Author archives: Peter Sprigg

What Happens in Vegas…

by Peter Sprigg

December 15, 2009

Prostitution has long been legal and regulated in the state of Nevada, but a technicality in the lawa health code requirement for cervical exams to check for STDshad prevented males from serving as prostitutes. The states board of health has now lifted that barrier (by allowing urethral exams as well), and Bobbi Davis, owner of a brothel called the Shady Lady Ranch, plans to add male prostitutes to her stable of sex workers (in the words of the Las Vegas Sun).

The principal opposition to this step came from an odd sourcethe lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association, George Flint, whom the Sun describes as a former Assemblies of God minister. Flint went on record despite the fact that, as the Sun reported, the [brothel] industry has previously tried to avoid any controversy.

Flint apparently worries that homosexual male hookers will give the industry a bad name. Weve worked hard for years to make the traditional brothel business in this state socially acceptable [and] something we can be proud of that most Nevadans accept. That struck me as one of the most bizarre quotes of the yearbut apparently there are at least a few hundred people in Las Vegas who agree, since the Suns online poll showed 475 readers (84% of those voting) affirmed that brothels are socially acceptable, while only 85 (15%) disagreed.

Flints specific concern is the risk of transmitting HIV between prostitutes and clientssomething that he claims the traditional brothels have been effective at preventing. Now were getting into an [area] that doesnt enjoy the same track record.

This does not mean that there has never been homosexual prostitution in Nevada. The female prostitutes have long been free to accept either male or female clients, according to the report, and male prostitutes will have the same right.

This raises serious questions about gender equity, however. If a Christian psychologist or a fertility doctor is not free to turn away a homosexual client for fear of discrimination charges, how can a homosexual male prostitute be allowed to turn away a female client? Isnt that discrimination, too? On the other hand, if you require them to take all clients, then maybe that would effectively mean that only bisexuals can work as prostitutes in Nevada. Wouldnt that be discrimination, too?

Such are thickets in which the sexual revolution and political correctness entrap us. In the meantime, if you want to know how to get to Las Vegasjust climb in a handbasket and travel toward the heat as far as you can go.

Las Vegas Sun: New era: Health authorities open brothels to male prostitutes [with poll]

Does the Slippery Slope Lead to Stepford?

by Peter Sprigg

December 11, 2009

Advocates of same-sex marriage assert that the fundamental right of homosexual individuals to marry is infringed if they are not free to marry the person of their choice (and they often cite the elimination of laws which once banned interracial marriage as precedent for this principle). However, everyone still faces restrictions upon whom they may marry. No one is permitted to marry a child, a close blood relative, a person who is already married, or (in most states and countries) a person of the same sex.

However, if the restriction against marrying someone of the same sex is lifted, based on the assertion of a right to marry whomever you wish, what principled reason will there be to maintain the other restrictions upon ones choice of marriage partner? This is the slippery slope argumentthat legalization of homosexual marriage would make it more difficult to maintain laws against pedophile, incestuous, and (especially) polygamous marriages, as well.

Yet there are people who would willingly slide even further down the slippery slope. In my book Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage, I noted news stories about an Indian girl who was married to a dog, a French woman who married a dead man, and a Canadian professor, Stephen Bertman, who foresees the possibility of marriage between humans and their household pets or even inanimate objects such as a beloved car or computer.

Now this week, the Washington Times ran an article that began, Humans will be marrying robots within fifty years, according to David Levy, winner of the 2009 Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence.

The article, by Paul Christensen, ran online under the title, Are artificial wives on the horizon?

But the print edition was more bluntit bore the headline, Artificial wivesor sex machines?

And indeed, the article quotes Levy as saying, Robots will be programmed to be sensitive sex therapists and help them to get over their sexual problems.

Christensen declares that [t]he obsession with creating artificial human companions goes back to ancient times. However, I was surprised that his article on sexy robotic wives included no reference to the greatest example of the concept in pop culturethe 1975 film The Stepford Wives, which was remade in 2004 with Nicole Kidman in the lead role. Its the story of a couple who move from New York to the too-perfect suburb of Stepford, Connecticut. The wife comes to learn that the reason all the housewives of Stepford also seem to be too-perfect servants of their husbands whims is that the real wives have been replaced by robots.

