though lawmakers twice in as many years have repulsed efforts to
graft "sexual orientation" into West Virginia's
so-called hate crime statute, Paul Sheridan covers this
controversial aspect in his classrooms.
His teaching manual, crafted by former U.S. Attorney General
Janet Reno partly with his input, by definition is "aimed at
a law enforcement audience."
Much of the manual prepared by President Bill Clinton's attorney
general, already used to indoctrinate an untold number of law
enforcement agencies in this state, has stirred disquiet in the
ranks of the West Virginia Family Foundation, an affiliate of the
American Family Association.
Led by Kevin McCoy of Charleston, the state group finds
sections of the curricula especially disturbing and perceives in
them a sinister undercurrent. Ultimately, he suggests, it could be
employed to muzzle men of the cloth.
Under "hate group ideology" identification, for
instance, it is written, "Homophobia recently has been added
to their agenda."
"There goes 95 percent of West Virginians," McCoy
said last week in an interview.
"I believe, by and large, the majority of West Virginians
oppose the homosexuality of our society, our state. Unless the
senior assistant attorney general would like to give us a
different definition of what homophobia means, my contention is
this applies to anybody who has a problem with
The same section identifies some hate-mongers as those who
"blame the federal government, an international Jewish
conspiracy or communism for most of this country's problems."
What disturbs McCoy and people like him most is the next
"Some groups include apocalyptic Christianity in their
ideology and believe we are in, or approaching, a period of
violence and social turmoil which will precede the Second Coming
Unless Reno and Sheridan can show otherwise, McCoy takes this
to mean anyone with a literal interpretation of the Bible,
especially in regard to scriptures on prophecy, is part and parcel
of a hate group.
Two pages later in the manual, Reno speaks of
"exceptions" to the U.S. Constitution's free speech
guarantees under the First Amendment.
A statement McCoy finds curious reads:
"Words expressing discriminatory animus may serve as
evidence of the prohibited conduct (e.g., to prove reason for
failure to promote) or may constitute the prohibited conduct
McCoy feels this is ominous, "laying the foundation for
certain types of speech that are not politically correct and how
they could be possibly perceived to be not appropriate within the
law enforcement community ..."
"If this curricula is continued to be taught to law
enforcement in this state, it will not be long before they roll
out the big guns and start cracking the whip," McCoy says.
Could this mean preachers would be hauled off to the courts to
face hate crime violations?
"What they're waiting for now is to get 'sexual
orientation' into West Virginia's hate crime law," McCoy
"Their goal is to get sexual orientation included. Once
they do that, this is laying the foundation for law enforcement to
take care of those people that they consider to be members of the
hate group. Churches, pastors, the whole nine yards.
"I don't think there will be any group left untouched when
their agenda is finally completed."
If that's not the case, he reasons, then why did Reno use as
part of her brain trust the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
and the Human Rights Campaign, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the
International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National
Association of Attorneys General and National District Attorneys
Yet another paragraph in the Reno curricula states,
"Organized hate groups focus on issues of concern to middle
America as a method for cloaking and marketing their hate
philosophy (i.e., "government interference, cheating.")
Under motivation, the manual says hate crime offenders feel led
by "a higher order," and, in parenthesis as examples,
God is grouped with Adolf Hitler and the Imperial Wizard.
"Has a sense of urgency about his/her mission; believes
he/she must act before it is too late," the manual says of
those who commit hate crimes.
McCoy says "hate crime" legislation is a public
relations effort to mask the hidden agenda of homosexuals - a
re-shaping of America to make their lifestyle acceptable.
"The hate crime law is being used across the country by
homosexual activists," he said.
"The reason they're doing it is they want to be able to
use hate crime laws as a club against anyone that opposes their
radical agenda, which is really re-ordering a society into the
fashion that they desire to re-order it.
"And this is what the curricula is doing - laying the
foundation to be able to accept that agenda."
The West Virginia Hate Crime Task Force, the vehicle through
which Sheridan conducts his workshops, distributes a red, white
and gray brochure that states, "Hate crimes may be committed
because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability,
ethnicity or sex."
It also says such offenses "usually" involve
violence, intimidation or vandalism because the targeted victim is
Fragmented newspaper headlines appear in the brochure as
subliminals, and the phrase "neo-Nazi" is prominent.
To conservative groups such as McCoy's, cleverly linking Nazis
and Klan groups or others backgrounded in violence with opponents
of homosexuality is an old tack harking back to the "big
lie" method of the Third Reich.
In this year's legislative session, McCoy said, a group of
children from a Charleston-area church paid a visit to a senator's
office to voice opposition to SB23, the hate crime measure which
easily cleared the upper chamber before it died in a House
McCoy described a scene that followed as one that left a pastor
and some young members of his flock in disbelief.
"He (the senator) ran them out of his office, and said,
'you're a bunch of Nazis,'" McCoy said.
"We're not Nazis, we're Christians," the children
"Then your whole church is Nazis," the senator shot
McCoy said the lumping of hate crime law opponents with Nazis
and Klan groups is advocated by homosexuals in a book, "The
Overhauling of Straight America."
"It is evident that our elected representatives are
falling into the militant homosexual propaganda campaign by
linking homosexual opponents to Nazis and the KKK," he said.
Another catch phrase which has crept into the vocabulary of
hate crime law advocates is "domestic terrorism."
An 8-hour course, billboarded on the West Virginia State Police
Academy, is titled simply "Domestic Terrorism," and
topics advertised are "philosophies of hate and
anti-government groups," and threats such people pose.
Again, groups such as McCoy perceive this as propaganda
attempting to link any opponents of homosexuality, including those
who use biblical teachings as their guide, as
In reality, McCoy says figures provided by police and
homosexual groups themselves show the threat of violence among
homosexuals is 50,000 times greater than the threat of hate crimes
caused by those outside their ranks.
FBI figures disclosed this year revealed only 1,317 "hate
crime" episodes nationwide inspired by opposition to
homosexual behavior, he said.
"Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence that homosexuality
is a deadly lifestyle, and despite the fact that a majority of
West Virginians oppose special protection for this chosen
behavior, we have our own attorney general and the West Virginia
Human Rights Commission propagating this big lie that homosexuals
are targeted for violence and deserving of the protected
status," McCoy said.
"On both sides of the House, there is a trend with
legislators becoming more and more sympathetic to the homosexual
agenda as well."
So what is domestic terrorism?
McCoy feels the phrase leaves little doubt where Reno and those
swept up in the hate crime movement want to take America.
"If you follow Janet Reno's curricula, it probably would
be those that follow in the 'hate group ideology,' such as
apocalyptic Christians and homophobes."
McCoy is vowing an all-out campaign to counter the seminars and
the attempt by some legislators to embrace the homosexual
lifestyle in the protection of the hate crime umbrella, officially
section 6-6-21 of the State Code.
To accomplish its goal, the Family Foundation plans an intense
networking with members of Congress, along with state and local
authorities in West Virginia.
"It might be impossible to reverse," McCoy
acknowledged, "but we can try to slow it down."
- E-mail Mannix Porterfield at mporterfield@