See also: H.R. 1592 (passed House; can still be stopped if Senate votes it down or president vetoes!)
343 proposed amendments!
Latest Major Action: 7/31/2007 Senate floor actions. Status: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 189.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/amendment.xpd?session=110&amdt=s2067 GovTrack: S.Amdt. 2067 to H.R. 1585 -- 110th Congress
submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 1585, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows: At the end of title X, add the following: SEC. 1070. HATE CRIMES. (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. ...
All crime is motivated by hate (or some close variation thereof).
Hate is a thought; if you criminalize hate, then you criminalize thought.
I guess the Democrats in Congress no longer agree that "All men are created equal".
Discriminatory intent or disparate impact? After Brown, questions still remained about the scope of the Equal Protection Clause. Does the Clause outlaw public policies that cause racial disparities—for example, a public school examination that has not been established for racist reasons, but that more white students than black students pass? Or, on the other hand, does it only outlaw intentional bigotry? The Supreme Court has answered that the Equal Protection Clause itself does not forbid policies which lead to racial disparities, but that Congress may by legislation prohibit such policies. Take, for example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids job discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex or religion. Title VII applies both to private and to public employers. (While Congress applied Title VII to private employers using its interstate commerce power, it applied Title VII to public employers under its power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment. Title VII's standards for public and private employers are the same.) The Supreme Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971) that (1) if an employer's policy has disparate racial consequences, and (2) if the employer cannot give a reasonable justification for such a policy on grounds of "business necessity," then the employer's policy violates Title VII. In the years since Griggs, courts have defined "business necessity" as requiring the employer to prove that whatever is causing the racial disparity—be it a test, an educational requirement, or another hiring practice—has a demonstrable factual relationship to making the company more profitable. In situations involving only the Equal Protection Clause, however, the Court's focus is on discriminatory intent. This was made clear in the seminal case of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp. (1977). In that case, the plaintiff, a housing developer, sued a Chicago suburb that had refused to rezone a plot of land in order to allow low-income, racially integrated housing to be built. There was no clear evidence of racially discriminatory intent on the part of Arlington Heights's planning commission; the result, however, was racially disparate, since the refusal prevented more African-Americans and Hispanics than whites from moving in. Justice Lewis Powell, writing for the Court, stated, "Proof of racially discriminatory intent or purpose is required to show a violation of the Equal Protection Clause." Disparate impact merely has an evidentiary value; absent a "stark" pattern, said the Court, "impact is not determinative." (See also Washington v. Davis (1976).)
Suspect classes The Supreme Court has seemed unwilling to extend "suspect class" status (i.e., status that makes a law that categorizes on that basis suspect, and therefore deserving of greater judicial scrutiny) to groups other than women and racial minorities. In City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc. (1985), the Court refused to make the developmentally disabled a suspect class. Many commentators have noted, however—and Justice Marshall so notes in his partial concurrence—that the Court does appear to examine the City of Cleburne's denial of a permit to a group home for mentally retarded people with a significantly higher degree of scrutiny than is typically associated with the rational-basis test. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the Court struck down a Texas statute prohibiting homosexual sodomy on substantive due process grounds. In Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion concurring in the judgment, however, she argued that by prohibiting only homosexual sodomy, and not heterosexual sodomy as well, Texas's statute did not meet rational-basis review under the Equal Protection Clause; her opinion prominently cited City of Cleburne. Notably, O'Connor did not claim to apply a higher level of scrutiny than mere rational basis, and the Court has not extended suspect-class status to sexual orientation. Much as in City of Cleburne, though, the Court's decision in Romer v. Evans (1996), on which O'Connor also relied in her Lawrence opinion, and which struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment aimed at denying homosexuals "minority status, quota preferences, protected status or [a] claim of discrimination," seemed to employ a markedly higher level of scrutiny than the nominally applied rational-basis test. While the courts have applied rational-basis scrutiny to classifications based on sexual orientation, it has been argued that discrimination based on sex should be interpreted to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, in which case intermediate scrutiny could apply to gay rights cases.
... is not to give special protections to minorities, but to make sure that all cases, all allegations are treated equally.
If some [municipality] seems to be showing discrimination, and treating one [case] as more important than another, then it should be investigated. But we shouldn't always just assume that the minorities are being discriminated against everywhere and put the federal government on every case where minority discrimination / thought crime is suspected.
It's like saying that they they don't trust the local government to do their job, if they think they have to send in the FBI for any and every case...
That is a bad thing.
See H.R. 1592
See also: Contacting elected officials
To contact your legislators:
Capitol Hill Switchboard: 877-851-6437 202-225-3121
To contact the White House about the same bill, especially should it pass Congress: 202-456-1111 202-456-1414 http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
If I can do it, you can do it too!
I had never called a congressperson's office before, but today I did it! I called the switchboard and was connected with a nice receptionist in Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers's office.
I asked him to leave a message for Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, asking her to please vote against the hate crimes bill (H.R. 1592). He said he would be happy to, and asked me for my name and address. When I asked what that was for, he said that the just use it to keep a record of comments made and who they were from. That sounds reasonable to me, as it increases the credibility and legitimacy of those comments...
THURSDAY'S FORECAST On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. H.R. 1592 - Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Conyers / Judiciary Committee)
See also: Source: Film: The Laramie Project (2001)
Originally posted as a comment to a blog post about "The Laramie Project", at https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4456094446301342882&postID=6686662630264314052 :
I saw this film a couple weeks ago, and I definitely agree that it is worth seeing! They did a really good job of objectively presenting a variety of viewpoints and making sure that each side was fairly represented, and I found myself being both challenged and educated.
The murder of Matthew Shepard was definitely motivated (it appears) by hatred against homosexuals. It is hate crime at its worst. No doubt about it. Violence like this is absolutely sickening!
Having said that, I would like to express my opinion that so-called "hate crime laws" are NOT the solution to hate crime! Please let me explain, because I'm afraid most people aren't even aware of some of the strong opposition against these bills ... if they're even aware of the bills' existence at all! (It doesn't seem like the major media corporations are too interested in reporting about things like this.) I hope people won't simply assume "hate crimes = bad, therefore hate crime bill = good" without at least considering some of the opposition to these bills.
First of all, for clarification, the bill that I am referring to is
H.R. 1592, the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007" (and now the "Matthew Shepard Act") (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1592 / http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_HR_1592.html ).
It looks like H.R. 1592 is apparently up for vote in the House THIS WEEK!!! (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55348)
(There is also H. R. 254, The David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_HR_254.html and http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.254.IH: ) )
Okay, these hate crimes bills may appear innocent enough at first glance -- after all, who ISN'T opposed to violent hate crime? But I would urge people to look beyond the admittedly agreeable TITLE of the bill, to actually read the bill itself, and to consider what the implications of passing legislation like this could be.
I've been following the topic of hate crimes for a couple months now (mostly by listening to the daily talk-radio program "Crosstalk" (12:00 on 90.1 FM for those who are interested) and reading the news site http://www.worldnetdaily.com/) and I am very concerned. Here are some of the things I've come across, so that you can see why I am so concerned...
[W]hat you may not know is how this bill scheduled for a vote in the House this week will come after pastors and all those who disagree with the homosexual agenda out loud. H.R. 1592, the so-called "hate crimes" bill, isn't about hate. It isn't about "crimes" (there are already stiff penalties against crimes); it's about _speech_.
I propose the possibility that such legislation might do as much to TAKE AWAY people's freedom of thought and speech as it will do to PROTECT minorities from discrimination (not that I'm opposed to protecting minorities!). It will overly protect one group of people while causing another group to be wide open to attacks and vulnerable to discrimination.
Do you think that a crime that normally carries a sentence of 3 1/2 years should become punishable with _30_ years just because the defendant shouted an anti-homosexual name at his victim? I don't. Now I surely don't condone discrimination or name-calling (!) , but last time I checked, name-calling wasn't a crime deserving 26 1/2 YEARS in prison! (I'm not making this up! Please read http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55392)
Here's a question: Which is worse? Actions or words? Robbing someone or calling him a mean name? Which one deserves the greater penalty? Before you answer, let's say the name was really mean [...]. [T]here ought to be stiff penalties for something like that. Stiff like 23 years behind bars? I don't think so. But the state of New Hampshire does.
If passed, this legislation will provide special legal protections for homosexuals--and even cross-dressers and transgenders--as a minority class under federal law.
Supporters of hate-crimes legislation said Thursday they expect Congress to enact a law this year expanding federal penalties for acts of violence against homosexuals.
I fail to see the need for special legislation against so-called hate crimes. It seems to me that we already have sufficient laws in place to dissuade people from commiting hate crimes and to punish those who do commit them.
