My suspicion about the real motivation for opposition to the just-passed hate crimes bill is borne out by the responses and statements from the Christianist right. It is clear from this article, for example, that their objection is entirely to the inclusion of homosexuals. It is also clear from the White House's statement that it concurs. Money quote:
"The administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics, such as race, color, religion or national origin."
Why no reference here to the characteristic at issue - sexual orientation? If the White House claims that such protections are already in place, and it supports them, and its only objection is a matter of federal and constitutional propriety, why not say so explicitly? We all know the reason why. The naked anti-gay animus fueling this is also apparent when you read Dobson's quote:
"We applaud the president's courage in standing up for the constitution and the principle of equal protection under the law. The American justice system should never create second-class victims and it is a first-class act of wisdom and fairness for the president to pledge to veto this unnecessary bill."
But that is an argument for the repeal of all hate crimes legislation, not just this one. And yet Dobson raises no such objections when it comes to race or religion. Maybe now his position is clear on the principle, he'll elaborate some more. I'd dearly love to see Focus on the Family come out strongly against hate crime laws designed to protect, say, Jews, Mormons and Christians. But somehow I doubt it, don't you?