When the film was made, it was considered a sort of feminist satire on traditional domestic roles for women. Who could have guessed that the radicals of the sexual revolution would be the ones to move us closer to making Stepford a reality?

Fighting for EqualityOr Obsessed with Sex?

by Peter Sprigg

October 14, 2009

It seems that homosexual activist groups cant even raise money without using sexual innuendo.

I happen to be on the email list for Equality Maryland, the state homosexual activist organization (its always good to know what the opposition is doing). They are planning to raise money with a Jazz Brunch and Silent Auction on Sunday, October 18 in Baltimore.

But I was startled by the poor taste (and the poor proofreading) of the subject line for an email invitation to this event that I received on September 28. It read: Care to engage is [sic] some Four Play? (The gimmick was that you would get a discount when purchasing four tickets.)

I wondered if they would be embarrassed or get any negative reactionbut apparently not. On October 7, I received a follow-up email with this subject line: Forget Four Play … how about a Threesome? Offering a discount for the purchase of only three tickets this time, the message came complete with a publicity photo from the old Threes Company TV show.

When homosexuals promote their political agenda in the public square, they argue that its not about sex. Its about love, families, equality, justice, etc., etc. They dont want people thinking about two men or two women having sex. (This is why they prefer the term gay rather than homosexual.)

But when talking to each other, the agenda becomes more clear.

Its about sex.

How Long Has Marriage Been the Union of a Man and a Woman? Scientists Say4.4 Million Years

by Peter Sprigg

October 7, 2009

Some people believe that religious dogma is the only reason why anyone opposes same-sex marriage. Those who believe the human race began with Adam and Eve, and that their relationship was Gods model for marriage, believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. But those who dont believe in the Bible, who think Adam and Eve are a myth, and who dont accept a Christian view of the human person, have no reason to believe marriage is an opposite-sex union. Right?

Wrong. They should take a look at a front-page article in the Washington Post about the newest claim by evolutionary scientists. The scientists believe that a primate skeleton found in Ethiopia is that of a human ancestorone that lived 4.4 million years ago. Almost at the end of this long piece, the article describes what C. Owen Lovejoy, an anthropologist at Kent State University, says about the social organization of this species:

The males, he argues, pair-bonded with females. Lovejoy sees male parental investment in the survival of offspring as a hallmark of the human lineage.

So, how long has marriage (i.e., pair-bonding) been a male-female union? About four million, four hundred thousand years, if this secular scientist is to be believed. And what was its purpose? To insure male parental investment in the survival of offspringsomething which the advocates of same-sex marriage contend is now no longer necessary.

And what will we be discarding, if we change the definition of marriage from being a union of a man and a woman? Only a hallmark of the human lineage.

Marriage is not merely a religious institution, nor merely a civil institution. It is, rather, a natural institution, whose definition as the union of male and female is rooted in the order of nature itself. And it doesnt take a Bible to prove it. In this case, evolutionary theory points to the exact same conclusion.

Washington Post:

Ardi’ May Rewrite the Story of Humans: 4.4 Million-Year-Old Primate Helps Bridge Evolutionary Gap (see third-to-last paragraph)

Amsterdam Becomes Green-Light District for Pro-Family Activists

by Peter Sprigg

September 9, 2009

When the World Congress of Families gathered in Amsterdam in the Netherlands last month, it was not considered friendly territory for the conservative, pro-family principles espoused by most of the international delegates. The city has museums devoted to sex and drugs, and its red-light district is treated as a major tourist attraction. Radical feminist groups decried the event, and the offices of one Dutch organization involved in planning for the WCF were even vandalized, with obscenities and anti-Christian slogans being painted on the walls. The Dutch media sought to stir up controversy over the participation in the Congress by several members of the Dutch parliament and one cabinet minister (who sent a video message the opening day). Five scheduled Dutch participants withdrew from the Congress shortly before it began over concerns that anti-gay messages would be promoted.

