It is should also be noted that there are many hate crimes that may not be reported to law enforcement authorities. Part of the reason for this is that victims may not be very sure about state support when it comes to protection of their rights. Consequently, most of them see no point in reporting those cases. Additionally, others may fear judgment from the people around them. These are all reasons that propelled the discussion, debate and support of the Matthew Shippard Bill.
It is also important to note that hate crimes have certain peculiar characteristics that make them particularly sensitive. This also forces various groups to give them particular attention. First of all, hate crimes are normally committed randomly. It is normally difficult for law enforcement officials to look for patterns of hate crimes or areas where they will occur in the future. This kind of trend is not prevalent in other types of legislation. Also, the potential perpetrators of hate crimes do not fit the typical criminal profile.
Most of them maybe emanating from other categories. Consequently, society should look for ways in which they can minimize this through institution of better laws. However, one should not conclude that hate crimes cannot be prevented at all; they simply take differing approaches form the typical methods. Opposition against the LLEHCPA/ Matthew Shepard Act While a substantial number of people support the latter Act, there are still many more who oppose it. Most of the people who fight it are conservative groups that refuse to accept the fact that society is changing.
These are mostly religious groups that may be interested in maintaining the status quo. Such groups usually believe that persons with unconventional sexual orientation or gender identity are not behaving morally. Consequently, by protecting their rights, the state will be legitimizing their actions. In fact, the New York Blade reported that the Traditional Values Coalition chairman Reverend Louis Sheldon asserted that the hate crimes bill would a platform against which people who acted in accordance with strict religious teachings were investigated and persecuted.
He believed that business owners, pastors and business persons would be turned into criminals because they are likely to depict signs of supporting such values. The sentiments carried forward by these religious groups have also been held by other political groups. These are usually the House of Representatives that are emanating from the conservative side. (US Department of Justice, 2008) In responses to these sentiments, many gay rights movements have asserted that the law is treating them unfairly.
They have claimed that the law protects pastors and other religious leaders to preach hatred in the pulpit yet the same law does not recognize the rights of those people who are targeted by such moral ideals. One can assert that these two sides gave very radical sentiments. However, there are still certain things that have to be tackled with regard to these issues. The people who oppose this piece of legislation are those ones who are founded on the issue of fear. They need to realize that there is indeed nothing to be afraid of.
Additionally, there is a need for the gay rights participants to consider the fact that religious groups are not their enemies. Instead, they need to look for more sober methods of voicing their issues rather than confrontational politics. In the month of May 2007, the Senate in its first session debated on the Local law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The major objective of the Act was stated as “provision of assistance to local jurisdictions, stage jurisdictions and natives by the Federal government in the prosecution to hate crime”