Friday, November 13, 2009

Real "Social Security"

The Washington Post: Congress is expected to expand federal hate crimes laws to add "sexual orientation" to a list that already includes "race, color, religion or national origin." Is this necessary? Should there be special laws against crimes motivated by intolerance, bigotry and hatred? Isn't a crime a crime?

Real Social Security: To have real social security, all individuals must feel safe and secure. For this to be, Congress must expand federal hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation. People can’t feel secure if their sexuality is threatened.

The United States legal system is a system of fences that protect what we value. Because sexuality is a sacred part of person-hood, it is worth protecting. We must guarantee the safety of individuals who are now persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

The extension of federal hate crimes law is a necessary disincentive for those who would criminalize people due to sexual orientation. Many of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, or queer, have been victimized. This is an issue that must come out of the closet, and be discussed. Yet, because sexual orientation has social taboos connected with it, it has not benefited fully from public discussion.

When the U.S. law and justice system takes a position in favor of protecting sexual orientation it will show the value we place on life and identity. Our deepest identity includes our sexuality and should be protected from harassment. Congress must extend federal hate crimes laws to sexual orientation. Only then will we be a step closer to real social security.

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