In the end, protests against the Congress mostly fizzled, and the delegates focused on issues such as the problem of depopulation in the countries of Europe. The Congress featured the European premiere of The Demographic Bomb (a sequel to the film Demographic Winter), which had its world premiere at Family Research Council on June 17.

Peter Sprigg and Pat Fagan represented Family Research Council at the event, with Dr. Fagan making two presentationsone at a breakout session on day care, and one major address on Family Diversity and Political Freedom. He spoke of how the culture of the traditional family, based on lifelong monogamy, is now being challenged by a competing culture rooted in a sexual ideal that is in some sense polyamorous, in that it is built on the expectation of multiple sexual partners through the life course. Dr. Fagan explained some of the political implications of these competing cultures, and offered a suggestion as to how they might be able to co-exist in a free society by insuring that all parents, of any viewpoint, have greater control over the education and upbringing of their own children.

Although liberals claim to place a high value on dialogue, one of the few who actually came to the Congress to engage in it was a Dutch judge and U.N. official, Jaap Doek, who defended the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) and expressed dismay that the U.S. has failed to ratify it. Pro-family activists are concerned that the rights of children established by the treaty would undermine parental authority in the home, but Doek contended that it only imposes limits and obligations on the state, not upon parents.

Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, or C-FAM (and the husband of FRCs Cathy Cleaver Ruse) offered a darker vision of the impact of the U.N. and international agreements. He delivered an address describing how radical elites have attempted to establish a right to abortion in international law. The soft law strategy involves inserting code words for abortion (such as reproductive health) in international documents and then asserting (falsely) that it is a matter of customary international law. The hard law strategy involves United Nations committees charged with monitoring compliance with actual international treaties and conventions. Although no right to abortion has ever been established in the text of such treaties, these committees will often tell member countries that they must protect such a right to be in compliance (for example, with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW). Ruse declared bluntly that such new norms are being forced upon nations undemocratically through treachery, lies, deceit and raw power.

At times it was striking how much people from different countries had in common. For example, at one session, an American state senator from Georgia, Nancy Schaefer, and a lawyer from Sweden, Ruby Harrold-Claesson, both decried the abuses sometimes engaged in by child protective services.

However, there was one notable difference evident in the way American conservatives and Europeans see pro-family policy. Most Americans take a more libertarian approach, believing that the best thing government can do for families is to stay out of their way. Yet it was evident that pro-family politicians from Europe and other countries see government intervention on behalf of the family as the best pro-family policy. For instance, Andre Rouveot, the Dutch cabinet minister who addressed the Congress by video, touted the creation of his Ministry for Youth and Families as a great step forward. Yet most American conservatives do not see the creation of a federal Department of Education as something that improved American education. Australian Member of Parliament Kevin Andrews discussed efforts by some countries to provide child care and family leave as pro-family because they make it easier for working women to become mothers; whereas many Americans would argue what is needed is to make it easier for mothers to stay home.

The Congress ended with the adoption of the Amsterdam Declaration, which cited as its touchstone the statement in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Several countries are already in contention for the honor of hosting the next World Congress of Families, which has clearly established itself as the premier international gathering of pro-family scholars and activists.

Obituary: The Episcopal Church in the United States (1789-2009) Cause of Death: Suicide

by Peter Sprigg

July 24, 2009

The Episcopal Church in the United States took another major step toward ensuring its own demise last week, by adopting a resolution endorsing the ordination of homosexuals as clergy and bishops.

The resolution, adopted at the denominations General Convention, said that gay and lesbian persons … have responded to Gods call and have exercised various ministries, and declared that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

The resolution was widely interpreted as abandoning a moratorium on the ordination of homosexual bishops that was adopted after the furor surrounding the appointment of Gene Robinson, a homosexual man, as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Several branches of the worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly the more conservative churches in Africa, rejected the decision to elevate Robinson. In the U.S., a number of Episcopal parishes and dioceses have already left the Episcopal Church altogether, and they recently organized as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The Episcopal General Convention three years ago adopted a resolution urging restraint regarding the elevation of any bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the highest ranking official in the worldwide Anglican Communion, had told the convention, I hope and pray that there wont be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart.

