd (taking Al Sharpton to the next level), just as Don Zimmerman and Ken Paxton are experiencing now. I am unaware of any similar campaign by heterosexuals against gays based solely on their political contributions or protected speech.

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Mark Pulliam
on July 06, 2015 at 14:59:27 pm

That "heuristic," which as such could not possibly have the quality of wisdom, concerned the examination of the functions of "our" legal system and the several layers of governments.

Your repost does not address those trends of changes in functions; but appears to suggest that those trends have had no effects on individual liberty. It further appears that you are probably among those whose views of the objectives achieved through those changes in functions validate the changes.
None of that alters the facts of the trends of changes.

You reference collectivities rather than individuals as having connections with rights, which is precisely a point covered above in the change of the subject functions.

Are there now more interventions in individual liberties to conduct private transactions than there were 75 years ago when I was 15? Is open access to form associations more constrained than it was 63 year ago when I entered the Bar? What causes flood the courts and administrative tribunals; are they individual?

Where does the individual look today for defense of his interest; to judicial vindication or collective identification?

Changing the topic to "policies" of differing eras does not respond to the effects of the trends cited.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 15:19:41 pm

"in some states lawyers are under a duty to report behavior by other lawyers that they think violates legal ethics."

Indeed, as I encountered Champerty and Maintenance in a 1994 representation, and, after being advised by the General Counsel to the Bar on the facts, reluctantly reported the facts to the Ethics Committee. That was an obligation whose objective is spelled out in the (now voluminous) Code of Ethics, to prevent abuse in the use of the legal system.

It is the objective for which the use of the "facility" is made which matters.

Happily, the Committee chose not to act against the Bar member who was only an Associate of the out-of-state firm which conducted the actual engagements.
Nevertheless, as happens in those matters, the "word" has probably gotten around to exercise care in dealing with that firm.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 06, 2015 at 16:05:31 pm

Officials who feel they cannot issue marriage licenses to same sex couples due to religious convictions may defend their position on a Freedom of Religion basis and the courts will ultimately have to decide. As for freedom of speech, the first Amendment applied only to the National government. It was applied to the states through the same kind of legerdemain (a flawed understanding of liberty in the due process clause) that Justice Kennedy used in constitutionalizing same sex marriage. If you believe it was OK for the Court to decide on its own that it has the authority to proclaim which rights are so fundamental that it (the Court) can override the Framer’s intent, you are on weak ground when you criticize current judicial activism.

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Willmoore
on July 06, 2015 at 16:47:13 pm

Eich was the target of an organized campaign by the vicious LGBT crowd….

Ah, yes – poor Eich, falling prey to an organized campaign of vicious gays after his contribution to California’s Proposition 8 was revealed in 2012.

What else has happened since 2012?

January 21, 2012 – Crain Conaway, a black 47-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her home in Oceanside, California. Tyree Paschall Monday was arrested in connection with her murder.

February 2, 2012 – JaParker "Deoni" Jones, a 23-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in the head while waiting at a Metro bus stop in Washington DC.

February 2012 – Cody Rogers, an 18-year-old teenager, was brutally assaulted and targeted with homophobic slurs at a party after defending a female friend who was also attacked.

March 24, 2012 – Several transgender and crossdressing people were shot at and robbed in Florida by a man, suspected to be De Los Santos. 23-year-old Tyrell Jackson was fatally wounded in the shooting, which also injured 20-year-old Michael Hunter.

April 3, 2012 – Coko Williams, a black trans woman, was found murdered in East Detroit, Michigan. The homicide may have been related to Coko's involvement in sex work.

April 16, 2012 – Paige Clay, 23, a black trans woman, was found dead, with a bullet wound to her face in West Garfield Park, Chicago. The death was ruled as a homicide.

April 21, 2012 – Eric Unger, a 23-year-old gay man living in Illinois, was attacked by a group of men on the way home from a party, while they shouted anti-gay epithets at him. The investigation is ongoing.

