Special protection for pedophiles?

When I wrote on May 24 "Will discrimination against pedophiles be outlawed next?", I was being satirical. I didn't know that reality has nearly beaten me to it. The report below is from May 13 and concerns a bill that is already through the Reps and is now with the Senate:
"The US Senate Judiciary committee is now considering the so-called Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed by the House April 29, under the sponsorship of Rep John Conyers (D-MI) and 120 other Representatives. Dubbed the ”Thought Crimes Prevention Act” by some House Republicans, HB1913 includes pedophilia as a protected sexual orientation.

Prior to approval by the whole House, a party-line 10-13 vote of Conyers’ House Judiciary Committee April 23 rejected a proposal by Republican Rep Steve King (R-IA) “to define the term `sexual orientation’ as used in the bill to explicitly exclude pedophilia.” Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, an open lesbian, called the amendment, “unnecessary and inflammatory.”

When judges are required to interpret any Act resulting from passage of HB1913, they will refer to this vote and see that the intent of the lawmakers was to protect pedophiles. This could lead to federal felony prosecutions against anyone who acts to expel a pedophile from his neighborhood. Federal felony convictions require a minimum one year incarceration in a federal penitentiary.


Many reports on conservative sites have interpreted this bill as prohibiting speech. But that is a stretch. It refers to violent assaults or physical attacks. The current text of the bill is here. The definitions it refers to are from H.R.3355 (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) and can be found here. Earlier versions of the bill did explicitly include a statment that speech was not targeted but that has now gone. At the end of the bill there is simply a pointless assertion that the bill does not attack any constitutional protections (such as the 1st Amendment).

A point to note is that H.R.3355 ALREADY adds extra punishment for "hate" in crimes prosecuted in Federal jurisdictions. The new bill aims to extend that to all jurisdictions. Since H.R.3355 has not led to prosecutions of speech alone and since HB1913 uses the same definition of "hate crime" as H.R.3355, concerns about it affecting speech may be over-cautious.

It is clear, however, that under the new law, attacking a pedophile would attract a more severe sentence than attacking a normal heterosexual person. The law puts pedophiles into an especially protected class. How that is compatible with the 14th ("equal protection") amendment escapes me.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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