Sponsors of this years resolution denied that it constituted a repeal of the earlier statement, but Pamela Reamer Williams of Integrity USA, a pro-homosexual advocacy group, declared that this years action supersedes the effective moratorium.

Most observers believe that this years resolution may be the last straw that results in a complete rupture of relationships between the Episcopal Church and most other worldwide Anglicans. Jeff Walton of the Institute for Religion and Democracy noted, In the Anglican Communion, 22 out of 37 other provinces are already in a state of either impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church. [Source]

The liberal Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, warned against recognition of the new ACNA by declaring that schism is not a Christian act. But British theologian (and Bishop of Durham) Tom Wright pointed out in the Times of London that it is the Episcopal Church which is formalizing the schism they initiated six years ago by consecrating Robinson as bishop. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion, said Wright.

One aspect of the resolution that has not attracted much media attention is that it appears to use money as a weapon to discourage any action against the Episcopal Church by the Anglican Communion. The resolution reaffirm[s] its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion, and the accompanying explanation notes that in 2007 the Episcopal Church contributed $661,000 to the Inter-Anglican budgetmore than a third of the total of $1,864,000. Presumably the resolution was hinting that this funding would be in jeopardy if the Anglican Communion were to break with the Episcopal Church.

In addition to a break with worldwide Anglicans, the Episcopal Church action is likely to lead to further erosion here in the United States as well. News about the release of the American Religious Identification Survey earlier this year focused on the 10% drop since 1990 in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians (from 86% to 76%), without noting that almost all of the decline occurred in the 1990s. But they also failed to highlight that the biggest drop in Christian self-identification has come among the more liberal mainline Protestant bodiessuch as the Episcopal Church, which dropped from 3.5 million adherents in 2001 to only 2.4 million in 2008.

Are Some Members of Congress Just D-U-M-B?

by Peter Sprigg

July 22, 2009

FRC has recently noted the contradictions of the position of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who calls himself pro-life but was actually drummed out of the Democrats for Life of America because his plan for reducing abortion is to give more money (for contraception) to Americas largest abortion provider (Planned Parenthood).

But this quote from Rep. Ryan in a LifeNews.com article about the split with Democrats for Life really jumped out at me: I cant figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception.

Really? He cant figure it out? Not for the life of him?

Perhaps Rep. Ryan is under the impression that engaging in sexual relations is mandatory. Its not. Perhaps he thinks people will die if they dont have sex. They wontbut thousands die each year (of sexually transmitted diseases) because they do.

If Rep. Ryan cant figure out … how to stop pregnancies without contraception, let me spell it out for him.

A-B-S-T-A-I-N.

Same-Sex Marriage is Not Like Interracial Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

May 27, 2009

On May 27, prominent attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies (best known as one another’s opponents in Bush v. Gore, the court case regarding the disputed 2000 presidential election) announced that on May 22 they had filed a federal lawsuit seeking to establish a right to same-sex “marriage” nationwide under the U. S. Constitution.

In a press release and press conference, they cited as precedent the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling in the case of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S., 12; online ). They claimed that because of this precedent, homosexuals must be “guaranteed the right to marry the person they love.”

However, the U. S. Supreme Court in Loving never described the issue in that case as an unrestricted “right to marry the person they love.” Instead, it said that “the freedom of choice to marry [cannot] be restricted by invidious racial discrimination.”

