"Yeah, I know. "Some of my best friends are . . . " fill in the blank.
A hate crime involves POWER. In our society, certain individuals hold more power than others. Men hold more power than women. Caucasians hold more power than any other race. White men hold more power than white women, but white women hold more power than black men.
Gays and lesbians don't have the same power as straights. Straights are considered the 'norm' and those other folk are the 'other' folk.
Nobody in a position of lesser power -- by definition -- is capable of committing a "hate crime."
A hate crime isn't about saying hateful things. It's about using speech (or writings) to belittle, denigrate, or incite hatred and/or violence against someone solely on the basis of how much they differ from your standard white male.
People without power don't have the power to do that kind of harm. Period.
Hence, when gays act out at pride parades they are deliberately getting in your face, because for once, they can -- safely. More power to 'em, I say.
The stupidity of race/gender/religious/whatever prejudice will end when the people jealously clinging to their perceived "power" come to realize that it's not a finite commodity. If a woman actually becomes a man's equal, her power isn't syphoned off his. You don't lose power just because a gay man can openly celebrate who he is without fear of violence against him.
When the powerful realize that empowerment of all humans strengthens all of humanity then we won't need legislation to prevent hate crimes.
Of course, that will only happen when mankind comes to understand that peace is not the absence of war, but the guarantee of freedom and full human rights for all. Something many surviving world war veterans fervently long to see come about."