Main | Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oklahoma Senate Votes To Exempt State From Federal Hate Crimes Law

Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell's bill to exempt his state from complying with the federal hate crimes law has passed overwhelmingly.
Under the new provisions of Senate Bill 1965, reports that were collected during investigations of possible hate crime that did not end in a conviction would be destroyed or kept by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Russell said the bill is meant to prevent the federal law enforcement officials from taking over a case and applying different standards when local law enforcement has already investigated a case. Only a few senators questioned Russell about the contents of his proposed amendment. The measure passed 39-6 and now heads to the House for consideration. Russell said his bill is meant to protect speech of all kinds. "We just don’t want the pendulum to swing too far the other way,” he said. "This protects people to do or say whatever they want, as long as it complies with local ordinances.” Russell said hate crimes should be prosecuted by local officials and not the federal government.
Under Russell's bill, Oklahoma law enforcement can ignore or sweep under the carpet any hate-motivated murder or assault on LGBT persons. And the feds won't be able to step in because the case records will have been destroyed or withheld. His bill is yet another example of the Tenther campaign to refuse to abide by federal laws.

RELATED: Russell's opposition to the Matthew Shepard Act first came to our attention when he claimed that it would protect his state's corpse-fuckers from prosecution. Corpse-fucking, while frowned upon by many, has long been a favorite hobby for many of Oklahoma's home-schoolers.

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