The comparison between interracial marriage and same-sex “marriage” was concisely refuted in a 2003 Indiana court decision rejecting the claim of a right to homosexual “marriage.” As the judge noted,

Unlike anti-miscegenation laws, restrictions against same-sex marriage reinforce, rather than disrupt, the traditional understanding of marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man. Marriage traditionally and definitionally has had to do with the sex of each participant… . Anti-miscegenation laws, because they interfered with the traditional marriage relationships in pursuit of opprobrious racial segregation policies, had no legitimate connection to the institution of marriage itself. Loving in no way held that the right to marry means the right to marry whomever one wishes. Its import is far more focused: that whatever else marriage is about, it is not about racial segregation. (Morrison v. Sadler, Marion County, Indiana Superior Court, May 7, 2003; online)

The strong legal basis for the distinction was described by another court that rejected a homosexual challenge to marriage laws, this one in New Jersey:

Plaintiffs’ reliance on decisions striking down statutes that prohibit interracial marriage is misplaced. These decisions derive from Constitutional amendments prohibiting racial discrimination and subjecting laws that classify individuals based on race to the highest level of scrutiny. No similar Constitutional provisions outlaw statutory classifications based on sexual orientation … . Comparing the State’s marriage statutes to laws perpetuating racial prejudice, therefore, is inapposite.

Individuals challenging bans on interracial marriage had a powerful weapon: Federal Constitutional provisions, passed by Congress and adopted by State Legislatures, that expressly prohibited States from denying recognized rights based on race. It was entirely appropriate for the courts to enforce those duly enacted Constitutional provisions by striking down statutes that made race a qualifying condition for access to a recognized right to marry. Plaintiffs, on the other hand, assert their claims in the absence of express Constitutional provisions supporting their position, and ask the court to circumvent the Legislative process by creating a right that has never before been recognized in this country.

The mandate for racial equality is firmly enshrined in both the Federal and State Constitutions. Importantly, two amendments to the United States Constitution expressly address racial equality [the 13th and 14th]… .

The Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia is predicated entirely on the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibition of racial classifications… .

No similar Constitutional provision accords heightened protection to individuals who claim that statutes discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation… .

… [P]laintiffs … lack the significant legal foundation that was available to the plaintiffs in Loving to demand judicial recognition of the rights they seek.

(Lewis v. Harris, Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County, November 5, 2003; online )

No Softening on Gay Judges

by Peter Sprigg

May 13, 2009

Pro-homosexual activist groups like Lambda Legal began pressing President Obama, even before he was inaugurated, to appoint homosexuals as federal judges, and now that there is a Supreme Court vacancy, the possibility of the first “openly gay or lesbian” Supreme Court justice is being discussed in the media and (intensely) in the blogosphere.

Comments by Sen. Jeff Sessions, by a spokesman for Focus on the Family, and by me, suggesting that a history of same-sex attractions would not necessarily, automatically, and a priori disqualify a candidate for the court led a blogger for Politico to ask, “Is [the] right softening on gay judges?”

In that piece, Josh Gerstein contrasted recent comments by Focus on the Family judicial analyst Bruce Hausknecht with a quote of mine from an article about homosexual judges at the state level that appeared in USA Today in 2006. That article quoted me this way:

We don’t accept that homosexuality is any kind of cultural identity that should be sought in a judge,” says Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group in Washington, D.C., that opposes same-sex marriage. “We think it’s a behavior, not something that should be held up as a role model.”

That comment has been held up as somehow being in conflict with my comments last week to Jake Tapper of ABC News:

Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the conservative Family Research Council, says that “the real issue would not be the person’s private life but the issue would be would they be imposing their personal ideology upon the court. In this case would they be imposing a pro homosexual ideology, a pro-same sex marriage ideology.”

It’s also been contrasted with what I told a blogger, Greg Sargent, who is affiliated with the Washington Post:

We don’t think that the process of selecting a Supreme Court justice should include asking questions about a person’s personal sex life,” Peter Sprigg, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told me moments ago.

But if a person does publicly identify as gay or lesbian, or particularly if a person has been involved with homosexual rights activism at any level, then there would have to be serious questions asked about whether he or she would impose a pro-gay ideology on the court.”

Sprigg added that homosexuality in and of itself would not be a “determinant” against the acceptability of the nominee.

I didn’t even remember the USA Today interview until I saw it quoted, so I went back and reviewed it. The problem with the ostensibly more “hard-line” quote is that those quoting it did not mention that it came immediately after this statement by the reporter:

The effort by gay rights groups to increase the number of openly gay state and local judges has drawn criticism.

