Do you think the federal hate crimes law will make a difference in the treatment of LGBT people?
Jason Vinklarek — No, but I think it will make a difference in the punishment and will make a difference over time.
John David Nichols — No. I think the punishment might make people think. But changing people’s thinking about equal rights will make the biggest difference.
Freddie Fieder — I would like to think that passing the hate crimes law would make a difference, but I think we have a long way to go.
Elizabeth Parker — Yes.
Brian Nesbitt — I hope so. If nothing else, it brings attention to the treatment of LGBT people. There are still people who will target us.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 23, 2009.