A hate crime a crime committed upon one or more people with the larger intent of terrorizing a whole class of people or society. It is a crime against a homosexual just because they are gay. Or a crime committed against somebody because of their race, ethnicity, or religion -- with the intent to scare and/or terrorize folks of said race, ethnicity, or religion. In other words, hate crimes are a form of terrorism.
The usual song & dance from the right is that they are against legislating "hate crimes" any different from any other crime and that everyone should be protected under the law the same way. Well, hate crime laws do protect everyone the same way... unless or until only certain classes of people are explicitly written into the legislation (like the right wants to do). Without that specificity, then there can even be hate crimes against WASPs. But we all know the reasons the right actually opposed hate crime legislation: (1) there are no hate crimes being committed against WASPSs, and (2) they are afraid that "christians" who go too far fighting against
The other typical response from the right is something like "Hell, ya can't prosecute somebody for what they are thinking?"
Wrong! We do it every day. What do they think the difference between first and second degree murder is? Thought!
So let's all clear our heads and embrace the passing of laws against hate crimes, with appropriate penalties for the terroristic acts that they are.