April 29, 2012 – Brandy Martell, a 37-year-old trans woman of color, was murdered in Oakland, California.
May 2012 – Max Pelofske, a 21-year-old gay man, was beaten by a group of youths at a party in Minnesota. Pelofske claims it was a hate crime, but police disagree.

June 5, 2012 – Kardin Ulysse, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded. Ulysse's parents planned on suing the city for failing to supervise its students properly.

June 23, 2012 – Mollie Olgin, 19 years old, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18 years old, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas. Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived. Law enforcement has said there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is a hate crime. The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas urged a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and Portland police to find the shooter.

July 5, 2012 – Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Maryland.

August 14, 2012 – Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered on the second floor of an abandoned building in Chicago. An autopsy verified that she had been stabbed to death. Notably, the body of Paige Clay, another young black trans woman, was discovered in April 3 blocks away from where Tiffany was found. The pair were known as friends.

August 18, 2012 – Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans woman, died of gunshot wounds. Eugene Carlos Dukes was arrested in early September for her murder, and indicted later that month.

August 26, 2012 – Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami. No arrest has yet been made.

September 3, 2012 – The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Philadelphia.

November 15, 2012 – Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman was murdered by her partner, Jonathan Kenney, according to police, who beat her and slammed her head into concrete. He was later arrested for her murder.

March 1, 2013 – Sondra Scarber addressed a parent about her girlfriend's son being bullied at Seabourn Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, and was beaten by him when he realized that she was a lesbian.

May 17, 2013 – Mark Carson, a 32-year old black gay man, was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, New York. When the two friends ignored the assailant's questions, the man began yelling anti-gay slurs and asked one of them, "You want to die tonight?" Elliot Morales, 33, was arrested briefly after the shooting and charged with murder and weapons charges on May 19. According to police, Morales said he shot Carson because he was "acting tough". Morales pleaded not guilty on June 19, 2013.

November 4, 2013 – Sasha Fleischman, an agender (neither male nor female) 18-year-old, had their skirt set on fire while they were sleeping on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, California. Police arrested 16-year-old Richard Thomas and charged him as an adult with aggravated mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and hate-crime enhancements. Thomas admitted to police that he had started the fire and that he did it because he was "homophobic."

December 31, 2013 – A fire was started in the stairway of a gay nightclub in Seattle, which was quickly extinguished. After suspect Musab Mohammaed Masari had told a friend that "homosexuals should be exterminated", an informer from the Muslim community told the FBI Masamari may have also been planning terrorist attacks. The native of Benghazi Libya was arrested on his way to Turkey. On July 13, 2014, Masmari was sentenced to 10 years on federal arson charges.

June 1, 2014 – Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, were killed execution-style shortly after midnight in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle shortly after they left a gay nightclub. Both victims were gay, and Ahmed was apparently lured by being contacting on grindr, a social app popular with gays. Anderson-Young was receiving a ride home from Ahmed Said. The case was soon investigated as a possible hate crime. Both Said and Anderson-Young were shot multiple times; Anderson-Young died inside Said's car, while Said died immediately outside. Suspect Ali Muhammad Brown has confessed to killing Said, Anderson-Young, and two men in Seattle and New Jersey, both of whom weren't gay. Brown had previously been convicted of bank fraud and is believed to be in support of Muslim terrorists in Somalia. He told investigators that he was guided strictly by his faith, and that the killings were "just" because they were in retaliation for actions by the U.S. government in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

April 13, 2015 – Ron Lane was shot dead by a former student, identified as Kenneth M. Stancil III, who he had supervised at the campus print shop. His mother made unconfirmed allegations that Lane, who was gay, made unwanted sexual advances towards Stancil. The shooting was investigated as a hate crime.

In 2013 the FBI reported that more than 20% of all hate crimes targeted people based on sexual orientation or identity – even though they are roughly 3% of the population. I am not aware of any similar campaign by gays or trans folk against cis heterosexuals bases solely on their sexuality or sexual identity.

But if Eich ever manages to recover from his vicious assault, please extend to him my sympathies, won’t you?

