Why do legislator keep creating special classes of citizens worthy of “extra” protection?
Laurie Bratten commented while listening to Colorado HB 17−1188: Concerning Bias-Motivated Harassment.
The sponsors are sad that this had been assigned to SVA. They don’t “understand.”
She explains, “Under current law, you get a class 3 misdemeanor if you commit harassment. However, if you commit harassment because of someone’s race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, you get a class 1 (more serious) misdemeanor.”
What changed between those two circumstances?
Nothing except your alleged motivation as determined by the state.
This bill would add committing harassment because of someone’s disability or sexual orientation to the class of crimes that result in a class 1 misdemeanor.
Are not all citizens equal in their inherent worth as individuals and in the eyes of the law?
Is not a crime is crime, regardless of the motivation that spurs its commission?
If the penalty for harassment isn’t tough enough, perhaps we should make it tougher. But it should be made the same for everyone who commits the crime of harassment, thereby protecting every harassment victim equally, rather than creating special classes of citizens worthy of “extra” protection.
Whether someone harasses your able-bodied mom or your gay or disabled brother, all victims deserve equal protection under the law.