Sen Allen’s Written Word

See the news release below.

I blogged before that the only letter I’ve written to Sen Allen was last year when he made his first wrong vote on making homosexuals a protected class of persons.

As I said, I got a long, snippy letter from his staff. I didn’t mention that to him at a fund-raiser in Newport News a few months ago. But, then I didn’t know about this written memo of his.

He will vote for the crime bill, because golly gee its a crime bill with a bad amendment. That would be more plausible if he would work in public to rescind the memo.

This is not good.

FPN NEWS CONTACT: Joe Glover – 434-846-0500

Senator urged to keep promise vs. hate crimes – – this time

George Allen broke “no sexual orientation” pledge, but has a chance to get it right now


(FOREST, VA) – The leader of a Virginia-based pro-family organization is urging U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA) to honor a written campaign promise to oppose adding “sexual orientation” to the list of federal “hate crimes.”

“George Allen broke his promise to not support adding “sexual orientation” to the federal list of hate crimes last year. We’re asking him not to break that promise again now,” said Family Policy Network (FPN) president Joe Glover in a written statement.

On October 27, just days before his election to the Senate in 2000, then-candidate Allen promised to oppose hate crimes designation for homosexuals, in exchange for a guarantee from conservative leaders to drop the issue – rather than publicly criticize his prior statements in support of such legislation.

Allen’s promise, which was written on “Allen 2000″ campaign stationary, was signed by the candidate himself. The letter (see below) clearly states that, if elected, Allen would not support adding sexual orientation to the list of federal hate crimes “or any other similar legislation.” The letter also expresses Allen’s belief that such legislation would “have the effect of elevating sexual orientation to civil rights status,” which he promised he would not do.

Also in the letter, Allen added that he had “always been an advocate for increased penalties on anyone who commits a violent crime” in an apparent attempt to justify his previous willingness to support the hate crimes designation for sexual orientation.

“That might make a good sound bite,” Glover said, “but it doesn’t explain why killing grandma for the money in her purse should be any less a crime than killing someone else for engaging in same-sex sodomy.”

Allen broke the promise in June of 2004 when he helped pass a Senate bill to add “sexual orientation” to the list of federal hate crimes (see story). The legislation eventually expired because Republican leaders never scheduled a vote in the House of Representatives. This year, however, the House has already passed the language. It will now be considered by the Senate.

Glover says, “This time, we’re asking Senator Allen to remember his promise. If he doesn’t, we won’t let him forget it.”



Letter from George Allen, promising not to support adding “sexual orientation” to hate crimes:

See the letter online at this location:

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Is there a blog shorthand phrase for “I told you so?”

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Won’t let him forget it? Like you are going to vote for his opponent in 96? Or are you planning to move to Iowa? Why should he pay the least bit of attention to you?

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Allen could have a challenger in 06, but that is unlikely. Maybe I, and others, won’t open our wallets in 06, not that I give much cash at all. I do give sweat equity. I write opinions for anonymous people to grouse. Some others read and consider. He could be passed over in 08 for a Sen Brownback or someone else for President.

    He should know that others know. Virginia’s politicians should be held to try to reach George Washington’s standards, even when none of them will be Washington.

    Also, the truth has a power and permanance that is all its own. A man’s word should be his bond. It’s good to know the truth whenever we can.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    To Anonymous 11:07AM:
    You ask “Why should he pay the least bit of attention to you?”

    Because it’s a matter of credibility, especially with George Allen. From his first campaign for public office on, his slogan has been “promises made, promises kept.” I have long believed that mantra has been essential to his popularity, as much or more than his aw shucks personna.

    I have always supported him and always will. But I fear he has a mild case of Potomac Fever. This is the Senator who railed against government “nannyism” as a Virginia Delegate and Governor,for instance opposing safety restrictions on children riding in the back of pickups. Now he’s welcomed dogs to a US Senate hearing on his Antifreeze Bittering Agent Act of 2005 (S. 1110) “to help reduce the risk of poisoning for the thousands of pets, animals and children that ingest antifreeze each year.”

  5. GOPHokie Avatar

    How in the world did this pass the House?

  6. JamesRiverGOP Avatar

    Allen seems to understand what others have failed to see — namely, that gay-bashing isn’t as in vogue as it once was. (Ask Brad Marrs.)

  7. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    JamesRiverGOP: Since when do Republicans support special privileges for protected classes of persons? Sorry others fail to see that Hate Crimes are Thought Crimes.

    If Allen has changed his mind on elevating Homosexual behavior to a class of persons, then he should come out, pun unintended, and say so forthrightly. He could even make another written statement rescinding his first written word.