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 17:18:05 pm

The burgeoning results are a legal system and governments that no longer serve in their original capacities as a defense for individual liberty….

Whose individual liberty? Slaves? The poor? Women? Children? Ethnic minorities? Religious minorities? Gays? People with physical disabilities?

You reference collectivities rather than individuals as having connections with rights, which is precisely a point covered above in the change of the subject functions.

My apologies; let me rephrase: Whose individual liberty? That of a slave? A poor person? A woman? A child? A member of an ethnic minority? A member of a religious minority? A gay person? A person with physical disabilities?

Are there now more interventions in individual liberties to conduct private transactions than there were 75 years ago when I was 15?

A fine question. Go find a single black woman and ask how easy she found it to buy a house in the white part of town in the 1940s compared with today. You may imagine that “individual rights” apply to everyone equally. But if you were a member of any of those collectives I mentioned above, I suspect you would not make that same mistake.

As a separate matter, if in fact there were more impediments to “private transactions” today than in the past, I would expect to find fewer transactions (per capita). So – does the evidence support the thesis?

I suspect the opposite. That is, I suspect various innovations have greatly facilitated private transactions – credit cards and the internet, for example. Moral: libertarians obsess over government action to the exclusion of other, often more relevant, factors. The world can have both more regulation AND greater ease of transaction. These need not be opposites; they may be complements.

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nobody.really
on July 06, 2015 at 17:46:33 pm

I don't understand your point. You apparently now concede (contrary to your earlier assertion) that the campaign against Eich was orchestrated in retaliation for a $1,000 political contribution he made four years prior. Do you contend that Eich was responsible for the crimes you enumerate? Or the sponsors of Proposition 8? Or that the crimes were part of a larger conspiracy? Because gays are victims of crimes (like everyone, unfortunately), spiteful campaigns of personal destruction by LGBT activists against political "enemies" are justified? Your logic eludes me. Eich had nothing to do with the crimes you mention. The campaign against him was hateful. It was calculated to intimidate legitimate civic participation and political expression. There is no excuse for it.

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Mark Pulliam
on July 06, 2015 at 21:10:26 pm

Oops, you left out the vicious behavior og LGBT members SPITTING on a member of the clergy. Yep, that is tolerance on the part of the left!

Oh and BTW, just a little reminder for those who may not remember or where never made aware of this by the compliant media:

When the first "gay" (yes, they were quite joyful - what a silly word that is to describe the nasty and vicious actions of SOME misguided members of this community) rights demonstrations took place in NYC, these "sensitive, caring, oppressed folks" decided that it would be wise to shower the altar of St. Patricks Cathedral in downtown NYC with blood, urine and feces.
Whether one professes faith or not, goodness gracious, can one not respect an architectural treasure such as St. Pats.

No! One must be all in: The Boy Scouts, who have been rightly sued for homosexual abuse of young lads, are curiously compelled to accept (nay, celebrate "gay" Scoutmasters). Ahh! ti's a wonderful looking glass world into which we have fallen.

And while I am at it: What everyone apparently (conveniently) overlooks is that the "sex scandals" for which the Catholic Church was, again, properly castigated was homosexual sex forced upon young minors. Yet, now we will probably work to deny tax exempt status to the Catholic Church because it does not want to celebrate "gay" marriage. Da ya think they may have a bleepin' reason to not want to celebrate this new liberty.

No, Nobody, you are, in fact, a "purveyor" of the "Shut Up and Obey" doctrine - no doubt, this stems from a deep sense of "self-pity" absent in those that you so accuse.

Cut your" narrative" - stop thinking that folks seek to do harm to you - most of us couldn't give a rip about "gay" rights EXCEPT when it is thrown in our faces AND can I tell you some stories!

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gabe
on July 06, 2015 at 22:07:43 pm

'@ N B

In an effort to stay on topic, but respond as it affects the topic:

Note that your "rephrasing" retains identification (membership) with a collective. My point is that is an effect of the trends of changes in the functions of the legal system and the governments.
You want to argue about the "value" or benefits, or such about those effects. Not the point.

