UPDATE: CHRIS CARNEY WOULD RATHER STICK TO HIS REACTIONARY STRATEGY THAN LEARN FROM HIS MISTAKES
Carney didn't murder Matthew Shepard but his vote could enable the next gay bashing or gay killing
DWT readers will recall the brouhaha we got into with Congressman Carney (PA-10) about the deceit inherent in his vote against the Hate Crimes bill last week. Keep in mind that he was only one of 14 Democrats to vote against it and that the 13 others are 13 of the most consistently reactionary Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Carney has refused to discuss this with us and refused to return the campaign contributions he tricked us into giving him when he claimed he would support the Hate Crimes bill before he was elected. (Instead he just had someone in his office send us some Republican talking points as an excuse for his disingenuous behavior.)
Some Democrats have pointed out that although Carney's blatant lies are contemptable in a public official, his strategy in a conservative red-leaning district makes sense. Today's Gallup poll proves that theory wrong. Not only has Carney managed to alienate gays, their friends and families, fair-minded Americans, and people concerned about truth from their representatives, he probably isn't going to make much headway among Republicans and conservatives for what is basically a homophobic vote. Recall that a couple dozen Republicans broke with their party's reactionary leaders to support the Democrats on combatting Hate Crimes. The Gallup poll shows they were far savvier than the hapless Carney.
A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed such legislation, which is now being considered by the Senate. Republicans, conservatives, and religious Americans are slightly less likely than others to favor the expansion of hate crime legislation, but a majority of those in each of these conservative and religious groups favors the proposed legislation.
Carney has thrown his lot in with hate-mongers and murder accomplices like James Dobson while 60% of Republicans, 69% of Independents and 75% of Democrats favor the bill he tried to kill. Even among people who identify themselves as "conservatives," 57% approve of the bill (while 74% of moderates approve and 82% of liberals approve). Even among frequent church-goers, 64% approve.
Dobson, Carney and the Republican leadership are out of step with America. Decent Americans were sickened and outraged by the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard and by the winking and nodding by political hacks like Carney at the victimization of classes of people. Carney and his allies on the homophobic right will be defeated.
The religious and conservative leaders who are mounting a campaign against H.R. 1592 have their work cut out for them. The data reviewed in this analysis indicate that there is strong majority support for the expansion of hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity among the general American population. Specifically, there is majority support among identifiable groups of Christians, frequent church attenders, conservatives, and Republicans for expansion of the legislation.