  8. GOPHokie Avatar

    Yea i agree w/ James.
    This is not just an issue of gays, its the fact Republicans are usually opposed to any hate crime legislation or setting up “protected classes of people”.
    Expanding it, regardless of who it intends to help, is the issue.

  9. I'm Not Emeril Avatar
    I’m Not Emeril

    Actually, I would prefer a pledge not to vote for any silly “hate crime” law.

    In order to successfully prosecute, you have to know what the perpetrator was thinking….

    Unless all victims that belong to a “protected class” are considered to be de facto “hate crime” victims.

  10. “Sorry others fail to see that Hate Crimes are Thought Crimes.”

    +1 Agreed.

  11. Anonymous Avatar

    I’m not really for hate crime legislation. It’s dumb, for exactly the reasons that Bowden says.

    But other than you guys, who are perfectly tolerant, why are most people against hate crime legislation that protects gays? Is it because they take your highly principled stance? Or is it because they are itching to grab some gays and tied them to their pickup truck in order to do god’s good work?

  12. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Anon: In addition to the generic rebuke to ‘protected classes of persons’ there is specific caution about Homosexual advocacy.

    I can’t speak for pick up truck drivers, nor can I imagine tying up my relatives or neighbors, but I can see protecting free speech.

    It is against the law to say Homosexual behavior is sinful in Canada and the EU. That is ‘hate speech’. There is where you go with hate crimes elevation for homosexuals.

    I’ve gotten emails from a U VA law grad who said precisely that above. “Homosexual behavior is sinful” is hate speech and should be criminalized.

    Preserving Judeo-Christian Biblical speech as free speech is worthy. Read the preamble to the VA Statute on Religious Freedom.

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    “Maybe I, and others, won’t open our wallets in 06, not that I give much cash at all. I do give sweat equity. I write opinions for anonymous people to grouse.”

    Wow, that’s a compelling threat you have over his head! You might not not open your wallet to him! And you might complain sometimes!

    “I have always supported him and always will.”

    Then see it from the perspective of any sensible politician: you’re in the bag. That leaves him free to spread his wings and appeal to a wider range of voters without fear of losing you. You’ll grouse and write a few complaints, but you’ll always end up working your butt off for him anyway and he knows it. You see the same thing with Congress, Kilgore, or anything else. Republicans know that by and large their base won’t abandon them. They’ll grouse, but they won’t just not vote or even not support. They’ll always fire themselves up again with all the old thunder against the Democrats being way worse. If anything, all this grumbling about the budget and betraying people on abortion is only going to prove more wonderful for the Republican party, because the moment is going to come and the activists are going to blink and everyone will realize how little that counts for in actual votes and support. With Republicans able to appeal to Democrats for crossover appeal, and their base unwilling to do anything about it, they’ll be unstoppable. This is precisely how Allen is going to tie up the nomination. (Brownback? Give me a break)

    And you’ll pout… until it’s time to put out your lawn sign again so that Democrat down the street knows who’s boss.

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    “Sorry others fail to see that Hate Crimes are Thought Crimes.”

    The mark of a poor debater is someone that finally admits that they were wrong about some point in the debate, recrafts their argument to make it better without that faulty point, but then in their next chance, pitching to a different audience, employs the same lousy point.

    Put simply. Again. Hate crimes aren’t “punishing thought.” They require the demonstration of a specific sort of _intent_: the intent to terrorize a particular class of people by a felony that causes far wider social harm and discord than a felony directed at a person. Saying that the sort of hate crimes legislation that Allen is considering is tantamount to just punishing hate speech or hate thoughts alone is simply a lie, and even saying that it gives murdered people of a particular class more justice, without the consideration of the social harm element, is just a lame straw man attack. Laws against terrorism, as well as just general laws distinguishing one type of murder from another, or from manslaughter, use much the same reasoning on the importance of intent and greater social harm, and you have to explain why the reasoning is appropriate in one case but not another to make a decent argument.

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    Crime Commission Chair Soft on Child Sexual Abuse
    Del. Albo Introduces Bill Gutting Protections for Children

    RICHMOND, VA — January 14, 2004 — Virginia state delegate David Albo (Springfield) proposed legislation yesterday to drastically reduce penalties for sexually abusing children in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Albo, as chairman of Virginia’s Crime Commission, proposed legislation to lower penalties for engaging in “sexual intercourse, sodomy, or fondling” a child. Penalties for these crimes would be reduced to the equivalent of tampering with cable television service (18.2-165.1, class 6 felony) and would be classified as a lesser offense than stealing chickens (18.2-97, class 5 felony).

