By Elizabeth O’Brien

  WASHINGTON, D.C., August 8, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the contentious "hate crime" legislation, that would add sexual orientation as a specially protected class, is put before the Senate, after being passed in the House of Representatives, Bush has promised to veto the proposed bill should the Senate vote in its favor, the Washington Times reports

  Democratic Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Republican Oregan Senator Gordon Smith reintroduced the "hate crime" bill, also known as the "Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" into the Senate this July, buried as one of many amendments to the Defense Reauthorization bill. The bill’s inclusion in the Defense Reauthorization bill forces Bush to choose between denying extra resources to his soldiers overseas or allowing the list of "hate-crimes" to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" (see http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jul/07071305.html).

  Referring to the proposed legislation, White House spokesman Trony Fratto recently told the Times, "The qualifications (in the bill) are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate-crimes elements."

  He continued, "The proposals they’re talking about are not sufficiently narrow."

  Bush promised earlier this May to veto the House of Representatives’ version of the bill H.R. 1592. The White House issued a statement condemning the bill as "unnecessary" and "constitutionally questionable", noting that it fails to mention any other minority groups that also need protection. Referring to the fact that the bill gave the federal government control over local enforcement, the statement also noted, "There has been no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement."

  Ashley Horne, Focus on the Family Action federal policy analyst, commented on the hate-crimes bill, saying, "This legislation is unnecessary, creates second-class victims and paves the way for prosecution of religious speech."

"Virtually everywhere ‘hate-crime’ laws have passed, prosecutions for speech have followed. In Sweden, Canada and Great Britain, ‘hate-crime’ laws have been used to prosecute Christians speaking their disapproval of homosexual behavior, posing a serious threat to religious liberty and free speech."

  The Canadian version homosexual "hate-crime" legislation, Bill C-250, that was given royal support on April 29, 2004, has proved true many of the fears and predictions of concerned Canadians. While attempting to prevent crimes against homosexuals, the bill has in effect opened the door to countless forms of legal action against other groups. Canadians have seen it being used to actively discriminate against religious leaders such as Pastor Stephen Boissoin who publicly denounced homosexuality based on his moral convictions, or companies that have refused to offer their services to homosexuals and has limited the freedom of the press.

  Read related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Democrats Refuse Religious Freedom Amendment to Hate Crimes Bill
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/apr/07042601.html

  US House Passes Gay Hate Crime Bill
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/may/07050405.html

  President Bush Promises to Veto Homosexual Hate Crime Bill if Passed
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/may/07050302.html

  Homosexual Hate Crime Signed into Law; Chilling Effect on Free Speech, Religion and Importing Materials
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/apr/04042901.html

  Same-Sex "Marriage," "Hate Crimes," and the New Totalitarianism
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/feb/050228a.html