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Kentucky Man Accused Of Hate Crime Legally Challenges The Federal Hate Crime Law

One of two men who were charged in the Kentucky State Court with attempted murder stemming from the April beating of Kevin Pennington which is being prosecuted as a hate crime,  has filed a suit saying that he cannot be charged under the Matthew Shepard and  James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act because the federal government “arbitrarily” created a protected population.

Providing greater protection for victims of crime based on sexual orientation  than other crime victims is advancing the arbitrarily creation of classes  of individuals,” said Anthony Ray Jenkins attorney Willis Coffey who stands accused of the crime. This trial is the  first time someone is being charged under the hate crime law’s sexual  orientation protections.

A decision on the matter would set a precedent  that either cements the law or calls it into question, leading to a potential  judicial showdown like the one currently brewing around marriage equality.

Jenkins attorney,  Willis Coffey, is an activist for conservative causes in Kentucky. He also  is an evangelical christian and tends toward Christian Dominionism

Interestingly according to Coffey, creating or recognizing any kind of classification is automatically  problematic…  which would also include religious protections.   Is he trying to overturn the entire body of equal protection  jurisprudence in one fell swoop?

Regardless The Supreme Court has already unanimously ruled that penalty-enhancement hate  crime laws are constitutional (Wisconsin v. Mitchell)

This is nothing but hot air, hate, and a waste of the States money from a criminal and his shyster religious extremist lawyer.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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