TOLERANCE, DIVERSITY, AND HATE CRIMES

by David Sisler

1999 FBI data on crimes, the most recent year for which such are available, shows that there were 1,317 "hate crime offenses" committed because of the victim's sexual orientation.

A simple definition, if you will, of hate crime offenses: "You are homosexual, I am straight, and so I am going to beat the hell out of you. You are Jewish, I am protestant, and so I am going to beat the hell out of you. You are black, I am white, and so I am going to beat the hell out of you."

Simple definition number two tolerance and diversity: "You are different from me, either on the outside or on the inside. Those differences which you are able to choose (your religious preference, your sexual orientation) are not what I would choose, nor have chosen for myself. But although I personally reject your choices, I understand that they are your personal choices, and even though I may share my reasoning with you, and perhaps even ask that you change your point of view, I will not beat the hell out of you just because you are different from me."

Back to that 1999 FBI data, as reported by CNSNews.com.

1,317 hate crimes were perpetrated by heterosexuals against homosexuals. There 650,000 incidents of domestic violence between male homosexual couples. According to those figures, homosexuals have a 50,000 percent greater risk of being a victim of a "love crime" than they do of being a victim of a "hate crime."

Do those figures justify hate crimes, or excuse hate crimes? Absolutely not. Do those figures indicate that there are serious problems in "loving, committed" homosexual relationships? Absolutely. Do those figures indicate that there are not serious problems in "loving, committed" heterosexual relationships? Absolutely not. Do those figures indicate that all is not gay in the homosexual lifestyle? Absolutely.

Homosexual activists, David Island and Patrick Letellier, co-authored Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them, a book on homosexual domestic violence. They state that the likelihood for homosexuals being involved in domestic violence is twice what it is for a heterosexual couple. Domestic violence, wrote the authors, is a primary health risk for homosexuals, ranking only behind AIDS for males, cancer for females and drug abuse for both.

The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project in San Francisco organized a forum about gay on gay violence. One of the sponsoring agencies, Community United Against Violence (CUAV), contacted several Jewish agencies about the event (which was held at the Congregation Sha'ar Zahav) and distributed fliers for two weeks beforehand. As reported by the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, the only people who showed up were the two scheduled speakers, the temple brotherhood president, two of his friends, and one member of the press.

That people are wreaking violence on each other in such magnitude is frightening. That people are inviting other people into relationships where they double their risk of incurring such violence is more frightening.

Whether or not the gay on gay violence has anything to do with it may be debated, but a group of Vermont lawmakers does not want Vermont teachers telling Vermont students it is okay to be gay.

Concerned that students in the state are being exposed to a dangerous message under the guise of tolerance and diversity, 32 Republican members of the Vermont House of Representatives proposed, and the House later passed, a bill that would prohibit teachers and other school officials from "encouraging, promoting or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual conduct."

Meanwhile, as reported in Agape Press by Rusty Pugh and Jody Brown, 16-year-old Elliott Chambers, a student at Woodbury High School, in St. Paul MN, was summoned to the principal's office and told that a sweatshirt he had worn was banned as offensive to gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. The sweatshirt carried the trademarked logo "Straight Pride" on the front, and on the back featured a symbol of a man and woman holding hands.

American Family Association (AFA) attorney Michael DePrimo says the school is discriminating against heterosexuals, while openly promoting homosexuality. DePrimo says school officials are "not only tolerant toward homosexuality," they "openly embrace it and support it." He cites examples of that support, including instances where parents who have expressed concern over the school's patronage of homosexuality are openly criticized in the classroom by teachers.

AFA attorney Steve Crampton says, "The school has chosen to openly embrace homosexuality and bisexuality, and it does not welcome dissenting points of view. What is especially troubling is the school's open hostility toward student support of committed man-woman relationships."

School principal, Dr. Dana Babbit, called the Chambers family "homophobic."

Meanwhile, back in the Northeast, Evan Wolfson, director of the Marriage Project for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York, the nation's leading gay legal rights organization, said concerning the Vermont legislator's efforts to prohibit schools from promoting homosexual behavior, "We are seeking full equality under the law because nothing else will fully protect our families, and this measure will do nothing to stop that [violence]."

Mr. Wolfson wants to protect homosexual families. The FBI reports that 1,317 hate crimes were perpetrated by heterosexuals against homosexuals, while there 650,000 incidents of domestic violence between male homosexual couples. The fault for this disparity of violence hardly lies with the Vermont legislature, nor the Chambers family of St. Paul. If Wolfson wants to "fully protect" his "families," he should take a hard look at those families and what their members are doing to each other.

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