You appear to assert that the prior functions did not produce "desirable" results. Not the point. You appear to imply the changes eliminated some prior social defects. Not the point.

The two examples of interventions in transaction and constraints of open access are evidence of effects of those trends noted.
Attempting to qualify that evidence by numbers or frequency of transactions, rather than such effects as the complexities introduced, the economic sluggishness induced by the cited changes, alters the subject from: are there more interventions and constraints to "so what?"

All the rest is another argument.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on July 07, 2015 at 00:02:21 am

Oops, you left out the vicious behavior og LGBT members SPITTING on a member of the clergy. Yep, that is tolerance on the part of the left!

When the first “gay” … rights demonstrations took place in NYC, these “sensitive, caring, oppressed folks” decided that it would be wise to shower the altar of St. Patricks Cathedral in downtown NYC with blood, urine and feces.

Seriously? Forget the list of people murdering LGBT folk – the fact that some LGBT allies engaged in offensive gestures demonstrates who the real victims are....

The Boy Scouts, who have been rightly sued for homosexual abuse of young lads, are curiously compelled to accept (nay, celebrate “gay” Scoutmasters).

Curious indeed. I am not aware of any legal compulsion – nor of any current policy for accepting gay Scoutmasters. If I recall correctly, the Supreme Court has recognized the BSA as a private club – legally entitled to expel blacks, Jews, anyone they like. (Unlike the Jaycees, which was legally barred from excluding women. Go figure.)

True, I could imagine that eventually the BSA will choose to accept gay Scoutmasters as social acceptance of discrimination declines. I sense you would not approve of such a change. But would you approve of a policy compelling the BSA to exclude gay Scoutmasters, even if the organization preferred to admit them? Your beef is (or will be) with the BSA, not gay rights organizations.

What everyone apparently (conveniently) overlooks is that the “sex scandals” for which the Catholic Church was, again, properly castigated was homosexual sex forced upon young minors.

Shocking as it may seem, if you read The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States (2004), you will find that some people castigate the Church for forcing sex upon young minors -- even when the sex was heterosexual!

Cut your” narrative” – stop thinking that folks seek to do harm to [LGBT folks].

Did you read the list of assaults since 2008? Did you note the FBI stats that 20%+ of hate crimes are targeted at the LGBT?

I understand that some people have persecution complexes. But LGBT folks have persecution simples: the data show that they are the target of disproportionate violence. (And these data exclude one of the biggest threats to the lives of trans people – suicide.)

In short, with so much data supporting the conclusion that folks seek to do harm to LGBT folks, I can think of no reason to stop believing it.

[M]ost of us couldn’t give a rip about “gay” rights….

I don’t know if you’re qualified to speak for most people -- but rest assured, you’ve provided ample testimony on your own account.

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nobody.really
on July 07, 2015 at 00:33:37 am

The First Amendment protects free speech and religious belief. Filing “ethics complaints” or making disciplinary charges against someone for their speech is an attempt to invoke the coercion of the state to retaliate against and suppress the “offensive” speech. This is repellent to a free society, especially when the complaints are transparently frivolous.

How does filing a transparently frivolous complaint coerce the state into retaliating against and suppressing speech?

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nobody.really
on July 07, 2015 at 04:27:23 am

I don’t understand your point.

Sorry to be obscure; sarcasm doesn’t always translate online. Let me try to be plainer.

You state that “dismissing the example of Brendan Eich … as a ‘spontaneous’ display of customer preferences is risible in the extreme,” and suggest that he is an appropriate object of compassion because “Eich was the target of an organized campaign by the vicious LGBT crowd.”

For my part, I find your dismissing the suffering of LGBT people as “victims of crimes (like everyone else…)” as unfunny in the extreme. How do you explain that a group of people who represent roughly 3% of the population are the object of 20+% of hate crimes?

