WASHINGTON ‚ÄĒ Senate Democrats are trying to force President Bush to sign hate crimes legislation he has threatened to veto by attaching it to a massive bill funding the Defense Department and the Iraq war.
Writing violent attacks on gays into federal hate crime laws is related to the war because both are strikes against terrorism, according to a Republican senator and other supporters of the measure.
"We simply cannot tolerate violence against our own citizens simply because of their differences," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who is sponsoring the legislation with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. "We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home."
That's a stretch, not to mention a heavy-handed maneuver that "hijacks" a bill that includes a pay increase for troops in wartime, said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. ...