*Membership spots not really limited!
Thing is, there's a difference between criminalizing the thought, and criminalizing the actions that come from the thought.
I agree, you can hate folks all you want. But not carry out violence to express it and more so the violent expression that results in a death.
Yes, all groups should be treated equal in this, but ignoring one because of others is still wrong.
Hate crimes ARE criminalizing the thought. Murder in this case would criminalize the action. Or assault, where the victim doesn't die. Like I said, there are many reasons to dislike hate crimes laws, and violation of equal protection is only one of them.
Putting it another way, there is no need for hate crimes legislation; everything they cover is already covered by laws on the books like murder. And the hate crimes legislation themselves are a violation of the Constitution in many ways, and in themselves in their unequal enforcement form a kind of hate crime.