From the Washington Times:
President Bush is committed to vetoing the latest effort to expand federal "hate crimes" laws to include sexual orientation, even if it means sending a defense authorization bill back to Congress, the White House said.[...]
Mr. Fratto said the president, who has pushed for quick approval of spending for U.S. troops, would send the defense bill back to Capitol Hill if the hate-crime amendment remains attached.
The White House stopped short of saying it was opposed to the language because of concerns about religious freedom.
They're going with the "it's not sufficiently narrow" argument. More on that after the jump.
"The qualifications [in the bill] are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate crimes elements," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.
"The proposals they're talking about are not sufficiently narrow."
Well, actually, no, and it's really starting to seem like those who are opposed to hate crimes legislation for legitimate reasons are a small minority of those opposed to the amendment. Because we all know that "sufficiently narrow" would mean a law that bans the prosecution of any case in which the victim is LGBTQueer, since it's not as broad as Fratto makes it sound, and he knows it.
What I really find interesting is the indication that Bush would reject funding for his war over hate crimes legislation. Either a certain someone's completely spoiled, or a certain someone doesn't really care about defeating the enemy (and y'all know where I'm falling on this).
Oh well. Even though the article is an example of the standard biased journalism over at the Times, they did throw in this gem of a quotation:
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, a South Carolinian who leads the House Democratic Faith Working Group, called that sentiment "grossly inaccurate and highly prejudicial."
"Absolutely nothing in the [bill] in any way constrains the freedom of expression or religion and I — who was born and raised in the parsonage of a fundamentalist Christian church — believe it is wrong to attempt to defeat civil rights legislation based on such a false claim."