Again, I'm all for protecting people from violence. But that's why we pay police, arm our citizens, teach self-defence, etc. Protecting people has nothing to do with passing so-called hate crimes bills and their enforcement doesn't reduce those types of crimes. Meanwhile these "Hate Crimes" are decreasing -- and will continue to decline as baby-boomers die and the Thirty-Something crowd takes their place. The same goes for bigotry and intolerance for the disabled. Why? Because this is as close to an "ignore it and it'll go away" situation (there is no such thing, really) as we'll ever have. Children are not taught tolerance, they are taught intolerance when adults behave like, and enforce stereotypes. We simply need to teach our children that some people can't help the way they are -- we accept that people are different; and also that some people can help the way they are -- we accept that some people are just assholes.
Creating and supporting hate crime bills only serves to return us to a time of Separate but Equal.
And that's just stupid.