    Albo’s bill includes the following provisions:

    * Sexual intercourse with a child age 0-18 would become a Class 6 felony, punishable by a fine or a maximum of 5 years in prison. It is currently punishable as Rape (unclassified felony, 5 years-Life), Incest (Class 3 felony, 5-20 years) or as Carnal knowledge (Class 4 felony, 2-10 years).

    * Sodomizing a child age 0-18 would become a Class 6 felony, punishable by a fine to five years (see 18.2-10 of the Virginia Code for sentencing ranges). It is currently classified under Crimes against nature (18.2-361) as a Class 3 felony, punishable by from 5 to 20 years.

    * Having sexual intercourse with a minor who is being held in a local or state correctional or juvenile detention facility would be made a Class 1 misdemeanor (Albo bill, 18.2-387.1).

    What Possible Reason?

    What possible reason could Delegate Albo have for attempting such a sweeping rollback of legal protections for children? According to Grier Weeks, executive director of the National Association to PROTECT Children (PROTECT), Albo’s legislation is typical of elected officials who view child sexual abuse as “a social disease, not a crime.”

    “If you look at the bill carefully, you’ll see that these get out of jail free passes are not being offered to all criminals,” says Weeks. “This bill says that if a child molester simply proposes sex with a neighbor’s child, that’s a crime and it should be 1-10 years. But if that same criminal actually rapes or sodomizes his own niece or his student or a player on his ballteam, that’s a social problem and it’s okay to punish it with a fine.”

    In Virginia, over 90% of all sex crimes committed against children are perpetrated by adults the child knows, according to data published by the Virginia Department of State Police (“Crime in Virginia”, Jan.-Dec. 2002)

    PROTECT was in Richmond Monday and Tuesday to seek support in the legislature for tougher penalties for criminals who betray a child’s or a family’s trust to molest children. PROTECT is seeking enhanced penalties for child molesters who abuse their position of trust or authority-including parents, step-parents, clergy, teachers and coaches. Current law rewards these perpetrators and Albo’s bill would make it far worse.

    “Albo took the weakest law protecting kids, Indecent liberties, and used it as a trash can to dump every rotten thing you can do to a kid into. If he wants to use the Crime Commission to do this kind of thing, he should pick on someone his own size and leave child crime victims alone.”

    Leadership says it will fix bill, Chairman Albo stands behind it

    PROTECT spoke Tuesday with members of the House and Senate Courts leadership who acknowledged serious problems with Albo’s bill and pledged to remove preferential treatment for adults who abuse positions of trust and authority in committee. Commission Chair Albo, however, refused to meet with PROTECT outside the Commission meeting and said he stood by the new reduced penalties. Albo claimed that since tougher penalties for the same crimes are still on the books (Rape, Incest, Carnal Knowledge) elsewhere, his bill would simply give prosecutors more options.

    “Using that logic, we’re waiting to see if Mr. Albo is going to introduce a Class 6 Felony homicide law or a misdemeanor drug dealing law next,” said Weeks.

    PROTECT is a national membership association with members in 48 states and 6 countrie

  16. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    7:55 Anon. Well written. Actually, there are activist base Bubbas, like myself, who are chatting about what to do if and when the GOP walks away from our principles like the Dems did.

    You can mock that if it makes you feel better, but it is happening.

    8:14 Anon. You can award whatever debate points you see fit. Look at the elements of proof for a hate crime – the very intent you mention. You have to determine what the perp thought. It is thought crime.

    I’m not in charge of writing terrorism laws. If they follow the same logic, which I’ve read from some blogging lawyers, not the code itself, then I think it is wrong.

    The idea of protected classes of persons is an anathema to American ideals.

  17. We’ve had this debate before. No one can be prosecuted under the federal hate crimes law unless they commit a criminal act that physically injures another person. There are no sanctions or punishments in the law for speech standing alone unaccompanied by an assault, murder, rape, etc. There is no way anyone can be prosecuted under the law for saying homosexual behavior is sinful anymore than they can be prosecuted for stating a belief about a Christian or an African American that offends some or all.

    Republicans oppose setting up “protected classes of people”? Did they fail to support the Americans with Disabilities Act? Did they oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which, among other things, protects religious free exercise in the workplace)? Did they oppose the 1963 Equal Pay Act? The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

    Where hate and intolerance threaten physical harm to any among us because of who we are or what we believe, we are all threatened. I think we call it terrorism.

  18. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    CG2: As a recovering lawyer, you know that Republicans are why there was a Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republicans carried the bill into law. I don’t know about the votes on other laws.

    The Civil Rights Act is supposed to protect individuals on the basis of race, religion, color, creed. Individuals. The language – especially Hubert Humphrey’s claim that if it turned into quotas he would eat his hat,etc – clearly is part of the legislative history that it was for individuals.

