Rep. Steve King slams hate crimes bill as protecting 'sexual idiosyncrasies'

The hate crimes amendment attached to a defense authorization bill is Orwellian and provides protection to "sexual idiosyncrasies," Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) asserted Friday.

King, a conservative Republican lawmaker, also charged that the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, which provided some impetus for hate crimes legislation, was not motivated out of hate against Shepard, who was gay.

"It takes us to a place in the law where we have never been before," King said in an interview on a conservative news radio program. "And that's the place where the hate crimes legislation gives us special protective status for sexual orientation and gender identity."

King said that the hate crimes bill results in a "pedophile protection act," and is meant to create "thought crimes" and protect "sexual idiosyncrasies."

"It set the lowest standard I have ever seen from a political strategy standpoint," King said of House leaders' decision to include the hate crimes language in a defense bill. "Now that the House has been held hostage to this kind of political extortion, it tells me that they can stick almost anything on a must-pass bill, something as irrelevant as hate crimes to our military."

King unloaded on the act as a mechanism for the federal government to advance "the homosexual agenda," saying that the killers of Shepard, as well as those who dragged James Byrd, an African-American in Texas, in 1998 to his death had already received the ultimate sentence: the death penalty.

"And the Matthew Shepard case, there's been a fair amount of information that came out -- that really wasn't the motivation of the people who killed him," King said.

Listen to the entire interview here.