"WASHINGTON (AP) - Just hours after the White House issued a veto threat Thursday, the House voted to add gender and sexual orientation to the categories covered by federal hate crimes law."
As far as I'm concerned (and I am concerned), you are either tolerant or not; bigoted or not. Being a little intolerant is like being a little pregnant. The myth proferred upon the public is that a person can be a little intolerant, in fact, that we are all a little intolerant or a little bigoted, etc. I disagree. You either accept people for who they are or you don't. Even if you don't, you have no right to discriminate against others for any reason or else there is no inalienable right to freedom in this world.
You are free to hate anyone you like, but you have no right to harass or endanger or assault anyone, whether you hate them or not. And if you attack someone because you hate what they are or who they love, you commit a crime not just against a fellow human being but against humanity itself. That is the reason for distinguishing hate crimes from other crimes of violence (BTW, I consider rape a hate crime as well, since it meets the test as stated above).