    Christian speech is not illegal, yet. The point is that if you proceed with making Homosexuals a protected class of persons that is where you go.

    If hate, threats and intolerance are terrorism, then why aren’t the antagonists against Christian churches in San Francisco called terrorists?

    Terrorism is a military tactic – war being an extension of politics by other means – that should not be confused with criminal acts of individuals.

    That was the difference between Clinton who saw terrorism as a police issue of criminality and Bush who sees terrorism as a military issue of war.

  19. “Christian speech is not illegal, yet. The point is that if you proceed with making Homosexuals a protected class of persons that is where you go.”

    I’m sorry. The logic, legal and factual foundation of this assertion escape me.

    It was precisely because Republicans were in the forefront of the Civil Rights Act, and other civil rights laws, that I questionned the assertion made about what “real” Republicans do or don’t do when it comes to “protecting classes of individuals.”

    The Civil Rights Act is the law that protects Christians, and Jews, and Muslims and athiests from religious discrimination in the workplace (except in sectarian institutions, but that’s another subject). The hate crimes law already enhances sanctions for crimes motivated by religious animus.

    If the “antagonists” against Christian churches in SanFrancisco have done anything other than speak or demonstrate (like those “antagonists” who appear outside clinics that provide abortions), that is, they’ve moved beyond speech into criminal assaults on worshipers or caused property damage, then their criminal “acts” would properly be categorized as “hate crimes” if motivated by religious animus.

    Since the hate crimes law does not sanction or punish speech in any form, I just can’t see why extending the law to cover criminals acts motivated by hate against people because of their sexual orientation can or will limit anyone’s speech, Christian or otherwise, especially since religious speech is protected by the constitution and religious discrimination is already illegal.

    And, on terrorism, here’s the current Virginia definition of an act of terror:

    “Act of terrorism” means an act of violence as defined in clause (i) of subdivision A of § 19.2-297.1 committed with the intent to (i) intimidate the civilian population at large; or (ii) influence the conduct or activities of the government of the United States, a state or locality through intimidation.

    The Department of Defense defines terrorism as follows:

    “the unlawful use of — or threatened use of — force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.”

    The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

    You may disagree, but I think that people who kill, maim or injure others because of what they believe (e.g., the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland; fanatics who say they are killing in the name of Islam) or who they are or what they do (e.g., the Oklahoma bomber who killed people working for or in the same building with federal agencies; the folks who killed civil rights workers in the South; those who seek out and harm people because they are gay; those who bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors who perform abortions) are terrorists whether their intent to intimidate (and, thereby, change policy or behavior) is motivated by religion, race, sexual orientation or political ideology or whether they act as individuals, a conspiracy of individuals or the arm of a military or quasi-military enterprise.

  20. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    CG2: Great clarifying post. I’m making the distinction between terrorists and criminals that you aren’t. We can agree to disagree.

    Criminals who bomb abortion clinics, kill Civil Rights workers (once upon a time 40 years ago), homosexuals or in the case in Chicago – the Christian lady who expressed concern to a co-worker about his homosexuality and he killed her, or the child raped to death by homosexuals,etc – all of those acts you cited except the IRA vs Ulstermen political violence and the Timothy McVeigh political violence which was mass murder not individual crime (gee I know this will be a false distinction to some legal beagles)- is just crime. You don’t need a distinction of ‘hate crime’ for any punishment. You don’t need to call the terrorism hate crime either. It serves no purpose.

    The points you miss (and I mean this politely like we are chatting in someone’s house, not screaming on talking head TV) are these:
    1. The issue is individual rights – whether it is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which was one of the monumental pieces of good legislation in the entire history of the USA or anything else. Individual rights. Hate crimes don’t address individual rights but protected classes – which is anathema to the American Nation.
    2. A fellow in Canada put an ad with only a Biblical injunction – direct quote – against homosexuality on it. He was taken to court and fined under their hate crimes. A U Va law grad sent me an email saying the same thing should be the law here. He is working to make that happen… one step at a time. A minister in Sweden is facing charges for preaching – in church – that homosexuality is sinful based on EU laws. You may not see the connections but they will happen -one step at at time.

    Just as Roe v Wade begat the barbarism of partial birth abortion, so too, will sexual orientation as a protected class of persons begat persecution of Christian Biblical speech.

    Odd, isn’t it, the other sexual behavior – adultery, incest and bestiality to name a few – don’t have advoccacy groups. Polygamy does, pediophilia does and homosexuality does. Odd indeed which sexual behaviors should get legal protection according to Liberals and which ones don’t.

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