Sullivan doubles down:
This simply doesn’t make sense. Hate crime laws for most categories, including federal measures, have been around for a long time. The only new thing here – the only thing that has fostered “a decade of opposition and delay” – is the addition of sexual orientation. So the president had a chance to defend gays from being excluded from the usual roster of victims, in front of military leaders, and he had to walk backwards into this strange circumlocution.
He’s lost his damned mind. As several of you have pointed out, nowhere in the bill do the words lesbian or gay appear:
The word “gay” never appears in the bill. Neither does the word “lesbian,” “homosexual,” or “bisexual.”
It protects people from being targeted because of their sexual orientation. Which of course applies to everybody.
So Obama was absolutely correct in describing it as a bill that “protects people based on … who they love.”
And what does it say that Sullivan only seems to give a shit about the gays. What about the lesbians? What about transexuals? Why do you hate them, Andrew?
It really does take big brass balls for Sullivan to complain about the legislation, then to complain about the way the legislation is signed, and then to do so disingenuously, because the line preceding the quote that gives Andrew the vapors so much states that there will be another signing ceremony specifically for the hate crimes legislation.
I seriously am to the point that every time I open memeorandum or check the progressive blogs, I’m beginning to see the same kind of batshit crazy I see on right wing blogs. Has every one just lost their damned minds? Did everyone go insane?
*** Update ***
And no, I am not claiming Sully is a progressive, I was just thinking that everyone has gone nuts.
*** Update #2 ***
From the comments:
I would like to note something from Sullivan’s writeup:
The only new thing here – the only thing that has fostered “a decade of opposition and delay” – is the addition of sexual orientation.
This is false on two levels. First off, the bill adds not just sexual orientation, but gender identity. This may not effect Andrew Sullivan, it sure as hell effects me. It’s also a pretty big deal historically speaking. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality this is the very first transgender rights bill to ever pass at the Federal level.
Second off, even if Sullivan had said “sexual orientation and gender identity”, it would still be simply wrong that adding these new categories is the only thing the bill does. The bill also strengthens the existing hate crimes law in several ways, including expanding the cases in which Federal authorities may step in to investigate a hate crime when local law enforcement falls down, and giving grants to local law enforcement agencies who find they do not have sufficient funds to properly investigate hate crimes. If you will notice the bill’s official title “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”, James Byrd Jr. being a heterosexual black man who was tortured and killed by white supremacists in 1998.
Sullivan opposes this bill, but apparently never bothered to learn a single thing about it.
But he didn’t say “gay.”