Let me offer my hypothesis: LGBT people have been the target of an organized campaign by a vicious crowd, too. The three Abrahamic religions each teach that homosexuality is a sin punishable by death. These faiths are organized in varying degrees, commanding the loyalties (and wealth) of billions of people. Their influence is so vast that their prejudices have suffused the cultures where their faiths are practiced. And the resulting harm inflicted on LGBT people varies from loss of jobs to loss of friends to death.

In short, if you were seriously concerned about people being the target of vicious attacks by organized groups, I suspect you would be able to see the significance of the data I’ve provided. Yet, inexplicably, you say you can’t.

So I’m left to form new hypotheses.

Maybe you’re a hypocrite, and don’t really care about people being the target of vicious attacks by organized groups.

But I suspect rather that you are largely sincere – but that you’re also not a member of any protected class. Like any of us, you’re inclined to see the world in terms of things that might benefit or threaten you and the people you identify with. Because you identify with people link Eich, you fear the things that threaten him. Because you don’t identify with LGBT people, you don’t fear the things that threaten them – even if the organizations deployed against them, the resources employed against them, and the viciousness employed against them are demonstrably greater by any conceivable measure than those deployed against Eich.

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nobody.really
on July 07, 2015 at 04:30:39 am

I am unaware of any similar campaign by heterosexuals against gays based solely on their political contributions or protected speech.

I don’t know how many of these people are gay, but they’ve all been the targets of professional attack due to their advocacy of gay rights: Bishop Jacques Gaillot, Fr. Robert Nugent, nun Jeannine Gramick, Jesuit John McNeill, Philip S. Keane, prof. Charles Curran, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Bishop Matthew Clark, Father Matthew Kawiak, Susan Sullivan, Rev. Warren Hall, Dr. Jodi O'Brien, and Wendelin Bucheli. Catholic League president Bill Donohue argued that Harry Knox was “unfit to serve” on the president’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships because he is a "sexually active homosexual." Also, the International Olympic Committee threatened to ban athletes from the Russian Olympics if they spoke out for gay rights. (I don’t know if anyone was actually banned.)

The National Organization for Marriage called for a boycott of Mozilla on the theory that Mozilla ousted Eich as a show of support for gay rights.

But more to the point, you wouldn’t need a campaign to get someone fired: In roughly 30 states it’s perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay, or even "Liking" something gay on Facebook.

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nobody.really
on July 07, 2015 at 09:49:30 am

As Rhett Butler enters the scene: "Frankly, my Dear, I couldn't give a damn."
Now one may, (not unreasonably) take this to mean a disdain or dismissal of the burdens, real and imagined, of gay folks; however, "not giving a rip" simply means that most folks simply attempt to get on with their lives, without either animosity or undue concern (nay, even awareness?) of the actions of gay folks.
It strikes me as exceedingly odd, that, at times, gays seem to think that straight folks are all out to get them.
One can cite any number of "criminal" incidents, slice and dice it according to age, gender, race, sexual preference and make a case for a "pogrom" Numbers, being impartial, are susceptible to that sort of manipulation. I choose not to go tit for tat - but rather to remind one that the overwhelming majority of people simply desire to be left in peace. The lives / practices of some LGBT person bears as much consequence for me as does the life of a sales clerk in Cincinnati.
AS Joe Cocker sang in an old song, "Do I still figure in your life..." The answer is no, you never have and inflating your own importance / suffering to make it otherwise is of little value.
Live your life as I will mine.
Or as FDR's niece commented," Do as you please, just don't frighten the horses"
When you insist on forcing the horses (everyday folks) to limit their associational liberty or compel them under state sanction to engage in what they object to, you really are scaring the horses. They may struggle with this and a lot of braying and thrashing about will result.
Best to leave them and others to their own simple ways - as they overwhelmingly will leave you to do.

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gabe
on July 07, 2015 at 14:27:01 pm

And just for the fun of it (and perhaps so that nobody really is persuaded that I have a self pity complex (or simplex, ha!) there is this from today's news wherein it is not only permissible to dismiss all whites as terrorists but one may be hired because of it. Gee, da ya think that all of us at some time are the object of mis / malinformed opinion?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/07/06/memphis-professor-behind-racist-tweets-resurfaces-at-crosstown-school/?intcmp=latestnews

Heck, it ain't all that sweet for any of us!

