Senate Bill 190 is an ‘exercise in redundancy’

Here we go again. I am going to do something that none of the Republican leadership in Legislative Hall are willing to do (with a few exceptions), and that is to call [state] Senator Peterson out on her rhetoric [“Senate tables equal rights bill – Sen. Peterson blames ‘religious right’ for legislation’s failure,” article, June 15], that is, in and of itself, devoid of fact:

Regarding SB 190, the protections called for, indeed, as [state] Sen. Lopez put it, are already enshrined in Delaware law. It is an exercise in redundancy.

In hoping to promote her bill, Sen. Peterson referenced the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub over the weekend. “Violence against women has reached epidemic proportions, and hatred and intolerance of gays and transgenders is still very much with us, as Sunday’s events have shown,” she said.

Sen. Peterson, the attack in Orlando, some 45 minutes from where I sit at this present moment, was a thread of terrorism against life and liberty for all of us, just like the attack on the state employees in San Bernardino, the soldiers at Fort Hood, the recruiters in Chattanooga or the concertgoers in Paris or the travelers in Brussels. There is absolutely no need to drape any ideological flag around the issue.

You use the word “epidemic” in regard to violence against women, gays and transgenders. That is the myth you perpetuate from your bully pulpit, but the facts are:

According to a 2010 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Justice, in the last 12 months, more men than women were victims of intimate partner physical violence and over 40 percent of severe physical violence was directed at men. Men were also more often the victim of psychological aggression and control over sexual or reproductive health. But, yet, there are still very few resources available to male victims of intimate partner violence.

Increased domestic violence education directed at women and services to men should lead to a reduction of DV against women as well as men.

Dr. Ed Rhymes, in Mint Press Publications, states: “More than 830,000 men fall victim to domestic violence every year. A man is the victim of domestic abuse every 37.8 seconds in America. These numbers are not inconsequential and the frequency is far from insignificant.”

Here is another fact: According to the FBI Crime Statistics — In regard to hate crimes directed toward gay or trans-genders, there were only three reported. This is sad and to be condemned, but hardly the “epidemic” you referenced.

If you really want to expand your legislative horizons, come sit in on a Family Law Commission meeting. For two decades, constituents have come before the commission, attempting to bring awareness to issues of fraud, lack of due process and their perceived acts of bias in Family Court, but only to get lost in others’ vested interests within the legislative process. If I were a betting man, I would bet you a 24-ounce Wawa coffee that in the middle of the legislative night before the session comes to an end, SB 190 in all of its (in)significant glory will slide through.

The perpetuation of myth over fact is definitely “epidemic” in Legislative Hall.

Gordon Smith
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Formerly of Felton

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