Murder is already a felony punishable by death or life in prison. What difference does it make what the killer's motivation for the murder was? Does murder in the name of discrimination deserve a greater punishment than murder committed out of jealousy or anger or greed or monetary gain or road rage? I don't think it should. Murder is murder. Violence is violence. But that's just my opinion.
http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2007/01/hate_crimes_bill_hr254.php -- this program is available for download (MP3, etc.) if any would like to listen
Under this bill, if you commit a crime against a minority, such as a homosexual, then you may be considered guilty of a hate crime. The problem with this logic is that every crime is an act of hate, therefore if this legislation passes, it could end up being used for the criminalization of thought and speech. This may result in the criminalizing of Christians who merely disagree with and speak out against homosexuality.
I don't really want the government acting as "thought police". Let me rephrase that: I really DO NOT want our government (especially our federal government!) to be given the role of "thought police"! (1984 anyone?) That's a job I wouldn't want to entrust to anyone other than God himself!
It provides a federal remedy for a person who is attacked for promoting homosexual relationships, but not for a person who is attacked for encouraging people to stop engaging in homosexual behavior because it is physically and psychologically harmful," he said. "Worse yet, it provides for federal prosecution of a murderer who spews racial epithets at the victim, but not for a cold-blooded killer that is paid to commit the crime." "There is no justification for this disparate treatment. Violent crimes should be punished regardless of the characteristics of the victim." "The emotion of hate is an unfortunate reality of the human experience. But it is not a crime unless accompanied by a criminal action – and even then it is the action that is within the police power of the government, not the emotion." he said. "The reality is that 'hate' crime laws are designed to punish people for what they think, feel, or believe."
Why should homosexuals (or any minority for that matter) receive special protection? Protection for minorities, I believe, can so easily turn into discrimination against majorities! I'm concerned that that is exactly what these sorts of laws are going to create. I thought our country was founded on the belief in "equality for all". Are some people more "equal" than others...?
According an Associated Press report, current "hate crimes" law includes stiffer penalties for federal offenses when the attacker is motivated by the actual or perceived race, religion or ethnic background. The Conyers provision adds to that list sexual orientation, gender and disability. ... "Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special categories of victims, are contrary to our entire system of laws," said FRC president Tony Perkins. "Furthermore, granting special protections based on one's 'sexual orientation' has repeatedly been rejected by Congress. It is shocking that a bill designed to protect children from sexual predators is now being used to protect the sexual preference of homosexuals. "The Senate should reject the House's attempt to advance the political agenda of homosexuals at the expense of children."
If homosexuals are in need of special laws like this to protect them from discrimination, then I think Bible-believing Christians like myself are in even greater need of such protection! I don't think homosexual activists will be happy until every one of us (who follows his conscience and speaks out against homosexuality) is behind bars.
I do not hate homosexuals. By God's grace I will show them the same love and decency that I show any other person. But I cannot pretend that I think homosexuality is acceptable when the Bible tells us in no uncertain language that it is NOT.
Now I don't claim to understand homosexuality very well at all -- there are probably few things that I have more questions about -- but there are a number of people out there (many of them ex-gays themselves -- one of them, Stephen Bennett, I've heard on the radio) who make the rather politically incorrect claim that homosexuals can CHANGE, that it is NOT something genetic that they are born with but something that is influenced by environment (often by abuse by parents during childhood), that it is a sin that can be overcome, etc., and I'd like to believe they are correct, because that to me seems like the only explanation consistent with a loving God.
Some of these people/ministries include (I haven't had a chance yet to check all of them out):
My point is, that it may soon be ILLEGAL for Christians in America to publicly share their beliefs about homosexuality, even if done peacefully and out of love (not hate) and in order to share the good news that we can become free of our sins. It doesn't matter what our TRUE MOTIVES are, because it will be perceived by some to be "hate speech".
I've already told you about how H.R. 1592 will destroy equal justice (setting up a victim hierarchy), set up a Gay Gestapo with unlimited funds and send grandma to jail for sharing her faith on the public sidewalk, as happened in Philadelphia. But what you may not know is how this bill scheduled for a vote in the House this week will come after pastors and all those who disagree with the homosexual agenda out loud. H.R. 1592 the so-called "hate crimes" bill isn't about hate. It isn't about "crimes" (there are already stiff penalties against crimes); it's about speech. ... Have you ever counseled from a biblical perspective or read from Roman 1? I Corinthians 6? Genesis 19? Leviticus 18 or 20? Then, if H.R. 1592 becomes law and someone who has attended your church, read your materials or heard your broadcast commits a crime – such as pushing away a cross-dresser's unwelcome advances – you are "punishable as a principal," as someone who "counsels" and "induces" the now-illegal belief that homosexual behavior is a sin. Think this is a stretch? Think again. In 1998, I oversaw the national "Truth in Love" campaign, which expressed hope for change for those struggling in homosexuality – something for which I was accused of murder. Here's a sample of one of the full-page "Truth-in-Love" campaign ads that caused all the commotion. One ad pictured 850 ex-homosexuals with the headline, "We're standing for the truth that homosexuals can change." Brace yourself for "hateful," "bigoted" and "intolerant" speech said to be responsible for murder. (Note: If you're under 18, you may want to ask your parents before reading it.): "We believe every human being is precious to God and is entitled to respect. But when we see great suffering among homosexuals, it's an inherent Christian calling to show compassion and concern." Wow. With words like "precious," "respect," "compassion" and "concern," you can understand why the city of San Francisco would be prompted to accuse us of murder: "It's not an exaggeration to say that there's a direct correlation between these acts of discrimination, like Matthew Shepard, such as when gays and lesbians are called sinful, and when major religious organizations say they can change if they try, and the horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians." – City of San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Oct. 19, 1998. We now have a governmental body on record connecting speech and violence. It's not even violent speech. They are saying that the hopeful message that homosexuals can change is responsible for murder. That, my friend, is why the hate-crimes legislation is the most dangerous legislation in the country. It will lead to silencing our speech just as the city of San Francisco tried to do. H.R. 1592 isn't about hate. It isn't about crime. It's about silencing our speech. But you don't care about speaking out on "issues" such as homosexuality? As I said in my book, "The Criminalization of Christianity," if they can silence the truth, they WILL silence the Gospel. Look no further than Philadelphia where grandmothers were thrown in jail for the "hate crime" of sharing the Gospel.
No compassionate American is in favor of someone being verbally or physically assaulted because of his sexual preferences, but neither should we be subjected to thought crime legislation that provides special legal protections to homosexuals not accorded other Americans. Criminalizing a person's views on sexual behavior should not be a matter of federal law. Homosexuals and their allies in Congress-notably Barney Frank in the House and Ted Kennedy in the Senate, have repeatedly claimed that our nation is experiencing an epidemic of hate crimes against homosexuals. They claim that states and local communities are incapable of dealing effectively with this wave of crime against homosexuals, so the federal government must step in to protect homosexuals from this assault. This, of course, is untrue. Out of 11.6 million crimes committed against persons and property in 2000, only 1,517 were hate crimes directed at homosexuals [...]. Congress is currently considering several pieces of legislation that will provide federal special rights for homosexuals and punish criticism of homosexuality. These include provisions within the omnibus education bill (H.R. 1 and S. 1); ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S. 1284); and S. 625. If these bills pass with hate crime provisions, homosexuals will gain access to millions of tax dollars to fund pro-homosexual recruitment programs in our nation's schools.
Most people really do not have feelings of hate, although we disagree with the views and efforts by certain minorities to gain special recognitions or protections. We prefer that others live their lives they way they want so long as they don't directly impose against us and our lives. We expect that for our own views and eccentricities. Although we feel that few would actually fall within the strictly interpreted reasons for the law and that we would not be affected, that is not the case.
"When they [realize they] could go to jail for preaching the Word of God, they'll be concerned..." "Cross-dressers rights would trump a pastor's right to preach the Bible, if the so-called Hate Crimes bill … passes." "This is a terrible thing, to criminalize thought or emotion or even speech." "In Canada, a Catholic city councilor was fined $1,000 for publicly stating that a gay couple's lifestyle was 'not normal and not natural.'" "A pastor, Christian broadcaster or publisher who verbally attempts to 'intimidate' homosexuals by describing homosexuality as an abomination (Lev. 18:22) are thus high-profile targets for indictment under this legislation." 'It would appear that the only additional purpose [for enhancing punishment of bias crimes] is to provide extra punishment based on the offender's politically incorrect opinions and viewpoints,." "There is legitimate concern that once Congress makes any 'hate' crime a federal offense, the categories of crime will expand to include speech that causes someone to 'feel' intimidated, just as they have in other places such as Australia, Canada, and Sweden."
People have already been unfairly discriminated against due to "hate crime laws". Yes, there are already hate crime laws in America. The current (federal) law only includes race, color, religion or national origin, but H.R. 1592 hopes to add "actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability" to that list. Some state hate crime laws already include such groups, and some of the things that have been prosecuted lately as a result of these laws are very disturbing. (Also similar laws in other _countries_...)
I will share some of the stories I've come across that illustrate this. I hope they will disturb you as much as they do me...