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gabe
on July 08, 2015 at 01:57:17 am

“In 2013 the FBI reported that more than 20% of all hate crimes targeted people based on sexual orientation or identity - even though they are roughly 3% of the population.”

From the FBI report you’re referring to (the one referenced in the wikipedia article I’m assuming) there were 7,713 victims of hate crimes in 2011, 1,572 of them against LGBTs. The population of the US in 2011 was 311 million.

So of the 0.03 x 311,000,000 = 9.33 million LGBTs in the US at that time, only 1,572 were victims of a hate crime. That comes out to 1,572 ÷ 9,330,000 = 0.02% of all LGBTs. American Jews experience a similar incidence of hate crimes. It is also important to note that not all hate crimes are murders or assaults; 40% of them were property crimes.

Also from the report: “In 2011, 4,623 victims of hate crimes were victims of crimes against persons…4 persons were murdered and 7 were forcibly raped.”

Half of the anecdotes you mention don’t even contain a link between the motive for the crime and the victim’s sexual orientation or identity: “John Doe, an LGBT, was murdered or assaulted in a horrible way.” There is no indication that the motive for the crime was the perpetrator’s hatred of their victim’s sexual orientation or identity.

You are misrepresenting the motivation for these horrible, violent acts. Very few of these crimes are committed because the victim is an LGBT. A more reasonable interpretation is that they are committed for some other reason, but are notable crimes because of the victim's sexual orientation or identity.

No one is going to pretend that LGBTs have it easy, but please don’t make it sound like they are being murdered and assaulted in droves. It’s just not true.

Some fitting quotes:

“The plural of anecdote is not data.”-Several great minds

“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
-Mark Twain

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bobroberts
on July 08, 2015 at 10:31:10 am

“The plural of anecdote is not data.”-Several great minds

Perhaps some of those great minds work for the FBI – you know, the guys who actually collect data.

You are misrepresenting the motivation for these horrible, violent acts. Very few of these crimes are committed because the victim is an LGBT. A more reasonable interpretation is that they are committed for some other reason, but are notable crimes because of the victim’s sexual orientation or identity.

The FBI states, “For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a ‘criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.’”

No one is going to pretend that LGBTs have it easy, but please don’t make it sound like they are being murdered and assaulted in droves. It’s just not true.

Yup. And most women are never raped, and only a tiny, tiny minority of black people were never lynched. Why all the fuss? It’s not as if any members of these groups might find their autonomy constrained by any of this. Not like, say, a gajillionaire CEOs who had to endure bad press. That’s real oppression….

In case I’m not being clear, that’s more sarcasm.

But you’re right; I don’t mean to lose perspective here. Indeed, I’m trying to promote perspective.

Pulliam expresses deep concern about how the behavior of an organized group might impair people’s ability to express themselves – while dismissing the plight of LGBT people as merely “victims of crimes (like everyone else…).” Yes, they are victims of crimes – much like Pulliam was the target of bad press. Which is to say, NOT like everyone else. MORE than everyone else.

And in Eich’s case, there is poetic irony in a man who supported a campaign of popular prejudice coming to understand what it means to be the object of popular prejudice. So while I can’t say that I favor what happened to Pulliam, his plight is far from the top of my concerns.

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nobody.really
on July 08, 2015 at 11:52:26 am

You have put forth several anecdotes (crimes against LGBTs), and are attempting to draw a sweeping conclusion from those anecdotes (LGBTs are regularly and systematically assaulted and murdered). This is patently false. I'm not referring to the hate crimes recorded in the FBI report which are by definition hate crimes; I'm referring to the list of crimes you copied and pasted from Wikipedia. For most of them, there is no clear link between the perpetrator's motive and the victim's sexual orientation.

If you examine the data the FBI collected, you'll notice that of the 4,623 victims of hate crimes against persons in 2011, only 4 of them were murdered. And that's for hate crimes of all varieties, not just those against LGBTs.

