He thanks everyone for coming to the debate.
Pays tribute to Steve Johnson.
We have to live with hate. We do not have to live with the consequences of that hate. Behavior that targets a community is different from other crimes. We can do something to eliminate. Govt moral imperative to come down on them. They deserve particular punnishment.
Don't conflate hate crime with thought. Anti-discrimination laws -- firing on basis of race or religion.
Romney can fire anyone he wants. Only difference is what motivates the firing.
All of the time we ask the law to consider why a person was committing a crime. Murdering for money, in cold blood, etc. Tough calls, not always made perfectly, but we share the view that these people are immoral and are worthy of extra condemnation. They have not engaged in crimes motivated by hate. All crimes make society less secure. Hate crimes make minorities even less secure.
Brett: What about a murder who is a rapist?
Michael: Two motivations -- they are hard to sort out. But we have not heard by racial or religious hatred are not harmful to communities.
Hate crime not arbitrary.They are communities that have been oppressed their entire life. Even government sanctioned hate crimes, like govt failing to prosecute lynching.
Then, govt and even society were complicit in those crimes. Society must correct those injustices. Send a strong message.
These actions were tolerated far too long. Matthew Shepherd and James Bird episode. 2009 Obama signed hate crime into law. Late.
Close: Why does this cause more harm to society? They say help communities be stronger. But we say those communities will always be in fear without penalties for hate crime. 45 states and federal goverment have passed hate crime laws.