In 2004, the administration and faculty of Poway High School in San Diego, Calif., decided to set aside an entire day to celebrate "tolerance" toward homosexuality. Students were not only required to engage in positive classroom discussions about homosexuality, but were also encouraged to wear pro-homosexual T-shirts and to place duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the "silencing effect of intolerance upon gays and lesbians." One young man refused to accept such immoral indoctrination, however, and chose instead to wear a T-shirt which read: "I WILL NOT ACCEPT WHAT GOD HAS CONDEMNED" on the front and "HOMOSEXUALITY IS SHAMEFUL, Romans 1:27" on the back. When Chase Harper was told to remove his shirt, he refused and was placed alone in a school conference room for the rest of the day. Harper's parents sued the school for violating their son's First Amendment right to free speech and eventually the case was heard by the [9th Circuit (category)]. The court arbitrarily decided that school students who profess homosexuality have a right to be free from "psychological attacks" because the students hold a rightful place in our society. It then declared that school officials need "not tolerate" anything which would destroy the "self-esteem" of our most "vulnerable teenagers." Obviously, the liberal judges on the court cared little for traditional rights of free speech or the "vulnerab[ility]" and "self-esteem" of young men and women who believe that teaching acceptance of homosexuality is "psychological[ly]" dangerous.
April 19, 2007 - A Canadian Christian civil marriage commissioner in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Orville Nichols, could face up to $5000 in fines for having referred a homosexual couple to a different commissioner.
When grandmas go to jail for witnessing (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54125) (February 7, 2007). (also http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2007/04/hate_crimes_bill.php [?])
Arrested for sharing the Gospel? An expected outcome in North Korea, China or any Muslim country on the globe. But in Pennsylvania? Yep. Arlene Elshinnawy, a 75-year-old grandmother of three, and Lynda Beckman, a 70-year-old grandmother of 10 (along with nine others), were arrested for sharing their faith on the public sidewalk in Philadelphia, Pa., USA. They faced 47 years (the rest of their lives) in jail for spreading the Gospel because of a Pennsylvania "hate crimes" law that is nearly identical to H.R. 254 – the "hate crimes" bill reintroduced in Congress and said to be on the "fast track" in the House Judiciary Committee. This is the same bill that previously passed both the House and Senate and was killed only because of Republican leadership opposition in conference – something we no longer have. Don't believe hate crimes will silence your freedom of speech and freedom of religion? Think again. ... Their fear is a rational one. Hate crimes invariably lead to fines and jail time for those who "violate" them. Just ask Sweden's Pastor Ake Green. Green faced jail time for the content of his sermon. He read from Romans Chapter 1 – something that is no longer legal in Sweden. The "hate crimes" – or more appropriately, "thought crimes" – bill is the single most dangerous bill in America. Along with its companion, the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act," or ENDA – "Thought Crimes for your Business"– is expected to pass this session of Congress. Bow to the homosexual agenda – endorse, embrace, subsidize and celebrate it – or go out of business. That's what it did to the largest and most respected adoption agency in Boston, Catholic Charities, who, by refusing to place vulnerable orphans in homosexual homes, was forced to close its doors. England's about to get a dose of the same. But you don't speak out about homosexuality, you say? Think you're safe? Think again. Here are just a few examples I've highlighted my book, "The Criminalization of Christianity," where you'll find a whole lot more. Protest Islam? That's a hate crime! Maybe it had something to do with Sept. 11. Maybe it had something to do with the beheadings. Maybe it had something to do with what is written in the Quran. But Canadian Pastor Mark Harding doesn't believe the Muslim religion is one of peace. So when his local high school started handing out copies of the Quran and announced a policy of setting aside a room for Muslim students to pray during school hours, Pastor Harding protested. Didn't think it was a good idea – especially since Christian, Jewish and Buddhist kids weren't afforded the same opportunity. After losing an appeal to Canada's Supreme Court Oct. 17, 2002, Harding was said to have "willfully promoted hatred" in violation of Canadian law that had just passed six months earlier. He was then forced to undergo two years probation and 340 hours of "community service" at the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, Ontario. So, for the "crime" of handing out leaflets protesting a high school's pro-Muslim policy, Pastor Harding was ordered to do community service to further the very religion he morally opposed. Harding, an evangelical Protestant, says his evangelism is motivated by love for the Muslim people (rather than hate). In fact, in a phone call used as "evidence" against him in the trial, Harding verbalizes that he loves them. He says he wants them to go to heaven. Yet he received more than 3,000 hate-filled calls – many of them death threats. Some motioned by running their finger across their neck from ear to ear. Upon entering court for his trial, he required police protection from a large crowd of Muslims who were chanting, "Infidels, you will burn in hell." Of course, that speech is loving. ... One thing's for sure, if you value your freedom, you need to use it now. Yes, you have the right to remain silent, but if you use it very much longer, those are precisely the words you, your pastor, business owner or grandmother will hear before seeing the inside of a prison cell.
“‘Hate Crimes’ sends Grandma to Jail” television commercial -- Visit http://www.StopHateCrimesNow.com to hear the testimonies of those who have had first-had experience with so-called "hate crimes" laws. A 75-year-old grandmother describes how she was jailed for testifying about the Bible, in the United States.
"This bill just wants federal power to prosecute bias-motivated violent crimes in the states – what's wrong with that?" "There's plenty wrong with that!" he said. First, the Constitution does not grant federal government the "police state privilege" of being your local law enforcement. "Unless the government finds evidence of slavery in the states, jury tampering, voter fraud, or crimes involving interstate commerce (where jurisdiction is unclear), the Constitution's message to the federal government is blunt and emphatic: 'Butt out of local law enforcement!'" ... He said America's justice system requires proof of physical tangible damage before an arrest, but H.R. 254 changes that. "It seeks to establish a different 'bias motivation' justice system, which will be defined in courts by judges, as has happened in Canada." "Judges will establish legal precedents – precedents that protect groups such as homosexuals not only from physical bias-motivated violence but also from 'verbal violence,'" Pike warned. "This will include the 'hate speech' of Bible-believing evangelical Christians. "H.R. 254 thus does more than violate states' rights in law enforcement. It also leads inexorably to an end of free speech!" ... "It is almost inconceivable that the same country that gave us the rule of law and limited government ... Now bows down to the homosexual revolution of organized sin masquerading as 'civil rights.'" "Is it progress to empower a legal and cultural revolution that criminalizes the common sense idea that society should put the welfare of children first by favoring natural parenting (mom and dad) over an experimental version (dad and male lover) that models perversion to innocent children in their own home?" ... "Only strong public outcry and a Republican controlled Congress kept this type of legislation from becoming law" earlier. Now that Republican controlled Congress is gone. "H.R. 254 would make certain types of speech a federal offense. So-called 'hate crimes' legislation is dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the blatant unconstitutionality of such laws. 'Hate crime' laws would allow federal 'thought police' to interfere in the law enforcement authority of states and localities - something our founders were clear was NOT to be allowed," she said. "H.R. 254 would require every state to pass and enforce 'anti-hate' laws. It would outlaw stating a 'bias' against certain 'federally protected' groups such as homosexuals," she said. ... Such legislation "could mean the Bible would be considered 'hate literature and preaching from it would be 'hate speech' because of references to religious teachings on homosexuality or other behaviors. The Orwellian implications of these types of laws mean Bible-believing Christians could become criminals simply because they spoke out about their beliefs." ... In Canada and some European countries, it already is a crime to use the Internet to criticize "federally protected" groups such as homosexuals and Muslims. "In England, two men who called Islam 'wicked' were indicted … and now face seven years in prison." ... The bill "sends the message that it is more hateful to kill a homosexual than a little child." ... "This bill attempts to get into the mind of the offender and penalize him for his thoughts. Are the bill's proponents going to now lobby for a Federal Department of Thought Enforcement?" ... "Having been charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law for declaring the truth about homosexuality, I can assure you that if this bill is passed and signed into law, it will be used to put Christians behind bars," said Marcavage.
Mainstream media has remained virtually silent, and "the vast majority of Americans remain oblivious to the existence of the hate bill in Congress, or how it dangles like the blade of a guillotine over our precious and vulnerable liberty," Pike said. As WND has reported, such laws already have been used around the world, where in Canada pastors are fearful of reading biblical injunctions against homosexuality, and in Australia where two pastors were convicted of "vilifying" Islam.
One of the people interviewed for the Laramie Project, the wife of a state trooper, I believe, mentioned there was another murder that happened around the same time as Matthew Shepard's death, but for some reason it didn't receive the same kind of national attention. Why is that? It kind of bothers me that when a heterosexual murders a homosexual, it stirs up the whole nation in an uproar, but when a (most likely) heterosexual is killed by another heterosexual in the same town, it barely even makes the local news. Am I missing something here?
How about another example?
13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising was raped 6 times and killed by a 22-year-od and a 38-year-old man in Prairie Grove, Ark.on Sept. 26, 1999. How come I've never heard of this story? How come nobody made a movie called "The Prairie Grove Project"?
