I enjoy reading Jeff Jacoby's articles. He writes for the Globe if you didn't know. I don't always agree with his opinion, but he is a well written man who punctuates well with his message.
I'd like you to read the article, then tell me what you think. I support gay/lesbian, transgender, disability, and minority recognition in laws, because these are all disenfranchised groups. I'm none of those things (except a minority... kind of) but I know living in a society that is straight white male dominated, it's easy to knock down efforts by politicians to broaden the laws to give support to these groups of people.
The argument Jacoby makes is intriguing however. For you strict constructionists out there, if you don't support the expansion of the term "hate crime" in our federal laws, I can understand why. One could argue that this defies the first AND fifth amendment. And of most importance, why do hate crime laws involving disenfranchised groups being the victim take precedence over the same degree of crimes involving different scenarios that don't match the definition of hate crime (black killing black, i.e.).
Maybe I'm just sensitive to the history of our country. America is better off than most countries in most respects, but it's taken a long time for all Americans to enjoy the fruits of a nation where everybody is born 100% free. But discrimination does not cease to exist, and I think these hate crime laws help to limit the propagation of hate crimes that occur year after year. Will they ever stop? Jacoby, the author, does not think so, but I think they would go down. And I think as much as Jacoby wishes that individuals would not have to "owe" any leeway to disenfranchised groups for the atrocities committed over a span of centuries, we don't live in a perfect world, and sometimes if you're not in a position where you are experiencing problems involving oppression regularly (for to be oppressed requires being in a relative state of lower status to other dominant groups), can you really talk.