Friday, July 13, 2007

Resistance to Federal Hate Crimes Bill

Hey, "radical right": You'd better be mobilizing against the federal "hate crimes" bill, S1105, like the radical left says you are. Our pitiful Mass. Senator Teddy has SNEAKED his "Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill" into a Senate Defense Reauthorization Bill! Here's
(1) a video of a press conference by pastors speaking out against this assault on Christianity in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday (July 11);
(2) an alert from the Liberty Counsel;
(3) an alert from the transgender crowd (the most radical left).

(1) Here is the video of the recent Hate Crime rally -- calling America to wake up -- that we videotaped in Washington DC this last week. ... PLEASE consider what [hate crimes legislation] is going to do to ALL Christians who preach using God's word to condemn sin. PLEASE pass this on.....
Joe Rizoli

(2) From the Liberty Counsel:

The so-called "hate crimes" legislation took a new formyesterday when Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)introduced the controversial amendment to a Defense Reauthorization bill. This move will could push senators to vote on the issue as early as thisweek. Introduced as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Kennedy amendment is one of more than 100 amendments attached to the Defense Reauthorization bill. An ABC 20/20 investigation showed that the Matthew Shepard murder, portrayed by activists as a hate crime because Shepard was homosexual, was in fact a bungled robbery that had nothing to do with Shepard's homosexuality.

Hate crimes laws are actually "thought crimes" laws that violate the right to freedom of speech and of conscience and subject individuals to scrutiny of their beliefs rather than focusing on a person's criminal actions. Hate crimes laws will have a chilling effect on people who have moral or religious objections to homosexual behavior. Evidence of a person's beliefs will be used against any individuals who are even suspected of committing a crime. In a debate on a similar bill that passed the House in May, Rep. Artur Davis, who supported the bill, admitted that under this law a minister could be charged with the crime of incitement if the minister preached that homosexuality is a serious sin and a person in the congregation left church and committed a crime against a homosexual. Liberty Counsel has published alegal memo that explains the dangers of hate crimes legislation.

The White House called this bill "unnecessary" and "constitutionally questionable," pointing out that "State and local criminal laws already provide criminal penalties for the violence addressed by the new Federal crime." President Bush has promised to veto the bill. Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Hate Crimes legislation that includes sexual orientation is bad law because it criminalizes speech and does nothing toprevent violent crimes. All crimes are motivated by hate. Hate Crimes laws will not be used to punish the perpetrator, but will be used to silence people of faith, religious groups, clergy, and those who support traditional moral values."

(3) From the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition:

Today Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Smith (R-OR) introduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1585), which is being debated in the Senate this week and next. This amendment could be voted on as early as today. In short, today transgender people are one giant step closer to gaining federal hate crimes protections! The language of today's amendment is identical language to that of S. 1105, which the Senators introduced in April.

"[T]he Radical Right is mobilizing their base to oppose the federal hate crimes bill. They're using scare tactics and flat-out lies in hopes of killing Kennedy's amendment. Make sure that your Senators hear your voice and the true importance of this bill. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would:
- Extend existing federal protections to include
"gender identity, sexual orientation, gender and disability"
- Allow the Justice Department to assist in hate crime investigations at the local level when local law enforcement is unable or unwilling to fully address these crimes

- Mandate that the FBI begin tracking hate crimes based on actual or perceived gender identity
- Remove limitations that narrowly define hate crimes to violence committed while a person is accessing a federally protected activity, such as voting
- Allow the Justice Department to assist in hate crime investigations at the local level when local law enforcement is unable or unwilling to fully address these crimes