It was big news in Northwest Arkansas, but the story of Jesse Dirkhising hasn't made a ripple in the national news. I wonder why? I wonder if it's because the victim is not a part of some politically protected sub-group, a special class deserving of extra government privileges? I wonder if it is because the suspects are, indeed, members of such a group. Remember how the nation stood riveted to the details of a hideous murder that took place in Wyoming when a homosexual was tortured to death? [...] And then there was Jesse Dirkhising. There was no hand wringing, no candlelight marches, no national news coverage for the 13-year-old victim of homosexual rape and murder. No presidential proclamations -- even though the heinous crime took place in his home state.
On Oct. 10, 2004, a group of 11 Christians was "preaching God's Word" to a crowd of people attending the Philadelphia "OutFest" event and displaying banners with biblical messages. After a confrontation with a group called the Pink Angels, described by protesters as "a militant mob of homosexuals," the Christians were arrested and spent a night in jail. Eight charges were filed: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways.
The group had arrived at about 1 p.m. at the Outfest National Coming Out Day street fair, a music and arts festival celebrating homosexuality that the city helps sponsor with a $22,500 grant. The defendants, who range in age from 17 to 72, were confronted almost immediately by the “Pink Angels,” a group that blocked them by interlocking their arms, shouting obscenities, and shoving large, pink Styrofoam cutouts of angels in front of them. But the only ones arrested were the Christians, the police confirmed. “We were on a corner across the street from a stage where a transvestite was performing, and we were singing ‘Blessed Be the Name of the Lord,’” Marcavage said. Marcavage, 25, said a documentary filmmaker captured the entire episode, using two different camera angles. “I was miked, so all my discussions with the police are recorded,” he said. “We did what they asked, and walked down the street. A few minutes later, the police stopped us and put us in paddy wagons.”
In Sweden in 2004, Pentecostal Pastor Ake Green was sent to prison for a month for a 2003 sermon in which he described homosexual acts as "abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society." In the Canadian province of Alberta, Rev. Stephen Boissoin is being threatened with thousands of dollars in fines by the province's Human Rights Tribunal for writing a letter to the editor decrying public school indoctrination in favor of the gay lifestyle. If homosexuals are added to federal law in the U.S., he said, for the first time a protected class would be designated solely on the basis of sexual behavior. "Homosexuality isn't biologically determined," he insisted. "The much-touted search for a 'gay gene' of several years back has elicited no scientific evidence." Carlson contended that while everyone's rights should be protected, and physical attacks on individuals should always be punished, "the purpose of adding gays to hate-crimes laws is to suppress dissent and legitimize conduct which all of the world's great religions view as immoral." Civil-rights laws for homosexuals will lead to promotion of curricula that will press children to believe all forms of sexual expression are equally valid, he said.
"If there was ever a bill which needed to be vetoed -- this is it," said Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. "Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs." Lafferty and other conservatives argue that the bill will "elevate homosexuality" -- a type of behavior, they stipulate -- to the same level as race and other characteristics that can't be changed. "The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that 'hate speech' -- criticism of homosexuality -- incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture," TVC's Lafferty said.
I have observed the effects that such legislation has had in Europe and it is stifling and oppressive. Free speech is forever gone and people must think of the consequences of possibly being branded as racist or another label in every undertaking. It is not just speech. It is writing and any form of expression which may be against the law as interpreted by the ones responsible for enforcement. Normal conversations are stilted by the possible consequence of being reported. I don't think many people realize the full significance of such legislation and the repressive effects it has on free expression. It gives government and ruling authorities a tool to label people and to separate them from their freedoms and property. They sound on the surface as it they are just another law with good intent, but the people who introduce and propose them know what they do and the effects that they will have. They believe the central state has precedence over individuals and society. Individuals need to be doubly on guard against this type of law. "Ostensibly about opposing “discrimination” towards the differently sexually oriented in the provision of goods and services, the SOR’s have been decried by religious leaders and some MP’s as a means of imposing secularist homosexual ideology on believers and their institutions." I advise all Americans, whether liberal, moderate or conservative, and whether straight or gay, to become aware of the effects that such laws have on society and how they affect people who never intended to be hateful in the things that they may be charged with, but are caught up in the net cast by an ever more encroaching and oppressive state. ... I see how this type of legislation affects people in Europe and you are right, Lance. The left has used hate laws to silence and dominate patriots in the countries of the EU. They are used in an equivilent sense as the witch burnings in Salem. The difference being that witch trials affected a small minority while hate laws affect majority national societies. There is too much PC present in society already. Institutionalizing it into legislation turns it into a weapon for minorities to use against the general poplace. Brooke, the intent of hate crimes is to give coalitions of those in power in government and various minorities associating with them a big damn stick to beat citizens into submission with policies which are not otherwise favorable. They can control discussion and criticism or create thought which was not within the intent of the speaker by interpretations made by enforcers. Those enforcers always seem to be favorable to the "victims", who may not even be aware that they have been "victimized".
The ACLU supports it
Washington – The American Civil Liberties Union today cheered Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) for introducing the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA). This legislation will expand the ability of federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminal civil rights violations when state or local authorities are unwilling or unable to do so [If local authorities aren't willing to do so, why waste millions of dollars to let the federal authorities do so?]. This new hate crimes bill is especially significant because it marks the first time the ACLU has been able to offer its full support to hate crimes legislation introduced in the Senate. Unlike in previous years, this legislation balances the desire for a strong federal response to criminal civil rights violations with clear protections for free speech and free association. “The ACLU has a long record of support for both free speech and civil rights [Sure...], and we are delighted to support a bill that doesn’t sacrifice one in favor of another. It punishes acts of discrimination, not bigoted beliefs [If only that were true],” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This bill demonstrates that it’s possible to vigorously pursue criminal civil rights violations without chilling our First Amendment rights.” The LLECHPA punishes only the conduct of intentionally targeting another person for violence because of that person’s race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It allows bigoted speech or association with hate groups to be admitted as evidence only if it is to the crime [Not true]. The provision will stop the temptation for prosecutors to rely on “guilt by association” with groups whose bigoted views we may all find repugnant, but which may have had no role in committing the violent act. “We’re extremely pleased to be able to offer our support to this important legislation,” said Christopher Anders, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. “Current law provides no protection to individuals targeted for violence based on their race, color, national origin, or religion, except in certain limited circumstances. [Maybe because that's because they don't need special protection.] It offers no protection at all for individuals targeted due to their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. [Ditto here.] State and local law enforcement officers are sometimes unwilling or unable to prosecute such crimes due to inadequate resources or their own bias against the victim. [That's a lie.] In these instances, the federal government clearly has an enforcement duty, to ensure that all individuals are provided equal protection under the law. [The federal government should stay out of local law enforcement.]”
... Christian groups have opposed it vociferously but I am not sure why. Read the bill here and you will see that it concerns “bodily injury” only. I cannot imagine Christians going out and bashing queers. [...] I take the usual libertarian view that actual acts harmful to others are all that should be punished so whether the crime is motivated by greed, hate, lust or whatever seems irrelevant to me but I can see no free speech issues in the bill. The ACLU says that the bill contains “clear protections for free speech and free association” 
... This new hate crimes bill is especially significant because it marks the first time the ACLU has been able to offer its full support to hate crimes legislation introduced in the Senate. Unlike in previous years, this legislation balances the desire for a strong federal response to criminal civil rights violations with clear protections for free speech and free association. ...
... but that is a lie. The bill does not mention speech at all. But if the First Amendment does not protect free speech, putting it in a bill would be irrelevant anyway.
Tim Says: April 16th, 2007 at 2:34 pm Why do we need a “hate crime” bill when we can just set the punishment to fit the crimes. I see no reason to make it a worse crime against a particular group unless you really want to allow lesser sentences against the “non-protected” group.
Stanford Matthews Says: April 16th, 2007 at 5:41 pm If someone uses certain words directed toward another and then a physical altercation ensues, I know of cases where hate crime enhancers were included in the charge of disorderly conduct and raised the penalty from 90 days for disorderly to a matter of years. All for using ’speech’ that was objectionable to the recipient. Seems like a free speech issue to me. Granted, I haven’t seen the bill you refer to but I would be surprised if authors of such bills don’t check with each other.
The House Judiciary Committee met yesterday to mark up H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. A major purpose of the bill is to add to the definition of hate crimes those motivated by the victim's sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. (See prior postings 1, 2.) Numerous amendments suggested in committee were defeated. Among the amendments rejected was one proposed by Indiana Representative Mike Pence providing: "Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution." This amendment was aimed at the concern expressed by some conservative Christians-- and said by proponents to be unfounded-- that the bill could be used to chill religiously-based criticism of gays and lesbians. Proposals to add unborn and partially born babies as protected classes under the Act also were rejected. Details of the committee's lengthy session are reported in articles by Baptist Press, the Traditional Values Coalition and LifeSiteNews. A video of the mark-up session is available on the Judiciary Committee's website. After the Judiciary Committee's 10-hour session, the bill passed the committee by a vote of 20-14. A statement by committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. pointed out that the bill is has 137 cosponsors and is supported by more than 230 civil rights, education, religious, and civic organizations. [That doesn't make it right! The majority can be wrong and has been in the past.]
