Power in LPC press release on hate crimes

The state party just put out a release on the "hate crime" bill that passed the Senate, with a quote from the new Outright Libertarians national chair, Rob Power.


June 19, 2004
Reporters may contact: Richard Newell, 408-882-4785
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Marriage to Murder: Justice Should Be Blind

Many special interest groups praised the Senate for passing the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act. Libertarians, on the other hand, would rather see justice served than be pandered to.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Special interest groups from the Japanese Americans Citizens League (JACL) to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) are giving accolades on the recent Senate approval of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The LLEEA expands the definition of 'hate crime' to include a violent act causing death or bodily injury because of the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Not everyone is celebrating. Libertarians believe everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law.

"Let's hope this is nothing more than election year pandering to special interest groups," said Aaron Starr, chair of the Libertarian Party of California. "If that's the case, it might die this year."

Similar versions of the LLEEA have been passed twice before by the Senate and once by the House, but each time it died in conference committee.

"Justice should be blind," Starr said. "Justice is not justice if it treats different people differently for the same crime. We will never achieve a truly color blind society as long as lawmakers continue to legislate on the basis of race, religion or other group memberships."

Bruce Cohen, Libertarian candidate for Congress in California's 48th district (Orange County) said, "Like affirmative action laws, 'hate crime' laws are discriminatory. There are already laws against murder and crimes of violence.

While 'intent' differentiates between murder and manslaughter, for instance, 'motivation' has no place here. How can a jury know if someone was attacked if they were Jewish, or because they were alone at night? It becomes speculation on the part of the District Attorney."

"I just want the same rights as any other individual" said Rob Power, national chairman of the Outright Libertarians, based in San Francisco. "Whether it's marriage, mugging or murder, my being gay should have no bearing on how the government treats me. The Log Cabin Republicans claim to 'support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans,' yet, like other Democrats and Republicans, they support special treatment when it comes to themselves or their friends."

Added Aaron Starr, "The LLEEA sets a bad precedent because it allows the federal government to enter cases that should be handled solely by local authorities. This causes inequity in law enforcement, and will lead to the further federalization of local matters."

About the Libertarian Party of California

The Libertarian Party of California has more than fifty public officeholders statewide. Libertarians believe in personal freedom in both social and economic spheres, and in government small enough to protect those freedoms.

The Libertarian Party of California may be contacted at 818-782-8400 or visited on the web at http://www.ca.lp.org/.

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