Three years later, I remain fully convinced that homosexuality can never be viewed as a positive characteristic in a judge (or in anyone else), so I fully stand by my position that no one should ever be appointed as a judge because they identify as “gay.”

However, those who identified my comments this year as a change in tone from the 2006 interview apparently did not read that article all the way through-since it ended with this:

[G]ay-rights groups … aim to create a “farm team” of judges who could be in position for the federal bench if future presidents are willing to appoint such judges.

Sprigg says his group would fight such an effort. But he says gay judges are acceptable to his group - as long as their sexual orientation isn’t a factor in their work.

We don’t think we should make an issue of it, if they keep it private,” he says. “If we had reason to believe that they would pursue a pro-homosexual agenda, then we would vigorously oppose them.”

Some of the bloggers commenting on this story have failed to make the distinction between saying conservatives “would not automatically disqualify” a homosexual candidate and saying conservatives “could support” one. The statements about not disqualifying a candidate simply reflect the fact that we believe even Supreme Court nominees deserve some zone of privacy, and acknowledge that there is at least a hypothetical possibility that somewhere in the country there is a judge who has experienced same-sex attractions, but who also respects judicial restraint and the original intent of the Constitution.

In the real world, however, the chances of finding a highly-qualified judge who fits both of those descriptions are probably about equal to the chances of a camel passing through the eye of a needle. So don’t hold your breath waiting for social conservatives to “support” a “gay” judicial nominee.

Matthew Shepard’s Brutal Murder—No “Hoax,” But No “Hate Crime”

by Peter Sprigg

May 1, 2009

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has admitted making a “poor choice of words,” during House debate on a “hate crimes” bill on April 29, when she used the word “hoax” in connection with the 1998 murder of a homosexual Wyoming college student, Matthew Shepard.

Here’s what she actually said:

We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”

It should be clear to anyone remotely familiar with the Shepard murder or the hate crimes issue that she was not claiming that Shepard never existed or that his murder was a “hoax,” but only that it’s classification as an anti-gay “hate crime” was a “hoax.” Nevertheless, she was mocked as roughly the equivalent of a Holocaust denier.

Yesterday, Foxx explained, appropriately, that she was not trying to minimize the horror or brutality of Shepard’s murder in any way. “Mr. Shepard’s death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received.”

Some people, however, may still not be aware of the basis for Rep. Foxx’s claim that classifying this brutal attack as a “hate crime” is inaccurate. I explained it in a 2007 op-ed in the Washington Times:

The ultimate irony in all this is that Matthew Shepard’s death was probably not a “hate crime” at all. A courageous investigative report by ABC’s 20/20, which they unfortunately buried on the day after Thanksgiving [November 26] in 2004, revealed that most of the people most closely involved in the case say that the attack on Matthew Shepard was motivated by robbery and driven by drugs - not by hostility toward Matthew Shepard’s homosexuality. If he was specifically targeted, it may have been because he was small (only 105 pounds) and well-dressed - not because he was a homosexual.

When asked about the proof that it was a “hate crime,” Cal Rerucha, who prosecuted the case, declared, “Well, I don’t think the proof was there… That was something that they [friends of Shepard] had decided.” Ben Fritzen, a former police detective, said, “Matthew Shepard’s sexual preference or sexual orientation certainly wasn’t the motive in the homicide… What it came down to, really, is drugs and money.”

McKinney’s girlfriend, Kristen Price, said, “I knew that night it was all about getting money… Money to get drugs.” McKinney himself, talking for the first time (he did not testify at his trial), told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas that “it wasn’t a hate crime… [A]ll I wanted to do was beat him up and rob him.” In fact, McKinney said, “I have gay friends. … You know, that kind of thing don’t bother me so much.”

Wyoming had no “hate crimes” law. But that didn’t stop Shepard’s killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, from being sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, after being spared the death penalty only because Shepard’s parents interceded against it.

So it’s hard to argue that a “hate crimes” law would have made much difference-even if it had been a “hate crime.”

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