Barb said... Sun Apr 29, 05:01:00 PM EDT I think the concern is legitimate about the possibility of associating hate crime with liberals' interpretation of -- because people blogging have already been accused viciously of bigotry akin to racism and Imus-type racist remarks if they quote the Bible or teach any kind of understanding of homosexual origins other than what is considered PC by liberals. People like Montel have derided ex-gays for suggesting that gays can really change -- because, to social liberals, why SHOULD they change since there is nothing wrong or undesirable about homosexual orientation and acts--and since they erroneously believe the orientation is innate from birth rather than cultivated by life experience in formative years. Talking heads in media and in gay community blast social conservatives and Christians in particular for what happened to Matt Shepherd -- not allowing anyone to blame homosexuals and their supporters for their crimes against others. Of course Matt's killers were not the religious right but a couple of loaded blokes from a bar with a visceral dislike for anyone different from them -- hate crime, sure, but would they have loved him any more or made him any less dead if he had not been gay? Murder is murder and it doesn't matter who you kill or why--the penalties should be severe -- and hatred should be assumed. I see no reason to punish more the killer of a homosexual than the killer of a neighbor or spouse. They all deserve the death penalty. There may be some extenuating circumstances to make courts more lenient -- but there is no reason to say hating or killing a gay is worse than hating or killing anyone else. In Canada and Sweden? it has been criminalized to preach the Bible on homosexuality -- such preaching or statements against homosex are called "hate speech" by some college and corporate rules. Therefore, it's no stretch to see our free speech curtailed (and persecution of Christians who take a pro morality stance) on this topic by liberal definitions of "hate crime" including speech.
Anonymous said... Tue May 01, 02:07:00 PM EDT Clearly Barb is expressing her religious views. This country however was not founded on her views, nor on the views of the bible, otherwise Barb would be advocating for the stoning of unclean brides. You cannot have it both ways, dear...either the bible is your bible or it is not. So, either you kill disobedient children or you are termed a bigot. It is your choice. Period.
Barb said... Wed May 02, 10:11:00 PM EDT You've got to admit, the Bible makes it clear that children should be obedient and women should be chaste(and if they were, all the men would be also) But we are not under the law but under grace --which is not license to sin, but provides forgiveness when we are remorseful. As for this country's moral standards and world-view concerning human rights, they are indeed founded on the Bible by people who respected that Book --whether or not they were "Christian" evangelicals is beside the point. Our country is the best because it is NOT founded on Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Tao, Communism, atheism, agnosticism, paganism, man-made idol worship, emperor worship, Satanism, witchcraft, etc. --but on protestant Christianity --which says all men are equal at the foot of the cross. Which teaches the Ten C's and the Golden Rule --and the Love Chapter. which says God loves the world and is willing to save anyone for Eternity. Which recognizes the value of free will with responsibility and self-control. The value of VIRTUE. Because of our heritage, American founding fathers had a lot of plain ol' common sense and humane-ness lacking elsewhere in the world. They had a base for further enlightenment in the Word and the ministers and churches in every American town.
Peter J. Smith (April 11, 2007). CWA Claims Fake “Hate Crimes” Being Used to Force Legislation through Congress (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/apr/07041107.html%A0%A0).
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 11, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fake “hate crimes” are providing the impetus behind legislation pushed though Congress that would give homosexuals and their behavior special protections under US law and muzzle free speech protections of those who oppose homosexuality. According to Concerned Women for America (CWA), liberal lawmakers in the Democrat controlled Congress are poised to push the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592) - which would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in current “hate crimes” legislation – despite the fact that homosexual activists may have fabricated an alarming percentage of the miniscule number of “hate crimes.” FBI statistics show nearly 1.4 million violent crimes were committed in 2005 of which just over 1,000 were reported as “hate crimes” directed against homosexuals or transvestites. Of this number, just one-third consisted of reports of “intimidation” or “hateful” words as opposed to violent acts. However, the homosexual lobby has trumpeted high-profile reports of alleged violence, which lacking substantial basis in fact, serve their agenda by creating a political atmosphere for liberal politicians to demand federal “hate crimes” legislation. Rep. John Conyer’s (D-Mich.) March 20th introduction of H.R. 1592 came in the wake of the high profile death of 72-year-old homosexual Andrew Anthos in Detroit. Homosexual activists asserted that in February an unidentified African-American man called Anthos a “faggot” and struck him in the back of the head with a metal pipe, ultimately killing him. Later investigators in Wayne County, Michigan, determined that this “hate crime” was in fact no “crime” at all - hateful or otherwise - but the result of an accidental fall brought on by severe arthritis in Anthos’ neck. Anthos had also been diagnosed with mental illness, and originally told police that he did not know how he was injured until he changed his story a week later to suggest that he was the victim of a “hate crime.” In another disturbing case of political deception, Alex McGillis, a homosexual Boise State University (BSU) student who told police in January an unidentified man beat him from behind with an object while shouting anti-“gay” epithets, later confessed that his “hate crime” was a hoax. He admitted to using a stick and his own fists to injure himself, but by that time student and administrative organizations around Boise State had sponsored the ‘No Oppression Tolerated, Not on Our Campus,’ rally and a candlelight vigil on the Quad. In perhaps the most famous “hate crime” case of Matthew Shephard, his murderers said their crime had nothing to do with Sheppard’s homosexual orientation, but concerned money for drugs. ABC News’ 20/20 admitted after an investigation that the attack had not been a hate crime but was in fact a bungled robbery. Nevertheless, the case generated over 13,500 "Mathew Shepard" news stories, massive TV coverage, two major Hollywood specials, three TV movies, and a play. Rather than prosecute all crimes equally as motivated by “hate”, H.R. 1592 would grant the federal government sweeping and entirely subjective authority to regulate the thoughts, words and actions of American citizens who could be accused of “hate crimes” by opposing the lifestyle of a special class of citizens. During an annual "gay pride" event known as "Outfest" in Philadelphia October 10, 2004, a number of Christians were arrested and charged with “hate crimes” for praying, singing, reading scripture, and handing out leaflets to homosexual attendees. The group faced three felony counts of criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot and five misdemeanor charges, which would have landed them 47 years in prison without the intervention of a Philadelphia judge who dismissed the charges in February. In Canada, homosexual activist MP Svend Robinson’s generated sympathy for his hate crimes bill C-250 by frequently referring to the US Shepard case. Robinson also heavily exploited the murder of a B.C. homosexual to motivate passage of the Canadian “hate” crimes change. In that case it was also eventually found that the Vancouver victim’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with his murder. The law passed in Sept. 2003. Subsequent revelations that the cases he exploited were in fact not “hate” crimes have not led to calls for the repeal of the “hate” crimes law change. Other incidents of recent “gay-bashing” hoaxes include one in 2005 in Mill Valley California where a high school activist faked a series of gay-bashing incidents at a high school that prompted a police investigation. The student who headed her school's Gay-Straight Alliance admitted that she had herself been the perpetrator of the incidents, including vandalizing her own car with derogatory graffiti and making threatening phone calls to teachers.
Proponents of H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, say fears by Christians that the bill will restrict religious expression opposing homosexuality are misplaced. (See prior posting.) This was the thrust of House Judiciary Committee testimony on Tuesday by George Washington University Law Professor Frederick Lawrence, who said that the Act "is aimed at criminal acts, not expression or thoughts." To assure this, drafters have included a new provision in 18 USC Sec. 249(d):
In a prosecution for an offense under this section, evidence of expression or associations of the defendant may not be introduced as substantive evidence at trial, unless the evidence specifically relates to that offense. However, nothing in this section affects the rules of evidence governing impeachment of a witness.
The House Judiciary Committee passed a "hate crimes" bill Wednesday night, all 23 Democrats in favor, all 17 Republicans opposed. Every Republican attempt to amend the bill was defeated. Critics call it a "thought crimes" bill. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592) would expand the federal definition of hate crimes to include violence against a person because of his or her "actual or perceived" sexual orientation or "gender identity." Under the bill, people who attack others out of "hatred" for their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability would be committing a federal offense. ... Supporters of the bill, including homosexual activists, have described "hate crimes" as a pervasive problem. "The intentional selection and beating or murder of an individual because of who they are terrorizes an entire community and sometimes the nation," the Human Rights Campaign says on its website. But conservatives say the bill would punish "thought," since most crimes are motivated by hatred. They say it offers special protection for certain groups. "Despite what its advocates say, this is not about crime -- it's about special treatment," said the Family Research Council. "HR 1592 would further carve out 'tiers' of victims, putting more importance on crimes committed against a Rosie O'Donnell than against her next-door neighbor." Others object to the idea of putting homosexuality in the same category as race, an immutable characteristic.
