I argue that there is one thing more than any other that the public despises when it comes to politics. And that is hypocrisy. Today on the Senate floor a big dose of hypocrisy was served up for all to see, and it was not pretty.
Gay United States Senator Craig, Republican from Idaho, who came out to the nation while looking for sex in a men’s room, voted today against the hate crimes legislation that was attached to the defense reauthorization bill. This amendment was needed for many years, but never found the votes required for passage. Until now.
On a 60-39 vote the amendment offered by Senator Kennedy is now soon going to President Bush, who of course, finds no need for the change in federal law. In fact the White House has put out the usual bluster about vetoing the measure. Since it is attached to the defense bill it will be fun to watch conservatives squirm. On May 3rd, the House of Representatives passed a companion bill, with strong bipartisan support, 237 to 180.
The need for the federal law is that the existing hate-crime law applies only to attacks on people motivated by race, religion, color or national origin, but not sexual orientation. Even Republicans saw the need for the measure and voted for passage. Today Warner, Snowe, Collins, Lugar, Voinovich, Spector, Coleman, Gregg, and Gordon Smith all voted in favor.
But the latest member of Congress to be publicly outed recently must have felt quite horrible inside to vote against such a common sense measure. Senator Craig must know by now that living his double life not only looks foolish, but also is not healthy. Healthy minded folks do not seek sex in restrooms. Thankfully his GOP colleagues voted for him just in case in the future anyone beats up the gay Senator for his lifestyle. Too bad he couldn’t care enough about other gay people across the nation to do the same.
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