I realize that this headline sounds too outlandish to be true. Sadly, it is not. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 mostly along party lines to add the words "sexual orientation" to a list of extra-protected groups under federal hate crime laws. Pedophilia (child molestation) is just one of the paraphilias the American Psychiatric Association defines as a "sexual orientation." The American Family Association delineates 30 of the 547 paraphilias or "sexual orientations"as defined by the APA. Paraphilias," Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2000), pp. 566-582
During debate in the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa (YouTube), offered this very simple amendment: "The term sexual orientation as used in this act or any amendments to this act does not include pedophilia."
It was rejected.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert's response (YouTube) in committee clarified what that means:
If a mother hears that their child has been raped and she slaps the assailant with her purse, she is now gone after as a hate criminal because this is a protected class. There are other protected classes in here. I mean simple exhibitionism. I have female friends who have told me over the years that some guy flashed them, and their immediate reaction was to hit them with their purse. Well now, he's committed a misdemeanor, [and] she has committed a federal hate crime because the exhibitionism is protected under sexual orientation.
And having reviewed cases as an appellate judge, I know that when the legislature has the chance to include a definition and refuses, then what we look at is the plain meaning of those words. The plain meaning of sexual orientation is anything to which someone is orientated. That could include exhibitionism, it could include necrophilia (sexual arousal/activity with a corpse). … It could include urophilia (sexual arousal associated with urine), voyeurism. You see someone spying on you changing clothes and you hit them – they've committed a misdemeanor; you've committed a federal felony under this bill. It is so wrong.
When the bill came before the House, again Rep. King (YouTube)tried to make is colleagues understand exactly what they were enacting. He pointed out that they were about to give extra-protected status to 547 different orientations.
Then, shockingly, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., agreed and admitted that this bill will protect all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or "Paraphilias" listed by the APA. Here's what Hastings said on the House floor (YouTube):
This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these 'Philias' and fetishes and 'isms' that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule.
Apparently, Rep. Hastings and the vast majority of his fellow Democrats, as well as a handful of Republicans have absolutely no problem with sexual deviants, including child molesters and exhibitionists, getting an elevated level of protection. I wonder if they would have voted the same way if one of their children or their spouse had fallen victim to one of these deviants? I doubt it. So why don't they offer the same protection to the rest of us.