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the new hate crime legislation making its way through Congress. HR 1592 adds gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals to the list of those protected under the definition of a hate crime. The bill will allow for harsher sentences for individuals whose offenses fall under the hate crime definition. HR 1592 will also provide federal money to help with the prosecution of hate crimes, and will allow for federal intervention if the state or locality is unwilling to move forward with prosecution. This type of legislation leaves me scratching my head. The bill . Actually, if we’re talking about assault or murder I’m pretty sure hate is involved. Does it really matter exactly what kind of hate? The argument seems to be that in a hate crime, a specific community feels targeted and terrorized. I’ve also heard that perpetrators of hate crimes pose a more long-term threat than perpetrators of other violent crimes. Somehow a regular murderer isn’t as likely to kill again as one motivated by ‘hate’? I’m not really interested in testing out that theory. There have been many comments on the concepts behind this legislation, and most have said it better than I can. Violent crimes should be punished regardless of the motivation, and people can be terrorized just as easily by a crime that is not motivated out of hate–the Virginia Tech massacre comes to mind. The current fear is that this legislation will lead to encroachment on our right to free speech, and in particular might be used to curtail Christians from speaking out against homosexuality. HR 1592 clearly refers to violent crimes, and not speech. However, the intent is certainly to criminalize thought. What exactly makes a hate crime worse than some other violent crime? The thought behind it. And once the state starts imposing harsher sentences because of the thoughts surrounding the crime it does not seem a great leap to prevent the hate crime by prosecuting the thoughts that lead to it. Maybe we should start making our tin foil hats.
2. Joey Says: April 27th, 2007 at 6:02 am EXCELLENT post. Thank you for looking at this piece of legislation from the ‘thought police’ stance. I have no intention of speaking anything about homosexuality, period, but I don’t like the idea that I cannot say what I like as an American, under my Freedom of Speech protections. Why even have Freedom of Speech if we have laws like these?
4. Jillian T. Weiss Says: April 29th, 2007 at 9:42 am The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting freedom of speech” - but does this bill punish speech? No, it punishes intent - mens rea - which has always been an element of crime since before the Revolution. Do you know the definition of assault in most states? It requires “serious bodily harm,” like a broken arm - otherwise, it’s a misdemeanor, and do most police departments and courts take them seriously? No - they get plea bargained down, as do 95% of criminal cases. Because communities can’t afford to bust the budget by investigating every crime. [So maybe we should get federal funds to assist in the investigation of every crime that the local communities can't afford to investigate. Why just those against minorities?] But targeting people for assault because of minority status targets the whole minority community, unlike an ordinary assault. 8,000 reported incidents last year targeted minority communities.  And since it is well known that the FBI stats are underreported, it’s probably more like twice or three times that. [Perhaps. But the number of un-reported incidents against majorities is probably many times more than that. Aren't those incidents [against majorities] equally deserving of attention and due investigation?] If it was your family they were after, you’d have a different opinion.
5. Kate Says: April 30th, 2007 at 1:30 pm The “Philadelphia 11″ ran afoul of Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws. They spent a night in jail and faced up to 47 years in prison for a slew of charges issuing from their peaceful counter-demonstation at a Pink Angel “gay” rally in Philadelphia. World Net Daily has a good series of articles on this, which occurred in October 2004. The “gays” were being hateful and harassing the Christian counter-demonstrators, who were apparently only holding signs and were given permission to gather on the sidewalk by policemen on the beat. Just by standing there with a Christian, presumably anti-homosexual act message, they were deemed to have violated Pennsylvania’s hate crime legislation. This ought to scare the daylights out of everybody, the more so because the [Mainstream media (category)] studiously avoid mentioning the whole mess.
Fr. Elias gives an emergency SOS for all those who care about the most cherished freedoms we have in America, Religious Liberties and Free Speech. The House of Representatives is voting on a bill this week that, if passed, will make it a crime to preach our religious convictions that homosexuality is disordered. This totalitarian measure challenges the very foundations of our republic and could spell the end to freedom of worship all . We must pray to God that this bill does not pass and we must take action to protect our rights on this issue. Please take some time to contact your legislature [...].
Christine Miller (Thursday, April 26, 2007 :: 11:02 AM). Criminalizing "hate" the road to tyranny (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/christinemiller/319951/).
Congress is considering criminalizing "thoughts, feelings, and beliefs" in a new bill, H.R. 1592, which is currently before committee. The bill, supported by the majority of Democrats, and having 137 sponsors in the House, which would fast-track it for a vote, adds special protections for homosexuals which would make discrimination against them a federal hate crime, even criminalizing thoughts, feelings, and beliefs - or opinions and statements - about that lifestyle. Many organizations have gotten on the band wagon warning the Church of the ramifications to pastors and ministries, even laypeople, should such a bill become law. Even quoting Leviticus 18:22, God's commandment against homosexual behavior, could potentially be enough to run afoul of this "law." World Net Daily has rounded up all the facts. At issue is the power of government. Is it granted authority to punish criminal actions only, or does its jurisdiction extend to punishing politically "incorrect" thoughts or attitudes? The Bible teaches that the state has been given authority to punish evil DOERS
The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.
, thus actions only. And then there is the whole question, can the state call "good" what God has called evil?
Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
There are already plenty of laws on the books punishing assault, battery, murder, rape, robbery, and every other criminal action, whether it was motivated by hatred or not. In fact, if the Bible teaches that love is the fulfilling of the law
, then the case can be made that all breaking of the law is already hate. Regardless, it is futile to make mere motivation without action criminal, since only God can judge the thoughts and intents of the heart. Humans simply do not have the wisdom. Kings%208:39&version=51; 1 Kings 8:39 (NLT)
[...] Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.
If you enjoy freedom of speech and religion, then write to your legislators on both sides of the isle and urge them to vote no on this assault on the Bill of Rights.
“... gearing up for a major confrontation with homosexual activists over so-called hate-crimes laws, which are actually thought crimes laws, and Christians are the primary target.” “If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime.”
CMC Updates: Christians Are the Real Victims (http://www.centerformoralclarity.net/Articles.aspx?page=2007032801) (2007-03). (Center for Moral Clarity, run by Ohio televangelist Rod Parsley)
Last week, U. S. Rep John Conyers, D-Mich., re-introduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in Congress, but this irrational proposal must never reach the president's desk. The Center for Moral Clarity is calling upon Christians coast to coast to vehemently oppose this legislation. Otherwise, be prepared to promptly relinquish your constitutional rights. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act would expand the federal definition of hate crimes to include violence against a person because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone who commits an act of violence should be punished. Toward that end, laws across America appropriately castigate murderers and other belligerent brutes. Frankly, as a deterrent to violent behavior, hate-crimes laws are both . Despite the hue and cry from homosexual political activists, this legislation is not needed to penalize attacks motivated by bias against gays, because the root crimes are already punishable under the laws of the land. This legislation is purely symbolic. Unfortunately, it doesn't symbolize a consensus to make America a kinder, gentler nation. Instead, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act represents the intense culture war between those who trust the Bible as a manual for life and those who reject it. This is a battle from which God's children cannot retreat. "Homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree. According to virtually every scientific, medical and sociological study of the homosexual community, the everyday world of the American homosexual is a very unhappy world," said Pastor Rod Parsley. "And it's not just the emotional health of gays that suffers. Given that their sexual practices and lifestyle choices make health and hygiene a practical impossibility, ill health is an escapable part of the gay lifestyle. Therefore, the life expectancy of gays is substantially lower than that of heterosexuals." The late Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of the most respected justices in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, once said, "The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think." To the Christian mind, the standards for what is "right" and "wrong" have been divinely set. Expressing that belief is - and always should be - a constitutionally protected right. Don't relinquish it without a fight!
Several Republican leaders stood up in the House of Representatives to urge their colleague to vote NO on H.R. 1592, the so-called hate crimes bill. The leaders accurately pointed out that the legislation will eventually be used to punish pastors and others who express opposition to homosexuality or cross-dressing behaviors. President Bush vowed to veto the bill.
Includes statements made by...
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
It is probably unconstitutional and raises significant federalism issues. [...]
Rep. Dan Lundgren (R-California, 3rd District)
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Florida, 24th District)
Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameter url must be specified"Ezra" (March 29, 2007). .
Meanwhile, the Right’s campaign is ramping up. Janet Folger is raising money for television ads misleadingly depicting two elderly ladies as being “thrown in jail for sharing the gospel.” (In fact, the far-right group Repent America staged a protest of a gay-rights rally in Philadelphia; the protesters sat down in the street to block the rally, which had a permit, and were charged with a number of violations, but they were not convicted of any hate-crimes offense.) [...] According to FRC’s Perkins, “If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime.” That is – if “sharing” your faith involves targeting gays for violent bodily injury.