Regardless of sexual orientation, murder and assault are crimes and LGBTs have always been protected against those crimes both by the letter and enforcement of the law. If anything, they are further protected by the law because hate crimes carry heavier sentences than ordinary crimes.

The way you are responding to these very civil comments underscores the concern that liberty loving people have with this ruling and its implications for our democracy. If Eich can't donate a trivial sum to a cause he supports without being tarred and feathered as a bigot and being forced to quit his job as a result of the smear campaign some malicious LGBT supporters ran against him, freedom of speech is but a token phrase and no longer truly exists in this country. LGBTs should know better than most how corrosive this is to democracy and to the cohesiveness that is necessary for it to function properly.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
-George Orwell

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bobroberts
on July 08, 2015 at 15:45:36 pm

Nobody:

Clever little nobody is at it again.

"The FBI states, “For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a ‘criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.’” "

You provide a definition (one of questionable value BTW) but do not address the point that Bobroberts was making. The stats you provide DO NOT show any apparent link to the alleged "hate-crime" nature of the offense. If an LGBT is hit by a car, must we assume that the driver did it due to an "animus" against LGBT's or was he perhaps a drunken knucklehead. In either case, this is a terrible event; however, you would have us assert that the knucklehead INTENDED to do so because - well, why? - Oops, that's right -from one of your earlier posts - it is because the LGBT'er is a member of a protected class. Let's us all cheer for the bloody collective!

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gabe
on July 08, 2015 at 17:15:07 pm

Fine. What type of evidence would persuade you that when the FBI counts hate crimes, they're counting hate crimes?

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nobody.really
on July 08, 2015 at 22:14:43 pm

Nobody: (BTW: don't know how to post to the last "reply" as the site does not seem to allow replies beyond a certain number - but here is response to your post of 7/8 @5:15 pm (Eastern time?)

1) I do not accept the FBI definition. No, not because I do not believe that LGBT (and others - think old white folks beat up in shopping malls) are not at times mercilessly abused. They are - and this is both tragic and DESPICABLE! No, I object to it because what appears to be absent from the definition is (forgive me here as I am too lazy to look up the spelling of the legal term) the presence of mens rea(sp?) - a guilty mind. Has this not been something which is a) both an element of a crime needed to be demonstrated by the prosecution and b) something about which credible and convincing evidence is required / available. The FBI demonstration, in many ways, reminds me of the whole "sexual assault" hysteria on modern campuses where neither rens mea nor apparently much evidence is now required to "convict" the miscreant.
2) In the examples you cite (and to which bobroberts makes reference) there is no clear evidence that these stupid, senseless and criminal acts were in fact the result of a "hidden" or overt animus toward LGBT or other types.

Nobody, make no mistake about it, I, like the overwhelming preponderance of folks "do not cotton to stupidity" or senseless acts of violence against those that differ from us in either preference or belief. We ask only that a fair accounting be done and that one recognizes one's individuality not their collective victimization or guilt.

Simple as that! Like Alice Longworth Roosevelt (could have maiden and surname confused) said "Do as you please, just don't frighten the horses."

And to the horsies: Let folks be, they may let you be. For all the little bakeries out there, let us hope that that sentiment is shared by those entering the stables.

take care
gabe

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gabe
on July 22, 2015 at 16:48:16 pm

For what it’s worth, I stumbled across an old comment of mine from February 2015 regarding Eich:

Eberstadt notes the power of “the new intolerance,” as evidenced by Mozilla CEO Eich’s resignation following a public outcry that Eich embraced unpopular views. I find this regrettable. But when contrasted with the power of “the old intolerance” – for example, driving war hero Alan Turing to prison and then suicide when his homosexuality was disclosed, or blacklisting thousands for being associated with Communism, or castrating children who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, or lynching blacks and murdering civil rights workers – this seems like pretty thin gruel. I know of few people who would trade today’s climate of intolerance for any previous era’s….

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nobody.really

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