Hold on there, Ezra. These protesters you speak of were charged with hate-crimes offense and their protest did not involve violent bodily injury. How do you explain that? You seem to be trying to make the case that hate-crimes laws have only been used and will only be used to charge people who commit violent crimes, but this example (and many others) shows that that is not true. We "far-right" people are not violent people, and yet we are still being persecuted for staging a peaceable protest.
Regarding the allegation that "the protesters sat down in the street to block the rally, which had a permit": I'm not sure whether that's accurate or not. [To do: I need to do more research.]
Question: If proud homosexuals are permitted to hold a gay-pride convention, does that mean proud Bible-believing heterosexuals would be permitted to hold a proud-to-be-following-the-Bible-where-it-says-homosexuality-is-a-sin convention? Somehow, I think we would get into trouble if we tried that. But it seems like we ought to have as much right to do that (which would no doubt offend homosexuals) as they have to hold their convention (which offends those who believe homosexuality is sinful and immoral).
Indeed, religious-right activists opposing the bill go to great lengths to avoid mentioning that it deals with violent crimes, and not speech or policy.
True true, in all fairness, it does seem that we avoid avoid mentioning that fact. It is unfortunate that we are not more up-front about what this particular bill [H.R. 1592] does and does not deal with/criminalize. I wish more people would be up-front with all the facts, as it would add credibility to their case. However, in their defense,
For almost 11 hours Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman of Traditional Values Coalition, and CEO Andrea Lafferty monitored every move in the Judiciary Committee relevant to the HR 1592, the Hate Crimes bill. They sat in the front row from early morning until it was concluded around 9:15 p.m. All 25 Republican amendments were defeated. The purpose of the Markup is to vote on amendments to the bill. There are 23 Democrats and 17 Republicans. HR 1592 passed by a party line vote, all Democrats supported it and all Republicans opposed. Following is their account of the “Markup.” TVC materials were used by numerous Congressmen in their presentations. It was clear that they were quoting from documents TVC had produced. Numerous Congressmen came over to us and thanked us for staying there all day and all night. The TVC staff worked diligently researching, creating reports, meeting with Members and their staff, contacting you the grassroots for help and MUCH MORE. Your financial help is urgently needed as we work to defeat HR 1592 on the House floor and continue to uphold and protect Biblical principles here at the Congress. The first Republican amendment was proposed by Congressman Jim Jordon from Ohio adding those unborn babies and those partially-born babies to the list of protected classes. However, Chairman Conyers ruled the amendment was non-germane, which means the members were not allowed to vote on it. Congressman Darrell Issa, Republican from California offered a clarifying amendment concerning unborn babies which failed. Republican Congressman Dan Lungren from California stating that no where in the bill are the terms “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” definition and he asked for a definition. The democrats referred to what they said was an accepted definition of sexual orientation, heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. The republicans did not agree stating that heterosexuality was not an orientation. The democrats did not want to discuss a definition of even sexual orientation or have it in the bill. They wanted no definitions. Friends, it was obvious. There are many additional orientations that would have had to be included in sexual orientation. Also, they would have to agree to a definition of gender identity and they did not want that. They obviously did not want to define gender identity to include she-male, cross-dresser, drag queen, transgender, transsexual, etc. Republican Congressman Randy Forbes from Virginia stated that since it has been proven and established that our military are targets of hate and physical attack, many facilities are recommending that soldiers not wear their uniforms in large adjoining cities. He mentioned several groups by name that are vehemently spitting on them and abusing them, only because they are US military personnel. So Forbes offered an amendment to also include military personnel as a protected class and thus to attack them would also be a hate crime. It was defeated. The Republicans offered many good amendments to add categories that would be covered by the bill. They did a very good job trying to clarify the bill and hold the democrats accountable. Senior Citizens should be a protected class as old people are being beaten up and robbed. Rosa Parks got mugged in Detroit. Another suggested protected class was Pregnant Women who are battered by boy friends, live-in boyfriends or husbands because they are pregnant. Republican Congressman Tom Feeney of Florida offered an amendment to add the "homeless." All were defeated. Republican Congressman Louis Gohmert of Texas moved to remove "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from the bill. It failed on a recorded vote of 19 to 13. Congressman Mike Pence from Indiana offered the important amendment on Freedom of Religion. “Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution.” A number of Republicans spoke in support of it. But the Democrats Jerrold Nadler, Tammy Baldwin and Chairman John Conyers kept evading the issue. Finally, Congressman Gohmert asked, “If a minister was giving a sermon, a Bible study or any kind of written or spoken message saying that homosexuality was a serious sin and a person in the congregation went out and committed a crime against a homosexual would the minister be charged with the crime of incitement?” Gohmert was attempting to clarify and emphasize that the legislation would have an effect on the constitutional right to religious freedom and thus the Pence amendment was needed to protect religious speech. The Democrats continued to explain why they could not accept the amendment. Lundgren continuously shot down their answer. He said, “What is your answer? Would there be incitement charges against the pastor?” And finally Democrat Congressman Artur Davis from Alabama spoke up and said, “Yes.” Friends, that is what we have been warning you about and our legal advice was correct. It is evident what HR 1592 is about. It is not about homosexuals and cross dressers suffering with no food, shelter or jobs; it is about preventing Bible-believing people and pastors from speaking the truth. It is about punishing them so they will not dare to speak the truth. It is about threatening them with prison so they won’t dare speak the truth. The Judiciary Committee could easily have accepted the amendment, “Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution.” Rev. Lou Sheldon stated, “By refusing to accept this amendment the Democrats on this committee have proven their purpose, to remove freedom of religion from the U.S. Constitution.” This is an up-to-the minute report late tonight. Tomorrow we will send you more news and an Action item so you can write your elected officials. THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER YET. HR 1592 WILL GO TO THE HOUSE FLOOR, VERY LIKELY EARLY NEXT WEEK.
WASHINGTON (BP)--A House of Representatives committee April 25 approved a measure to add homosexuals and transgendered individuals to the classifications protected under hate crimes laws. The House Judiciary Committee voted 20-14 for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The vote was along party lines, with Democrats in the majority. It is possible the full House could vote on the bill, H.R. 1592, as soon as the week of April 30 to May 4. Current hate crimes law protects traits such as race, religion and national origin, but the bill's foes say the new legislation would grant protection based on lifestyle. They also say it would move federal law toward punishing thoughts and beliefs, since the motivation of a person charged with a hate crime would have to be evaluated. Pro-family organizations, including the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, have been working to rally opposition to the measure. Barrett Duke, the ERLC's vice president for public policy, signed onto an April 24 letter with 53 others asking Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to oppose the legislation. The signers said the bill is "unnecessary, unjust, constitutionally suspect and opens the door for religiously based prosecutions." Some critics of the proposal warn it could result in suppression of biblically based speech describing homosexual behavior as sinful. Nineteen of 21 amendments proposed in the committee meeting were defeated, including one by Rep. Mike Pence, R.-Ind., to protect the religious freedom of individuals and groups. Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International and a signer of the letter, said the committee vote meant the country is "unfortunately one step closer to establishing unequal justice under the law in America." Exodus is a ministry that seeks to help people out of homosexuality through the Gospel of Jesus. It had about 50 people working on Capitol Hill April 17 and 18 to explain its position to Senate and House members and their staffs. "This legislations says that we, as former homosexuals, are of less value and worth less legal protection now than when we were living as homosexuals," Chambers said in a written statement. "We categorically reject this mindset and reaffirm every American's value and right to equal protection under the law." Homosexual activist organizations, though, applauded the committee's action. "Although there were many attempts to derail this legislation today in committee, our allies in Congress stood strong and secured its passage," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest homosexual activist group. "We are a long way from declaring victory, but we are as committed as ever to continuing to fight back the last desperate attempts by extremists and make sure this bill is realized." The bill would authorize the U.S. attorney general to provide assistance to state and local officials in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, as well as expand the categories to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," among others. The legislation says a hate crime is one "motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the state, local, or tribal hate crime laws." "Sexual orientation" includes homosexuality. "Gender identity" is a "person's innate sense of gender," which may be different than his sex, according to HRC's website. Transgender is an umbrella term for "people who live all or substantial portions of their lives expressing an innate sense of gender other than their birth sex," according to HRC. The transgender category includes transsexuals and cross-dressers. The House and Senate both have passed versions of the bill in separate sessions in the past, but they have yet to agree on a measure to send to the White House. It appears there are enough votes to gain passage in this Congress, especially since Democrats control both houses. The only apparent hope for preventing the legislation from becoming law is a veto by President Bush. The Senate bill, S. 1105, has the same title as the House version, except the name of Matthew Shepard has been attached to it. Shepard was the young homosexual who was beaten and left for dead tied to a fence in Wyoming in 1998. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D.-Mass., is the sponsor in the Senate, and Rep. John Conyers, D.-Mich., is the House sponsor.
Peter J. Smith (April 26, 2007). Democrats Refuse Religious Freedom Amendment to Hate Crimes Bill (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/apr/07042601.html).
Law would grant federal government sweeping, entirely subjective authority to regulate thoughts, words and actions of American citizens WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Congressional Democrats on the US House Judiciary Committee quashed 25 amendments to the hate crimes bill H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act – including an important amendment protecting freedom of religion – before sending the bill to the House of Representatives for a vote. According to the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), Congressional Democrats rammed through the hate crimes bill defeating all 25 Republican amendments, which would have clarified the bill’s language, included other special groups under “hate crimes” protections, and ensured Christians would not be prosecuted for expressing religious convictions opposed to homosexuality. Congressional representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) raised the objection that the “hate crimes” bill failed to define the terms “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” and demanded the Committee include a definition. Committee Democrats, however, who hold a 23-17 majority on the committee, refused to define either “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” saying they were [had?] accepted definitions and need not be stated in the bill. Republicans offered proposals to protect other categories of citizens on the basis that other groups were particularly vulnerable and deserving of added protections if homosexuals were going to be a protected class. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) stated that US military personnel are well-known as being targets of hate and physical attack simply because they belong to the armed forces and thus ought to be protected by the bill. One proposal suggested senior citizens should be a protected class to discourage thugs from beating up and robbing from the elderly, such as civil-rights icon Rosa Parks, who recently was mugged in Detroit. Another suggested pregnant women who are battered by boyfriends, live-in boyfriends, or husbands because they are pregnant ought also to be a protected class in the “hate crimes” law. Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas moved to remove "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from the bill, but was defeated 19 to 13. However, a dispute over an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) revealed that H.R. 1592 will have severe limitations on First Amendment guarantees of freedom of religion in America. The Pence amendment read: “Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution,” meaning Christians and any other religious group that professed its beliefs against homosexual behavior would not suffer persecution for their convictions. A number of Republicans then spoke in support of the need for such an amendment. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asked, “If a minister was giving a sermon, a Bible study or any kind of written or spoken message saying that homosexuality was a serious sin and a person in the congregation went out and committed a crime against a homosexual would the minister be charged with the crime of incitement?” Chairman John Conyers and Congressional Democrats kept evading the issue, providing reasons why they could not accept the amendment until Rep. Lundgren demanded, “What is your answer? Would there be incitement charges against the pastor?” At that point Democrat Congressman Artur Davis from Alabama candidly said, “Yes.” “By refusing to accept this amendment the Democrats on this committee have proven their purpose, to remove freedom of religion from the U.S. Constitution,” concluded Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman of TVC, who attended the day-long proceedings with TVC CEO Andrea Lafferty. Rather than prosecute all crimes equally as motivated by “hate”, H.R. 1592 would grant the federal government sweeping and entirely subjective authority to regulate the thoughts, words and actions of American citizens who could be accused of “hate crimes” by opposing the lifestyle of a special class of citizens.
http://www.stophatecrimesnow.com/ ([To do: has videos])
Hearings on Rep. John Conyers (D—MI) H.R. 1592—“The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act” began on Tuesday, April 17th with the Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech in the bull’s-eye. Faith2Action President Janet Folger was there and announced the kick-off of the National Television Campaign featuring the “‘Hate Crimes’ sends Grandma to Jail” television commercial which began airing nationally on FOX news and in the D.C. market on the same day.
- Click on the commercial to view it.
- • Help put it on the air across America & Help Faith2Action get this message out through television, radio and newspaper interviews, Faith2Action radio broadcasts and commentaries, and through the internet.
- Send this email to your friends and family.
- Please pray that our Religious Freedoms will be protected!
A bill to expand the definition of federal hate crimes law has now been approved by the U.S. House. On May 3, the House passed H.R. 1592, — “The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act” -- by a vote of 237-180. The focus now shifts to the Senate, where the bill number is S. 1105. Our national campaign includes "Hate Crimes sends Grandma to Jail" TV commercials that have aired nationally on CNN and locally in the Washington, DC market on Fox News.
Send these cuffs and poster to your senators...TODAY!
- Click on the commercial to view it.
- Send this email to your friends and family.
- Please pray that our Religous Freedoms will be protected!
- Please call your two U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121
You can send these "symbolic" handcuffs and the above poster ... complete with your name and contact information! Tell your Senators to STOP! Help "put the cuffs" on Senate Bill 1105. Now you can get them in the offices and halls of your senators ... by the thousands .... expressing your view on Legislation that affects your free speech. Send your's today!
Uninformed Citizen A: Aren't hate crime laws good? Aren't they necessary to prevent hate crimes??
Hypothetical response: Show them the brief statement and question from the grandmother who was jailed under hate crimes laws (from Values Voter Debate 2007-09-17).
Uninformed Citizen A: What kind of "testimony"/"witnessing" was she giving to these homosexual protesters? Was she yelling obscenities at them or yelling things like "homosexuals will go to hell" or something?
Hypothetical response: No. She was very peaceably protesting. She wasn't violent. No, she wasn't intentionally provocative and insulting to them. Don't you believe that citizens should have the right of free speech, including protesting about topics that are controversial?
Uninformed Citizen A: But words can hurt people too!
Hypothetical response: Maybe so. But does that mean they should be thrown in jail just because someone deems their words "hurtful"? Who should be the judge of whether something is hurtful and whether something is hurtful enough to be jailed for it? It's a very subjective thing. How can anyone fairly judge the "hatefulness" of words?
What is it with people nowadays? Anytime someone puts forth a view different from their own, they are immediately accused of "hate". Every sort of "hate"- rascism, bigotry, homophobia, or whatever. Well let's straighten this out. Every single day I get "hateful" messages from people who disagree with me too. So why are MY views the only ones classified as "hate" by politically correct liberals? What about their threats? Should I answer their "hate" by calling them "haters"? If it were possible to have a focused conversation, or even a debate, I would try to refute their opinions with facts, history and opinions of my own. But unfortunately, dialogueing with most liberals is like trying to aim at a moving target that shifts every 10 seconds -- about the length of time it takes to dispute their emotional outbursts masquerading as an opinion. Nevertheless, if they would just focus long enough, they would discover that disagreement isn't "hate", nor is it "intolerance". It's liberty in action. Okay, that being said, Yes I "hate". I hate lies, deception, trickery, darkness, evil, depravity and violence. But I do not hate PEOPLE. I "hate" the false spirituality and deceptive ideas perpetrated by the New Age movement. Its just a modern version of the ancient pagan idol worship, witchcraft, and the spirit of antichrist known as "gnosticism" in bygone eras. I myself was once deceived by it. But I don't hate New Agers. I "hate" the slander and blasphemy of God perpetrated by Islam. I think Allah is a demon not a god, Islam is a cult, and Mohammed was a FALSE prophet. But I don't hate Muslims. I "hate" the murder, rape and oppression of Islam, a totalitarian ideology masquerading as a religion. But I don't hate those enslaved by it. ... Where do these things come from? Two places: mankind's sinfulness and the spirits of devils working with and for Satan. I hate Sin (especially my own). I hate Satan. I hate Evil. I hate war. But fighting against evil things is not "hate". So, yes I hate. But I don't hate you. Get it right, okay?
Now I know why I didn't hear about [S. 692] sooner -- it's because it was only introduced in Congress 30 days ago! And "they" (I won't call names) have got it on the fast track! Because it's already going up for a vote. This is big news! This story should be on the front page of every newspaper and magazine that cares about "liberty and justice and equality for all". But for some reason, we're not hearing about this on the news. It's almost as if they're trying to "sneak this by" under the radar, so to speak. (Reminds me of the greatest media coverup in recent history: 9/11.... but that's entirely off-topic so I'm sorry for even bringing it up. What? You don't even believe it's POSSIBLE that the media would have helped cover up lies from the government! That's how trusting we've become of the media...) It reminds me of the illegal trial the Jewish leaders held for Jesus of Nazareth  years ago. Despite the fact that it was illegal to do so, they held his trial at nightime and got him convicted in record time. Why were they in such a hurry? Perhaps because the people would have [given an uproar of protest] had they found out what was actually going on. Remember, it wasn't "the Jews" who killed Jesus Christ; it was a couple power-hungry Jewish leaders, who felt threatened by any opposition. (Minority ... Homosexual rights activists ... I won't connect the dots for you. You're intelligent people.) This bill is illegal too. It's unconstitutional. And they're trying to [blast] it through the pipeline as fast as possible. I'm not usually this assertive, but I would urge anyone who's reading this to 1. BECOME INFORMED, 2. pray about it, and 3. take action if you believe it is necessary. Will you join me in calling the capitol hill switchboard this evening or tomorrow, May 1, in contacting our representative in Congress and asking them to vote against this bill? If it passes Congress, our only hope left would be if the president vetoes it. (And so far he has only vetoed 1 bill, if I am correctly informed.)
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=1987 2007-07-12 The Bay Area Reporter Online | Hate crimes heads for possible Senate vote